Debunking Apple Samsung Nickel Coin Story
While derping around the internet today, as well as on Facebook, I've come across a number of stories along a similar vein. Namely that Samsung has paid Apple the damages awarded in their recent case. In nickles. I've found it so ridicoulous that I decided to debunk the story.
While there is many articles out there, I decided on this story mostly because it calls out a specific number of trucks that were allegedly used and has a "quote" from Samsung's CEO.
If you ignore the ridiculousness of paying over a billion dollars in nickels, we can examine if there is any truth to the story. The story states that 30 trucks were used to deliver the money. Penske states their 26 foot box trucks have a volume capacity of 1,400 cubic feet. If you multiply that by 30, you get a volume of 42,000 cubic feet in 30 trucks. If you use a commercial 48 foot truck, such as those used by truckers for hauling freight cross country, you can approximately fit 2,600 cubic feet per truck for a total volume of 78,000 cubic feet. According to the Treasury a nickel is 1.95mm (.077 in) thick and has a diameter of 21.21mm (0.835 in). The volume can be calculated by using pi*(r^2)*h, which gives you a volume of 0.04218211249999996 cubic inches per nickel. Assuming you convert this to cubic feet and multiply by 20,000,000,000 nickels you get a total volume of 488,219 cubic feet, which is 1 Billion dollars in nickels. If you divide that by 30 trucks, you must have a total volume of 16,274 cubic feet per truck. The 48 foot truck we were talking about earlier has a volume of just under 2,600 cubic feet. Meaning that you have to have about 188 48-foot trucks to fit all those nickels. You also have to take into account packing, pallet formations, safety procedures, etc.. So, again, just not possible.
Now let's do weight. A single nickel weighs ~2.28 grams. When you take into account that 20 nickels are a dollar, you need to multiply 20,000,000,000 nickels by 2.28grams. Which come out to 100,530,792 pounds. A commercial 48 foot truck in California that has 4 axles is allowed, by law, a maximum weight of 74,000 pounds weight capacity. This means that ~1,360 trucks would need to be used to truck all those nickles to Apple headquarters in California.
Even if you choose not to believe my numbers, do you honestly think that Samsung would really piss of their largest customer by pulling this prank? Also, according to the United States mint, the total volume of nickels produced in the year 2012 is 679.12 million nickels. At that rate, Samsung has just paid Apple roughly 29.5 years worth of Nickel coin production. And in the end if Samsung choose to incur the costs to gather all these coins, their shipment, their storage, the man hours involved, the case judgement is less than a week old. We still have appeals, and a lot of leg dragging before Apple sees a single dollar.
Please share this with your friends on Facebook, twitter, and any place that is visible. It's a shame people will believe these stories.