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Smaller iPhone dock connector could flood the world with e-waste

Updated 4 years ago

Apple’s (AAPL) smaller dock connector for the next-generation iPhone will likely annoy more than a few users but it could also have some serious environmental consequences. TechCrunch’s John Biggs on Tuesday talked with Arman Sadeghi, the CEO of e-waste handler AllGreenRecycling, who said that even if Apple provides users with a way to make the new dock connector backwards compatible with the old 30-pin model, it will still result in a lot of users throwing their old Apple devices and accessories in the garbage.

“The value of Apple devices with the old connector will drop as well which will cause a large wave of those items entering the eWaste steam as well,” he said. “iPods and other small devices that people have had for many years will start becoming less desirable in favor of newer versions that will have the same connector as their new iPhone. This effect may, in fact, prove to be a bigger generator of eWaste than the obsolete accessories.”

Biggs writes that all this e-waste could in theory not be too much of a problem since the docks are “made of plastic and a few magnets” and could easily be recycled. Of course, the issue is that consumers would have to take their old devices to an electronics recycling service provider rather than tossing them into the garbage, and it’s not clear that a large percentage of them will be inclined to do so.


Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.