How long do mobile phone owners keep their old phones at home, and for what reasons? A newly released scientific article looks into the phenomenon of ‘hibernating phones’.
The article, by researchers from the Loughborough University, the University of Surrey and the University of the West of England, is based on a survey filled in by 181 respondents aged 18-25. The researchers found that on average, these users tend to keep their phones ‘in hibernation’ for a longer period than they actually use it (3 years versus 1 year and 11 months on average, respectively). The respondents explained that they tend to use an older model as a secondary phone, for example as a spare in case their newest phone breaks down.
It is important to take this into account for recycling systems. While it is most beneficial from an environmental, economic and technological viewpoint to return a phone after it has been used for about two years, when it still has value, users first need to be convinced to say goodbye to their ‘spare device’. The article proposes an alternative system in which older phones are refurbished and provided as a spare alongside the newly leased or purchased primary phone.
Series of articles covering resources and corporations on German online newspaper sueddeutsche: Schmutzige Geschäfte
Translation of the introduction note:
How big mining corporations destroy the environment.
Progress and growth devour more and more resources. Mining-corporations are earning billions. Who is paying the price?
Unfortunately while sueddeutsche has reported on Fairphone before I haven’t found it mentioned in the texts of that series.
Touching 47 minute program on Bas van Abel’s personal journey from designer to entrepreneur, the growing difficult challenges and the heavy toll it takes. Quite touching, especially towards the final quarter of the video.
Two articles in “De Standaard” (Balgian newspaper) this weekend. One is an interview with Bas, the other analyses the problems of the electronics industry, and states durable electronics (like the FP) are the future:
While most of it won’t be news to the regulars here, I found this quote from Bas van Abel deep in the middle of the text that made me listen up:
“I would say we’re past the startup phase and we’re really scaling the company. We’ve got 70 people already, we’ve got a turnover of around €20M to €30M, we’re going towards break even and profitable this year. So it’s a real company.”
[emphasis added by me]
I have so far felt completely in the dark about the actual financial viability of this whole enterprise, so it was nice to read a small bit of a positive outlook here.
A very honourable endeavour for a company to begin the process of ridding the reliance from China’s domination (up to 95%) of the rare earths market. With such awful human and environmental records it’s about time a company has taken stance! Fairphone should be looking at a company in Canada called Ucore. It is using a green chemistry call MRT (molecular recognition technology) to extract the rare earths vs. The standard SX extraction. They are also in the process of starting up a recycling program to extract the elements from discarded products also using MRT. Anyway just my thoughts on what could be a great partnership.