In this research paper I will attempt to answer the question: “What is the attitude towards
sustainability during the Design, Manufacture,
Usage and disposal
of a Smartphone,
and how does this compare
to what we should be doing to contribute towards
sustainability and what can we do to make this a reality?”
To do this I will look at 3 stages of a Smartphone’s
lifecycle, including: design
and manufacture, usage and disposal.
I have chosen
to look at Smartphones as they are becoming more integral in our everyday
lives and will become more affordable to everyone as technology and manufacturing processes
develop. This has already been shown in the fact that, as Katie Hope (2016) explains,
the sixth annual
report from Deloitte
shows in a survey of 4,000 people
from the UK, 4 of 5 adults
have a Smartphone
which could equate
to 37 million
people across the UK. In addition to this it seems smartphones
will be around
for a long period of time before
they are phased
out in favour
of a newer technology. Katie Hope explains
her findings from Paul Lee, who is the head of technology,
media and telecommunications research
“Growth in new users slowed to 7% in the year to June 2016,
from 9% in the previous 12 months.
And according to the study, only a fifth of adults using feature
phones said they planned to trade up to a Smartphone.
“It is clear from our research that we are reaching an
age of ‘peak Smartphone’,” Mr Lee said.
“Given the market saturation, in the next 12 months,
we expect Smartphone penetration to rise modestly, perhaps by no more than two or
four percentage points.”
But while producers of some other handheld gadgets have struggled
to persuade users to keep buying newer models, this is not a problem phone manufacturers
will face, the report predicts.
“Smartphones will not suffer the same fate as tablets.
The replacement market is likely to remain healthy, and given the sizeable base
of existing owners, Smartphone sales are likely to remain in the tens of millions
for the foreseeable future,” Mr Lee said.”
This shows that Smartphones
are expected to continue to grow in sales, even if the sales are slowing but the replacement
market will stay strong. I have chosen
to compare the IPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy
Note 8 as they are the latest
models of the two largest
Smartphone companies in the 3rd quarter
of 2017 according
to Idrees Patel’s
(2017) findings from IDC’s market
Within each stage of a Smartphones
lifecycle, I will look at the attitude
towards sustainability of the companies
that design and manufacture the phones, the user and government legislation
regarding the materials,
manufacturing processes and disposal of Smartphones. To aid with looking at the sustainability of Smartphones I will find their carbon
footprint and compare
the carbon footprint
of their materials.
This will provide
a quantifiable comparison
to determine which phones and materials are more sustainable
than others by comparing their CO2 emissions.
I will also look at the attitude of users and the government
to help to find out whether businesses
and government legislation
are helping or standing in the way of sustainability and whether the user is concerned with sustainability when purchasing a Smartphone at all.