Apple Will Save Costs but Not the Planet

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: October 19, 2020

On the 13th
of October, Apple announced that unlike its previous models, the iPhone 13 will
be packaged with only one USB-C. The company will do this as an attempt to reduce packaging, mining and planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions caused by the
entire production.

After this
announcement, the company received praises from environmental groups as they
acknowledged how much this step would help the environment. However, it seems
like this decision was actually made to reduce the overall cost rather than to
protect the environment from harmful emissions.

By not including wall
chargers and AirPods, the company will save a lot of money. Hence, this was a
clever strategy set by Apple through which it wanted to come across as
environmental friendly while simultaneously reducing the cost of production.

Angelo Zino is a senior
industry analyst who has made several investments in research-related firms.
She claimed that the bottom line is that this was a good financial decision. In
fact, she estimated that the radiofrequency component on their own cost is at
least 30 to 35 percent more than the precedent price for iPhones. And the only
way to save the additional amount was by removing AirPods and wall chargers
from the new package.

The company assumes
that people would already have chargers and headphones from their previous
phones, which is probably true for most iPhone customers.

But there’s a catch: if people decide to purchase new AirPodsor chargers, it
would definitely benefit the company but not the planet. Thus, if the company
sells 217 million phones this year, and even 5% of them decide to get new
AirPods, the company would make a $700 million profit with just the sales of
their AirPods.

is going to be a huge boon, at least in the short term, to accessory makers who
are going to be selling USB-C chargers.”
– said AviGreengart
who is the lead analyst and founder at consultancy Techsponential.

There are various factors
that come into consideration when companies take initiatives regarding

actually very difficult to make a specific claim about how sustainable a
specific product could be. New features [that claim to make products more
sustainable] bring us a lot of questions”
– Behadd said.

Here’s another
interesting observation by Scott Cassel, the CEO of the non-profit Product
Stewardship Institute: “Selling the new
iPhone 12 with or without headphones/AirPods or a charging block included
distracts us from the larger question: why Apple and other electronics
companies have not taken greater responsibility for reusing and recycling their
products the vast majority of which [are] still disposed in the U.S. and globally.
The company would have a bigger impact if it made its products easier to refurbish
so that they don’t become obsolete and junk after a few years.”

Anyway, let’s just
forget the reasons and appreciate the effort. Time will tell us how effective
it was in terms of sustainability as well.

Updated October 19, 2020
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