When it comes to recycling, smartphones lag behind behind for some time, although manufacturers have promised to better recycle and remanufacture their products, responding to pressure from environmental activists. But is it doable goal?
How much progress was madeand what more could be done? Mobile World Congress delegates in Barcelona answered some questions from Agence France-Presse (AFP) on these same problems.
Where the market support?
After a strong start in the beginning of 2010s, the sector chose up momentum over the last a few years, both in terms of refurbished models what’on can put back on the marketing in the recycling of plastics and rare metals that go into their manufacture.
According to Persistence Market Research, 11% of smartphones sold worldwide are refurbished modelsun inferior rate than other electronic products, but one it’s still rising.
This upward trend is due to “improvements in the methods of repairing smartphones, classification, collection and online/offline sales,” PMR said.
“More and more players put recycling programs in place car of the regulatory consumer pressure and pressure,” said Thomas Husson, director analyst at Forrester.
“We are still at low rates, but it is starting to take off,” he added.
But this progress is not enough for environmental activists.
“Of all electronic waste, only 20% is recycled, when in reality we could recover a lot more”, said Claudia Bosch of Catalan social justice campaign group Setem.
“We could do a lot more”, said Bosch, one of organizers of the Mobile Social Congress, organized in parallel with the main eventwhich focuses on human rights and sustainability issues.
Who are the players?
Many of businesses have emerged up over the past a few years and started recycling market.
These include Back Market, which sells refurbished electronics; Fairphone, who makes what is says is the world’s most repairable smartphone; and Recommerce, which sells smartphones, tablets and games brackets.
Now even the middle finger players in the smartphone industry enters this part of the market. Both Apple and Samsung are committed to developing their share of recycled products and now have their own recycling operations.
“The ability to recycle smartphones has become an important factor for all manufacturers, but also for operators”Husson said.
“Their image is at stake and everyone is trying to set themselves apart.”
Thus in Barcelona, the British network Vodaphone provider announced a partnership contract with Retrade for the recycling of it’s old models.
And last yearFrench operator Orange has undertaken to increase the share of refurbished phones sold in son shops from 2 to 10%.
What are the prospects?
Industry analysts expect the sector to experience solid growth growth on the back of growing consumer demands for “Green products. The slowdown rate of really innovative features in smart phones also do it refurbished market more attractive.
Mordor Intelligence industry analysts are waiting for the refurbished smartphone market grow by 10% per year year by 2027, with a breakthrough in the asian marketespecially in India and Indonesia.
Similarly, Persistence Market Research expects revenue in the mobile market jump from 49.4 billion dollars (44.9 millions euros) recorded in 2020, at $143.8 billion in 2031.
What holds the market back?
Although analysts are optimistic, there are a number of obstacles in the way including technical issues, such as collecting of waste.
Because for recycling to be effective, a considerable number of organization behind that, said Husson.
But other issues can cause consumers to hesitate.
“More and more refurbished phones are sold with warranties,” Husson said. “But there are still concerns among consumers, who having doubts over the performance of the product.”
and business practices of manufacturers and operators they themselves do not always favor reconditioning marketargument Bosch.
“There is a culture of consumerism, which continues to bombard us with new offers, new news…
“There is a great OK of marketing that pushes us for throw things, to change them for new those.”
This aggressive marketing is something of a paradox given the attempts of main market players to spread an environmental message.
“If we really care about the planet, we have to focus on durability of the product,” Husson said.
But that, he went away against mainstream economy model, in which manufacturers require consumers to regularly replace their phones with new modelsune practice often subsidized by the operators themselves.