1. What specific elements (metals and metalloids) make up the device? Indicate what each of these elements is used for in the device.
• For the screen:
• Potassium: is used to ensure that the screen can withstand wear and tear
• A coat of indium tin oxide: is the reason why the device responds to the touch of your finger. Indium is very thin, transparent and electrically conductive ( a material that an electric charge can pass through easily.)
• (Small quantities) of various Rare earth metals such as Gadolinium, Yttrium, Praseodymium: display certain colors on the screen.
For the case:
• Aluminum: this serves as a layer of protection although it measures only 5 micrometers in thickness
• Sapphire glass : this material covers the phones camera lens and is very durable. In fact it is as hard as diamond
2. For your device, what materials can be potentially reused?
a) Below is an info graphic showing what metals and metalloids contribute to the different components of an iPhone. It also highlights the percentage of each material that is recycled.
What materials are potentially hazardous?
HealthyStuff.org partnered with www.ifixit.com to analyze the “chemical contents” of 36 mobile phones (from the iPhone 2G to the iPhone 5, in addition to the Blackberry Bold 900, Samsung Propel and more!) After disassembling each and every phone, researchers ranked the phones on a scale from 0-5, 0 being the best. There were 3 categories the phones were ranked under:
a) Chemicals: what hazardous chemicals (for instance bromine and lead) were detected in the phones? How many of these chemicals were there?
b) Components: case, screen, circuit board, etc.
The results showed that one of the phones of high concern was the iPhone 2G as it consisted of many toxic chemicals. On the other hand, the iPhone 4 and 5 were in the top 10 of the best phones (as they were made up of less toxic chemicals.)
The good news to take from this is that newer iPhone’s contain minimal hazardous materials as opposed to older generations, (due to new findings/research) which is a tremendous improvement. Those hazardous materials have been replaced with safer, more environmentally friendly materials. For example, according to the 2016 edition of the Apple “Environmental Responsibility Report”:
The iPhone and ALL other Apple products are:
• Arsenic-free (display glass) since 2008
• Lead- free (display glass) since 2006
• Brominated flame retardant–free
• PVC and phthalates-free
However, apple has not removed all toxic materials from the iPhone, such as the chemical element Antimony. Which is a scary thing considering how much of our day is spent on our iPhone’s. There’s still some flaws in the design plan, Apple! Especially with health of consumers at risk.
3. Where specifically do these elements come from in the world? (where are they mined?)
Is your device easily recycled? If so, explain the process.
• Apple has launched a global “renew” or “trade- up”program where iPhone owners can trade in their iPhone to an apple store or even online from the comfort of their own home. In order to receive either Apple store credit or a gift card to help purchase a new iPhone. Those who partake in this program are probably unaware as to what happens to their old phone from there. Well , “the condition of your phone will determine the route it takes”-http://www.businessinsider.com/what-happens-to-your-old-phone-2016-2. All iPhone's that have been traded in are gathered and shipped to the nearest Apple distribution centers where they are inspected to see if they are eligible for the next step. The devices that have been handled with care, are shipped to another Apple warehouse so “Liam” can deconstruct them. consequently allowing them to be repurposed . Whereas devices that have reached the end of their useful life are recycled properly by Apple!
• In early 2016, apple introduced a new innovation called “Liam”, a line of large robots with 29 arms that have been in the works for about 3 years . Liam is responsible for taking apart an iPhone, it is so advanced that it can disassemble the iPhone 6s in just 11 seconds! In addition to this, Liam can sort an iPhone's components so they can be recycled, cutting down the amount of resources that need to be mined from the earth (for the next device to be manufactured. )
4. What length of time does the average person keep the device before it is replaced?
• There’s no concrete amount of time for how long an iPhone or any Smartphone for that matter is going to last; it varies depending on how you treat it (has it faced water damage, has its battery been over charged?) Though, the AVERAGE "life expectancy" for an iPhone is 2- 3 years.
5. Using a map of the world indicate where your device has the highest usage rates and where the largest growth markets are occurring.
