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Is Apple green?


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Jan 25, 2015
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I never really considered an iPhone as a legitimate option, considering the internet loves to talk about how their focus on environmentalism is just propaganda and lip-service. I'd only ever heard that Apple self-reported their environmental reports to falsify information in a classic example of "greenwashing".

However, I'm a minimalist and I'm looking for a single device to serve several specific purposes. As much as I preferred to avoid Apple after the rumors I'd heard, I couldn't find a better fit for my uses than the iPhone 5s, so I finally caved and checked Ifixit to see if the battery can be replaced with a bit of surgery (that's a big priority for me), especially since I'd be buying used.

To my surprise, I accidentally found that Ifixit had rated the innards of the iPhone 5s among the absolute greenest phones. I'd always heard Apple was just a propaganda machine, but here was a very reliable third party source confirming Apple's environmental policy.

So I just started checking specs and benchmarks, and I found that the dual-core 1.3Ghz Cyclone roughly matches the quad-core 2.2Ghz Snapdragon 800. Now, that really struck a cord with me. After all, when I was into PC hardware, I kept very detailed knowledge of the latest hardware, and I knew that (in a PC) a dual core 3.5Ghz i3-4150 could actually beat an octa-core 4.0Ghz FX-8350. I was always defending i3s, as I knew the more sophisticated design of Intel chips allowed them greater power than cheap, old, highly clocked AMD CPUs. I felt like an idiot for not realizing sooner that the same thing applied to smartphones; that Apple's custom design allowed greater power in a much more efficient piece of hardware, compared to Qualcomm chips. I'd been stupidly comparing raw clock speeds and core numbers, like a novice, when I should have known better from my own previous experience that core numbers and clock speeds mean nothing outside the same architecture.

People like to lambast Apple for being wasteful by releasing a new phone model every year, and that complaint made sense to me. When I actually started digging through each company's roster to find a phone that fit me, however, I found that companies like Sony, Samsung, or Motorola actually release multiple models of phone each year, and don't support them for as long. That's the total opposite of how people online had made it sound. I started to wonder yet again if Apple was more intelligent than I'd been lead to believe.

The more I've researched, the more it seems like I've been on the wrong side of this industry.

So, one question. Everything else aside, is Apple actually "green" at least compared to the dismal state of other phone companies, or is it merely propaganda?
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