Feb 21 (Reuters) – Apple Inc is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt for iPhone batteries directly from miners, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources. The iPhone maker is seeking contracts to buy several thousand metric tons of cobalt for five years or longer, Bloomberg reported, citing an anonymous source. ( ) Cobalt prices have skyrocketed of late due to an expected growth in demand for electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries. Apple may end up deciding not to go ahead with a deal, the report said, citing another source. Apple was not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.