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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

The Back Page: The Metal Play

We all know Apple has a strong impetus to control all the aspects of its products’ production, but the recent news that the company might be looking into acquiring cobalt directly from the source has really taken that to a new level. I can only imagine that the company’s metal play might soon involve the likes of cadmium, nickel, and platinum, creating direct lines that feed those materials directly into Cupertino. And it’s got me a little worried—because where does it end?

I’ll tell you.

Apple wouldn’t be the first to try and acquire a hoard of precious metals, not only for its own satisfaction but in order to prevent any others from getting their hands on them. No, there’s at least one noted figure, powerful beyond measure, that’s tried a very similar strategy, and it didn’t end well for them.

I’m speaking, of course, of Smaug.

The similarities are undeniable.…

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