Why Apple Products aren’t as environmentally problematic as many believe.
Apple bashing is popular these days. Louis Rossmann, Hugh Jeffreys and others are talking about repair issues on YouTube, Mark Zuckerberg sees Apple as an unfair competitor and Xiaomi mocks Apple for Not Including Charger and then does the same.
So in this world where Apple bashing is popular I wanna tell you my opinion.
I bought my first new Apple Products this year (primarily caused by the impressive performance of the M1), but I already have used used Apple Devices for a longer period.
I am by no means an Apple Fanboy. My main daily drivers where Android, Linux (Arch Linux and Debian) and Windows devices and I will continue to use these devices alongside my new shiny Apple stuff.
Besides that I am a Xiaomi, Fairphone and Lenovo shareholder and currently no Apple shareholder — so my financial interest is the success of the competition, not the success of Apple.
After clearing my position on Apple as a company I wanna share you why I think Apple is not as environmentally problematic as many blame them.
There are some points which make Apple devices kinda environmental friendly:
- Higher price encourages people to use it longer and not replace it as fast as Android smartphones
- The high price also lets more people try to repair it than cheap Androids. Some of the competitors have more expensive replacement parts than a new mobile phone (think of curved displays)
- Longer lasting software support
- Smaller battery which uses less resources from the environment
- Smaller range of products — repair shops can concentrate on some products instead of trying to have replacement parts for a really big Android or Windows device world
Most of these Problems do not only affect Apple devices, Androids have the same issues.
- Apple seem to pair everything — from the TouchID over Display, Camera, even the Battery — and limits replacement parts
- Only special devices can copy this pairing
- It becomes more difficult to open the products
- Many things like display and battery are glued and need special devices which work with the optimal heat
- Many parts or schematics which could be used to repair devices aren’t even offered by Apple
Advantages over Android
- Longer software support (even cool programs like Android One are getting less popular). Android One offers a guaranteed time of getting updates but many hardware partners are moving away from this program. Even with Project Treble which makes it easier to offer Updates for Android devices many OEMs still don’t do this over many years
- Less battery usage (so smaller batteries and less used Lithium) but better performance thanks to a better processor architecture
- Less diversify, thus a shorter list of replacement parts
- Repair knowledge concentration on a smaller list of devices, thus better support against the big Android or Windows world
- Advantages are often not really intended but a by-product
- Lots of Bashing — but Apple has environmental advantages over many other producers
- Many people in social media blame only Apple but the competition is not really better
I wanna note that if you really have a problem with repairability then you should buy something like a Fairphone.
BUT you should know that you can get much more performance for your money from Xiaomi or Apple and you can buy used Xiaomi phones with a better performance than a Fairphone cheaper as some of the Fairphone parts costs.
I have repaired Xiaomi phones in the past, so it is not impossible. Displays for low-end Xiaomi devices do only cost around 20 EUR — that’s 4.5 times cheaper than a Fairphone 3 Display!!! (For the 90 EUR cost of a Fairphone Display you can even get a new phone from Xiaomi)
Someone who buys a expensive product will be more likely to try to repair it than someone who buys a cheap product and unfortunately even companies which were known to offer repairable devices like Lenovo are doing things like soldering more and more RAM onto the Laptop instead of using slots…
Originally published at https://blog.m5e.de.