Mobile Handset Makers Struggle With Green Initiatives

Despite mobile handset vendors' eco-friendly efforts, consumers' usage patterns still negatively affect the environment, says Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider

Jun 01, 2010, 10:59 ET from Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider

NEW YORK, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Makers of mobile handsets are stepping up their efforts to develop and sell products that are more environmentally friendly, but consumer usage patterns continue to have a negative impact on handset makers' green initiatives, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider (

Mobile Handsets: It's Not Easy Being Green details and analyzes the current state of "green mobility" and the efforts that have been made to date by manufacturers, industry trade groups, and regulators to make mobile communications more environmentally friendly. It profiles seven handset makers that have undertaken the eco-friendly charge and examines the extent of their environmental policies, including an analysis of their green handset products.

For a list of companies analyzed in this report, please see:

"While the green mobile handset segment remains a small percentage of the mobile phone marketplace, some handset OEMs have become more aggressive in adding green mobile handsets to their portfolios," notes Aileen Arcilla, research analyst with Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider and author of the report. "Characteristics of green handsets include use of recycled materials, reduced use of toxic materials such as lead and polyvinyl chlorides, and availability of more energy efficient battery chargers, as well as chargers driven by alternative energy sources such as solar cells."

But user habits are the biggest obstacle to making mobile handsets a more eco-friendly sector, Arcilla reports. "Discarding of still-usable handsets and failure to properly dispose of or recycle handsets are potentially significant contributors to environmental problems," she says. "With the number of mobile subscriptions expected to exceed 5 billion over the next few years, the biohazards of handset disposal are likely to grow."

Key findings of Mobile Handsets: It's Not Easy Being Green include:

  • Efforts to make mobile communications more eco-friendly have emerged, primarily touting a handset lifecycle approach.
  • The green mobile handset segment is growing, but it will be difficult to track as a separate segment of the worldwide handset market.
  • Adoption of eco-friendly handsets will vary regionally, alongside differing handset feature priorities, consumer attitudes, business models, and governmental policies.
  • Initiatives at the OEM level have primarily encouraged the development of green mobile handsets and will drive consumer adoption.
  • Consumers must play a huge role in ensuring that the environmental impact of mobile phone consumption is minimized.

Mobile Handsets: It's Not Easy Being Green is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).

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SOURCE Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider