Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mobile phone, everywhere, everybody, how to avoid their e-wasting?

Communities dominate is one of my favorite blogs for improving my knowledge about mobility. I already referred to it, but they have posted one more amazing article that shows the astonishing penetration of mobile phones today: 50% in Africa, more than 200% in United Arab Emirates.
There are more phone subscribers than those with permanent access to electricity or water.
And again the main tool is SMS with 4.2 billion users compare to the 5.2 billion phone subscribers.

As discussed in the article comments, the number of sold phones is composed of new users and replacements. The replacement rate is between 18 and 32 months, according to the sources available on the Internet. We could believed that we are in front of another planned obsolescence, but this is only a permanent race for new features in the phone industry.

Three years ago, when I started to work in the mobile phone industry, I was trying to have an opinion about what would be the next step and where the enterprise world would choose to go. There is nothing like that anymore. The consumer market has the lead and smartphones are like butterflies, their life expectancy is so small that you can’t plan to standardise a hardware platform. OSes are different for each phone model, so only the application APIs seem to have a bit of stability.

There is also a dramatic effect with the omnipresence of phones with capabilities like alarms. Is the alarm clock market gone? What the kids think when you show them an old, noisy, mechanical alarm clock?

We love our phones, we will buy new ones if we can afford them for the next ten years and our businesses will depend on them.
The last thing to solve is their e-waste they cause, like Arte showed us last week, or in this video from Ghana made by Greenpeace.



Also have a look to these e-waste pictures.

Sources:
Communities Dominate : Communities Dominate Brands: All the Numbers, All the Facts on Mobile the Trillion-Dollar Industry. Why is Google saying: Put your Best People on Mobile?
WorldTech24 : Will Smartphones Kill the Humble Alarm Clock?
Wikipedia : Planned obsolescence
Arte : Prêt à jeter

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