CIO sees Apple’s design change as indicative of what’s to come as companies look to reduce reliance on increasingly scarce materials. (UBS)

1. Companies can’t escape geopolitics, the economy is truly global
Apple’s launch event highlighted the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s A17 advanced semiconductor chip. The A17 Pro chip will have one additional GPU core processor than the A16, and will enable better graphics and gaming. The chip was designed by Apple in the US but manufactured in Taiwan, and the iPhone itself is largely assembled in China. This embodies the complex global supply chain necessary to produce the world’s most advanced technologies.

Semiconductors are one of America’s largest exports, but even the largest producers rely on one another for materials. The CHIPS Act aims to address this by funding programs that bolster global security in key technology sectors. To learn more about our view on US reshoring and infrastructure, visit

2. The economy is increasingly circular
Apple’s generous offer of USD 130 for my broken iPhone 13 hints at how much value lies in the underlying parts. In a first for Apple, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max use a battery made with 100% recycled cobalt. The devices also use 100% recycled rare earth elements, 100% recycled aluminum in the internal structural frame, and 100% recycled copper in the main logic board—among other examples. The switch to USB-C follows new global regulations that mandate universal charging ports, in an attempt to cut electronic waste.

We see Apple’s design change as indicative of what’s to come as companies look to reduce reliance on increasingly scarce materials. In just a few weeks, Apple’s robot Daisy could be digging through my old phone in search of valuable materials! Perhaps there’s a fourth takeaway on automation, but I'll save that for another time. For more on this topic, see our report Longer term investments: Circular economy.

3. Consumers value experiences
Prior to the pandemic, we identified a shift in consumer trends that seemed to favor “experiences” over traditional goods. Post pandemic, experiences roared back, from revenge travel to Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. While an iPhone is technically a consumer “good,” the new features underline the importance of providing consumer experiences. The aforementioned A17 chip will enable a better gaming experience, and allow game makers to produce iPhone versions of their most popular games. In the coming months, Apple will roll out an additional feature on the Pro model. According to the company, an upcoming software update will equip the Pro’s camera with an option to create “spatial content” to be viewed later on Apple’s VisionPro headset. Supposedly, this will look and feel similar to a fully immersive 3D experience. When the feature rolls out, I’ll be sure to try it out. In the meantime, read more about these trends in our report Longer term investments: Consumer experience.

Main contributor: Michelle Laliberte

Read the original blog Three things the iPhone 15 says about the economy