What are the societal, environmental, and economic pros and cons of your device?
Societal pro: We do not take enough advantage of the technology that rests in the palm of our hands. For example, did you know that your Iphone has the capability of sending you AMBER alerts in the form of push notifications whenever a child has been abducted in your area? This feature, has made a difference because now more people will actually be aware that a child has fell victim to kidnapping. Whereas a few years ago AMBER alerts were in the form of radio broadcasts and printouts on street lamps. News rapidly spreads with the help of social media platforms as well like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Take twitter for instance, the slogan says it all "it's what's happening." Sports highlights, politics, entertainment news, weather reports and other current events can be shared among users within minutes of them happening!
It has been scientifically proven that although technology makes it easy to communicate with anyone whether they live across the world or in the same neighbourhood as you, it has made more and more people feel lonelier. This fact is in contrast to what most people think. Nowadays, people encounter more contact through a screen then they do face to face conversations. This is a problem because with all this time we invest into our cell phones, we reduce the time spent with our friends and family. For example, as an alternative to spending the day with our friends we create a group chat online. However, chatting online doesn't quench our need for human interaction. Also, with people constantly glued to their phones, their social skills suffer (eye contact, body language, gestures, ability to keep a meaningful conversation going.) As a result when people are actually out and about they've forgotten how to socialize with others and all they have left is their phone! No amount of Instagram followers compares to having a genuinely good time with friends offline! My final verdict on this topic is everything in moderation. Know when, where, and how long it's okay to go on your phone for.
Economical pro: Apple’s financial success!
• 2015 was deemed Apple's most successful year ever with it making over $234 billion dollars.
• The most profitable product manufactured by Apple is by far the iPhone. The iPhone alone has brought Apple more than $100 billion worth of revenue! - http://news.softpedia.com/news/Here-s-How-Much-Money-Apple-Makes-Off-the-iPhone-Alone-470128.shtml
Here is the 2016 Apple report:
2016 first quarter- ended December 26, 2015: revenue of $75.9 billion
2016 second quarter results- ended March 26, 2016: revenue of $50.6 billion (USD)
2016 third quarter results- ended June 25, 2016: revenue of $42.4 billion
2016 fourth quarter results-ended September 24, 2016: revenue of $46.9 billion
Economical con: UNDERPAID, overworked workers with poor living conditions.
September of 2015 was a busy time for the Apple plant due to the release of the iPhone 6s and 6s plus. At this time, an investigator from "China Labor Watch" went undercover by posing as a worker there. The investigator spilled the details on the workers pay, in relation to hours worked. Saying in his report that workers earn about $1.85 per hour and have to work overtime to meet their dorm renting fees! The report also stated that the standard shift was nine hours a day, but as of September, staff members worked an additional 20 hours at least of overtime each week. Including their overtime hours, the factory worker's monthly income totaled to $753. To sum it all up, the Chinese labourers who manufactures iPhone's are being exploited!
Environmental pro: Apple is doing more than any other mobile phone company to ensure eco-friendly products. Apple's efforts in keeping our planet healthy and reducing their carbon footprint include:
• thinking outside of the box by creating a new way to recycle devices using robots, which they call Liam. Thereby helping to achieve their long term goal of minimizing the raw materials that they extract from the Earth and the e-waste that builds up in landfills and stays there forever.
• changing their shipping strategies
• swapping out toxins and switching to greener materials leading to safer products.
• using renewable energy in 93% of their facilities. They've currently taken the initiative to partner with their suppliers in China, focusing on implementing solar energy there, a project designed to lower green house gas pollution.
Environmental con: “People line up outside the Apple Store at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. The clamour to get the newest in technology leads to more electronic waste being produced annually.”-http://globalnews.ca/news/2194391/electronic-waste-is-piling-up-heres-why-you-should-care/ The message behind this quote is that our need to have the latest and greatest iPhone isn’t sustainable. What is sustainability? "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." -Bruntland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1992). Eventually this demand for Iphones will catch up to us. In July of 2016 Apple announced the sale of its 1 billionth iPhone, what a milestone! But, have you ever thought about where all the old phones thrown away by us ended up? The likely answer is, the landfill!
