Apple (News - Alert) recently announced it would be coming out with a smaller dock connector for its next-generation iPhone, but those looking to upgrade may be less than thrilled by this news. Not only will the 19-pin port require all new accessories, as it will not work with the current 30-pin ones, but now it is being reported that the new dock is not very environmentally friendly either.
Apple is obviously most concerned with slimming down its devices—enough not to worry about disgruntling customers who will have to throw away all their old devices and get new ones.
Still, the company might want to take into account their customers’ views on the environment before officially making the dock port smaller. When the masses of Apple customers get rid of their old 30-pin accessories, the amount of resulting e-waste will be astronomical.
CEO of AllGreenRecycling, Arman Sadeghi explained, “iPods and other small devices that people have had for many years will start becoming less desirable in favor of newer versions that will have the same connector as their new iPhone (News - Alert). This effect may, in fact, prove to be a bigger generator of eWaste than the obsolete accessories.”
The e-waste will accumulate but could theoretically be less of a problem if users choose to recycle old accessories and docks instead of discarding them. The docks are made of plastic and magnets, so recycling could be fairly easy.
Still, Sadeghi believes the matter is cause for concern. “The value of Apple devices with the old connector will drop,” he said, and when it does, there will be many customers who will not even consider taking the steps to recycle.
The option is there, however. Customers upgrading to the new iPhone with the 19-in port connector can bring their old devices to an electronics recycling service provider. The more people who choose to do this, the less waste there will be, but as of now there is no telling how many people will actually consider the more environmentally-friendly route.
Apple has released no plans for supporting a recycling movement in relation to their new dock connector as of yet, and has not even acknowledged that the change could create a problem.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey