Monday, March 11, 2013
The green movement has infiltrated virtually aspect of our lives. We’re all aware of the need to reduce, reuse and recycle and most of us make a conscious effort to keep our carbon footprints as small as possible. We use energy-saving light bulbs, put bricks in our toilets and buy energy-efficient appliances. But, do we give any thought to our smartphones?
Well, do you?
Maybe you do, bless you for your social conscience. But what about your friends? Are they more concerned about the size of their camera, the length of their battery life and their data storage capacity than the effect their phone has on the environment?
If they don’t care yet, they soon will, at least that’s what Juniper Research predicted back in May 2012 (cellular-news.com). The company estimated that the demand for green smartphones will increase more than 10 times between 2012 and 2017. That means 392 million handsets will be eco-friendly by 2017. Eco-friendly in this instance means that over 50% of the materials used will be recyclable and that they will be almost entirely hazardous-chemical-free.
How green are current smartphones?
Juniper Research referenced one of the stand-out pioneers in the green smartphone movement; the Samsung Replenish, which is made with 82% recyclable materials. It’s not the only eco-friendly phone on the market, however.
In October 2012, John Brownlee (cultofmac.com) published a list of smartphones with admirable green credentials (as well as those whose credentials are less than admirable). At the top of the list was the Motorola Citrus, which didn’t exactly set the world alight, metaphorically-speaking. The iPhone 4S came second, which will no doubt please all the fanboys out there, if they can drag their attention away from their phones long enough to care.
Samsung had another two phones in the top six: the Captivate and the Evergreen.
The latter half of 2012 spawned quite a few of these ‘top green smartphones’ lists. From these it seems that Samsung really is a clear winner, because another of its phones, the Galaxy Exhilarate, scores consistently highly.
Sony also does particularly well. According to the European Green Smartphone Award 2012 – 2013, Sony Xperia P is a groundbreaking green phone. In fact, Sony and Samsung seem to be competing for the top spot, as Sony has won the award two years running; the Xperia Mini walked away with top honours the previous year.
The market is hot
It’s very hot, nearly as hot as global warming. Smartphone manufacturers are scrambling to gain kudos as the leading name in eco-technology; which is much nicer than having them scramble to be the first with a 1TB internal hard drive (which would be very cool, by the way).
It’d be even nicer if consumers starting demanding more eco-responsibility from manufacturers, that way they could green the planet while making their friends green with envy.
Sandy Cosser writes for Data Detect Australia, which recovers data from a range of mobile phones, tablets and laptops.