Could Apple Be Creating An E-Waste Problem?
With the rumors circulating around the 30-pin port change on the upcoming iOS devices, many people are fearing that their Apple accessories, like docks and chargers, will be made obsolete by the change. And if lots of devices suddenly become obsolete, there could be a huge e-waste problem.
TechCrunch.com says that according to various sources, Apple has sold over 600 million devices that use the 30-pin dock connector, so its certainly commonplace. Because docks are made by a number of different manufacturers, we don't know exact numbers, but analysts believe the iPhone accessory market is worth around $2 to $3 billion a year. If we assume that a quarter of those sales are docks that cost a average of $100, that means that five million docks have been sold each year since the 30-pin was introduced, back in 2003. That means by now, we'll have around 45 million docks, and most are still in working order.
If Apple doesn't develop a converter for existing 30-pin docks, then we might be in big trouble - suddenly, hotels would have to change their alarm clocks to include 9-pin docks, and a huge number of regular consumers would also need a replacement. It might help the iPhone accessory market, but in terms of waste, it could be very problematic.