In case you haven’t heard, Apple is releasing yet another iPhone and the preorders started today. One of the key features of the phone is no headphone jack. Repeat: no headphone jack. They say their airpod wireless headphones are amazing. They say it’s better sound. They say the future is wireless.
But here’s the problem. The present is a ton of iPhone users with earbuds. What will happen to all of those? If users get new wireless headphones with the new phone, a lot of old earbuds are going to end up in the trash. There is talk that users can buy an adapter to connect the old headphones to the charging port, but that’s more resources used to make the adapters and also more money the users have to spend.
To me, I just see this as a way for Apple to make more money from consumers by duping them into thinking they “need” the latest technology. And it’s creating so much waste at the same time: wasted resources on making new phones, accessories, and packaging, e-waste with the soon to be outdated phones and wasted money by consumers.
Photo by Brian Samuelson
In the two years that I’ve had my refurbished phone, I’ve been able to travel around the country a couple of times, run a company, and make a movie. Somehow, without having the latest and greatest smart phone, I’m still breathing. Gasp! I will say that I do need some kind of upgrade soon, but there are plenty of perfectly good reuse solutions out there. Between Craigslist, eBay, friends, and cell phone companies selling refurbished phones, I’ll be all set.
What I hope for in the near future is that we get to a point when technology and sustainability can work together. I’d like to see people be able to easily upgrade or repair their phone, instead of having to buy a completely new one. So, before you rush out to preorder the new iPhone or head to the store when it’s released, I ask you to ask yourself, “What am I really supporting here: technological advancements or a wasteful society?”
I see it as supporting a wasteful society and thats why I’m celebrating the new Apple iPhone 7 by continuing to use my 2-year old refurbished phone.