Just the facts:
1. "E-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America, according to the Environmental Protection Agency." -"11 facts About E-Waste." DoSomething.org | Volunteer for Social Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-e-waste>.
2. "United Nations officials estimated that the volume of e-waste generated worldwide is expected to climb by 33 percent by 2017 to 65 million tons."- Chow, Lorraine. "Ever Wonder What's Happened to the More Than 570 Million iPhones Sold Since 2007?" EcoWatch. N.p., 27 June 2016. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <http://www.ecowatch.com/ever-wonder-whats-happened-to-the-more-than-570-million-iphones-sold-s-1882178171.html>.
Use 3 supporting arguments to answer the following question: “Has your device made the world a better place?”
“Has your device made the world a better place?”
The iPhone has positively impacted society. It holds thousands of apps out there for people of all ages and interests, you name it, there's an app for that!
First of all, the iPhone has changed the way we learn. Posters are a thing of the past. With websites such as Prezi and even Microsoft's PowerPoint (to name a few) available to us via the app store, we are exposed to new ways of creating school presentations to share with our classmates. These online presentations are often more effective than a poster presentation because everyone can follow along with what's being taught by the speaker through visual aids and text. Furthermore, the traditional classroom has extended to online classroom communities with apps like Google classroom. Google classroom serves as a tool where teachers can manage and dole out assignments and class announcements/ reminders for upcoming tests. Teachers can also upload the content that was covered in class that day for students to review and comment their questions, if any. With bring your own device (BYOD), students can access the internet at school thus they can do research using their personal iPhone's, which is a productive use of class time when they have a (research) project due date coming up.
Secondly, the iPhone is the best and fastest agent of communication, allowing us to stay in touch with our friends and family 24/7. Its surreal to think about how life was before it came along. Speaking of this, because iPhone's have the ability to do so, handwritten letters and notes have gone into "extinction" meaning that they are rare to see. Handwritten letters take time to write especially because they do not have "autocorrect" , involve stationary, purchasing stamps and a trip to the mailbox. iPhone's have the ability to deliver personalized messages to whomever you want without the hassle. Moreover, communication isn't just making a phone call anymore, which is the only function cell phones originally had. The iPhone gives us the opportunity to Facetime, text and or call anyone on our contact list. Plus, there are dozens of apps that you can download on the appstore such as Whatsapp where you can share pictures, audio, videos or text back and forth with someone no matter how far away from you they live, without any difficulty.
Thirdly, the iPhone has changed the way we do our everyday tasks. Apps like Uber which is a ridesharing service app have become more mainstream because they're reliable, fast, and convenient for those days where you know you're going to have trouble finding a parking spot or just don't want to take the bus! Uber is easy to use, you tap to request a ride and it uses your location so your driver knows where to pick you up. Not to mention, the amount of drinking and driving incidents Uber has prevented (since it is available 24 hours) is unbelievable. Need to pay the bills but don't have time to go the bank? Online banking is the answer. Banks like RBC have their own apps where you can pay bills, check your balance as well as transfer money between accounts directly on the app. Amazon Go "Just Walk Out " grocery story app, (that's still in the testing stage), is yet another great outcome of the iPhone. This concept takes self-checkout to a whole new level. The idea behind this is that customers shop normally, but all their items automatically get scanned on the Amazon Go app on their phone and they are charged later. This eliminates the need to wait in long lineups. The technology of this is so complex its similar to what's being used to operate self driving cars!
Works cited: MLA Format
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Chow, Lorraine. "Ever Wonder What's Happened to the More Than 570 Million iPhones Sold Since 2007?" EcoWatch. N.p., 27 June 2016. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <http://www.ecowatch.com/ever-wonder-whats-happened-to-the-more-than-570-million-iphones-sold-s-1882178171.html>.
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