Out of date software means usable hardware provides a second rate experience, with reduced features, limited app compatibility and security vulnerabilities.
This report shows how companies across the mobile electronics supply chain can adopt a circular economy model to make money out of old devices, attract new customers around the world, increase brand loyalty, and cut manufacturing costs and risks. Doing so would also help to cut electronic waste, carbon emissions and resource use.
keeping a mobile phone in use for just one extra year cuts its lifetime CO2 impact by a third.
89 per cent of mobile devices in the US were thrown into landfill in 2010, even though the resources they contain mean it is economically sensible to recycle them
Design choices to extend product life include 1) material selection, i.e. whether the plastic or metal is non-virgin and is suitable for clean recycling, 2) accessible components, so that devices can be easily repaired and later disassembled, 3) availability of software updates, repair manuals, and spare parts.
This report identifies how laptops, tablets and smartphones, which are up to five years old, can be profitably recovered and resold in the UK, US and India. It describes six business models that companies can use to adapt to consumer preferences for lower cost, longer-lasting electronics, and how reuse can bring the benefits of internet connected devices to new consumers in the developing world.
Manufacturers should measure their innovation not by fewer millimeters and more megapixels, but by designing devices to last, by making them easily repairable and upgradeable, and using components and materials that can safely be reused again and again to make new phones.
In our new report From Smart to Senseless: The Global Impact of Ten Years of Smartphones we unpack the problems with the current smartphone production model.