It’s 2021, and we’ve never been more technologically advanced or more worried about the climate crisis. Yet our consumerist mindset is blinded by the newest iPhone.
The first iPhone was launched in 2007, followed by a more recent and “improved” version of its last model every year. This marketing and production technique has created 14 different generations of iPhones, with 66 models ranging in camera quality, design, storage, and efficiency. Its impeccable and user-friendly software system has gained the trust and loyalty of many customers that continue to buy the newest model each year.
According to recent data, 85% of iPhone owners will buy another iPhone for various reasons:
- loyalty to the brand
- end of phone contracts
- physical damage
- short phone life span.
It is estimated that 395 iPhones are sold each minute and that between 2007 and 2018, Apple has sold over 2.2 billion iPhones. So, is this type of constant consumerism sustainable? Of course not, especially after Apple reluctantly admitted in 2018 that old iPhones get randomly shut down to push users to buy the most recent model.
Not all hope is lost…Apple has shown some initiatives in becoming more sustainable; for instance, you can bring your old iPhone to any Apple Store, and their recycling robot will pull the phone apart, using some of the old parts in its new electronics. Also, Apple Stores run with renewable energy.
Even though these are significant improvements, the company continues to mine and manufacture new iPhones each year, releasing tons of carbon emissions and generating technological waste, including the shipping and outsourcing of materials.
But, as with any other company in the world, it reacts to the public’s demand. So, suppose we are the generation of social media and climate resistance. In that case, we should demand big companies to keep adhering to sustainable and circular practices that can alleviate our and their impact on the environment whilst dampening our hyper-consumerist culture.
So how do we do this?
- Demand for long-lasting products, including chargers and earphones.
- Use recycled only materials.
- Stop relying on rare earth and toxic materials.
- Demand for repair-friendly hardware design.
- Take care of your iPhone.
- Do not buy a new iPhone if yours works perfectly fine.
- Or check out Tulipshare the NGO buying shares in Apple on your behalf to use its shareholder rights for good.