What 10 years of smartphone use means for the planet

134093_237850Smartphones have undeniably changed our lives — and the world — in a very short amount of time. Just ten years ago, we took pictures with cameras, used maps to plan routes, and kept in touch with friends and family using T9 text messages.

If you’re among the more than 2 billion people in the world that now uses a smartphone, chances are pretty good you remember your first smartphone. Greenpeace found out how many smartphones had been made since Apple’s first iPhone came on to the market in 2007 — more than 7 billion. That means that if every smartphone ever made was still operational, there would be roughly enough for every person on the planet.

Of course, this is not the case. The average phone in the United States is used for just over 2 years, despite the fact it can function for longer. Phone users are often lured into prematurely replacing their phones — either because they are up for a new contract and the new phone appears to be “free” or because of a single failing part, such as the screen or battery, that’s too complicated or expensive for the average person to repair.

At this rate, we’re all on track to use at least 29 phones in our lifetimes.

Read the full article on the Greenpeace blog and the report on smartphones here