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The True Cost of an iPhone

Check out this interactive graphic.

The Apple iPhone is one of the top selling gadgets circulating today, and this little device is a perfect example of the short lifecycle so many of today’s gadgets go through. The mining process for the materials needed is the controversial and often bloody first step in the long road your iPhone travels, and that’s just the beginning. From there, the iPhone materials are mass-produced in overseas factories and then distributed in quantities of growing abundance. Once consumers have finally purchased these pricey little devices, it’s a short-lived period of sending text messages, checking email, and playing Angry Birds before these phones are ultimately discarded at alarming rates. Since being released in 2007, the iPhone has morphed through five generations to reach the sleek, savvy model it’s become. And with the new iPhone 4S in hand, Apple users everywhere eagerly await the release of the iPhone 5. But as we teeter on the brink of a chic new generation of iPhone, the question arises: Where do old iPhones go to die?