China continues to be one of the most misunderstood and for some, dangerous places in the world. Still, there is no doubt that without China, our lives in the west would be much different. And no, I’m not talking about the loss of the millions of inexpensive products that have become synonymous with companies like Target and Walmart.

I’m talking about the iPhone and other iThings.

Scientific American has released an infographic that shows just how much companies such as Apple rely on the world’s most populous nation to create products such as the iPhone. As you can see, China provides 90 percent of the so-called rare-earth materials that go into the production of Cupertino’s most popular product.

Nine rare-earth minerals specifically provide the color screen, glass polishing, phone circuitry, speakers, and vibration unit of iPhones. These include elements such as Praseodymium, Terbium, and Europium.

Take a look at the infographic (click twice to enlarge):

This infographic, while new, is based on information collected by CNET last fall.  We thought that our readers would want to see it.

Chalk this up as another reason Tim Cook likes to visit China.

Source: Scientific American