Posting in Design
The iPhone 5's "Lightening port" power and data connector will require Apple-devoted hordes to buy adapters, at best, or replace accessories such as speakers, at worst.
As the news and reviews of the iPhone 5 stream across my desktop, a New York Times story by Brian Chen caught my attention. Apple has replaced the long, thin power and data connector port on its legacy phones with a smaller port, on which the company has hung the moniker "Lightening." The new port reportedly satisfies a desire to make the phone thinner.
But as Chen notes, the new port is also "instantly rendering obsolete the millions of spare charging cords, docks and iPhone-ready clock radios that its customers have accumulated over the years."
He notes that Apple is "selling Lightning cables and $30 adapters that will connect the new phones to many but not all older accessories."
With this one design decision, Apple has destined millions of cables and un-adaptable accessories to the dust-bin of history, figuratively speaking. But literally speaking, it has added these objects to the already massive and growing global e-waste problem.
In 2010, 2.44 million tons of electronics were discarded in the United States, according to the EPA. Of that, 649,000 tons were recovered for recycling. Of those recovered, the amount that was actually recycled often unknown, as are the final destinations of those electronics or the working conditions of the people recycle them (but much evidence points to those working conditions being very poor).
Now, much is being done to curb e-waste, and Apple is among a number of manufacturers that have made improvements (from a very low bar) in the amount of toxic materials that they put into their products, which lowers, therefore, the toxicity of the products at their end of life.
Obviously, larger issues loom here, beyond the inconvenience and cost that the new port will cause consumers. U.S. legislators have yet to pass federal regulations that would require electronics be properly recycled. Beyond that, device makers continue to churn out iterations of hardware rather than relying on software upgrades for a longer period of time. As consumers, our insatiable appetite for new (and newer) stuff is only fueling that practice.
Still, switching the port design on the iPhone 5 -- while it's certainly good news to manufacturers of accessories who are in the game of making and selling more stuff -- is not only irksome to Apple's consumers, it's environmentally irresponsible.
Sep 13, 2012
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As a person who runs an awareness campaign for e-waste, it's upsetting that many of eletronics companies turn a blind eye to the negative environmental ramifications caused by their decisions in design and technology. Sure, it is for the sake of improvement in life but why aren't they responsible enough to provide e-recycling programme? i'm pretty much much can be recycled and re-used for their own good.
You do realize that just saying "There is an e-waste problem" does not establish the fact that so called "e-waste" is in fact a problem. Electronics are in fact getting smaller and smaller, not bigger. And if the materials they are made of get more expensive, they will be recycled more. 2.44 million tons may or may not be a lot of trash. My guess is it's not, why don't you report the important aspect of this, what is the volume of this? Probably not much.
Apple has always gone its own direction instead of adopting industry standards. Follow the money. There are a lot of profits to be made selling accessories! Now all of the faithful will have to buy new ones.
I am against wast as much as anyone, but please keep in mind anyone that is bothered by waste (most apple fans are the environmentally concious demographic) as well as anyone that is a smart consumer, will sell or give their used products to others who still have an iPhone 4. This is jumping to a ridiculous conclusion.
...because that's how long the batteries seem to last, and they are not user-replaceable. The waste of the cords is just the tip of this iceberg.
many expert says that iphone 5 have touch problem i know about this from last month i read it about this on article. Source: http://goodtechsystems.com/leaked-images-of-new-parts-and-mini-ipad-next-iphone/
If they wanted thinner, why not use an industry standard like micro-USB? Why invent another "proprietary" connector just so everyone has to go through this again in another "new release"? I agree with Flash of Inspiration - they just want to make more money.
I don't believe the new connector port was intended to reduce product weight or brighten its color. Perhaps if you think about it you will get a flash of inspiration.
NOW you're thinking about this!? Just because Apple is the company!? Why don't you get into serious eWaste issues like the [b]production[/b] of electric car batteries!? They are going to kill us, the cables will not.
...suddenly, that 'i' prefix seems frightfully, irresponsibly egocentric. "Do I care that iWaste? I think not." Which justifies the "throw the whole thing and buy a new one" design matrix of Apple devices. I mean: a battery *welded* to the device? Yep, fits!