Earth Day survey: Do Phone Users Want Environmentally Friendly Phones?

Apple, and manufacturers of Android smartphones, have been busy in terms of recent launches, giving their prospective user bases devices that really push green credentials. As initiatives like Apple’s “Green Bonds” and Samsung’s ditching single-use plastics demonstrate, manufacturers are seeking ways to cut carbon emissions and increase neutrality.

But do smartphone buyers actually care? SellCell’s survey of 3000-plus smartphone users comparing the views of about 1,500 iPhone users and 1,500 android users, shows that fans of both ecosystems do care, and the majority of people would be willing to pay for more environmentally friendly smartphones. (SellCell is a site for selling used smartphones.)

Not only that, but phone users will sell an iPhone or Android device when they upgrade, and will also consider buying a refurbished smartphone rather than a factory-sealed device.

Key findings from the SellCell report:

  • 22.0% of iPhone users cite environmentally friendly manufacturing as a “very important” factor in purchasing intent, versus 18.3% of Android phone owners.
  • Overall, 3.6% more iPhone users (55.6%) than Android phone users (52.0%) think it is important to buy a smartphone that is manufactured in an environmentally friendly way, showing a fairly even split.
  • 63.4% of iPhone users would actually pay more for their handset if it was more environmentally friendly, versus 55.9% of Android phone users. However, both results are relatively high.
  • 57.4% of iPhone owners sell their iPhone when they upgrade, versus 43.2% of Android phone owners.
  • iPhone owners are less likely to keep hold of their old smartphone, with 19.7% of iPhone fans stating they would keep the phone in a drawer vs. 30.5% of Android owners, and only 8.0% keeping it as a secondary device vs. 15.2% of Android phone owners.
  • iPhone owners (10.9%) are 2.8% more likely than Android phone owners (8.1%) to gift the device to someone else.
  • Alarmingly, 3.9% of iPhone owners throw their old smartphone in the trash and send it to landfill, versus 3.0% of Android owners.
  • Results are fairly evenly split when SellCell asked whether respondents would consider buying a refurbished phone, with 50.5% of iPhone users and 52.1% of Android phone owners saying they would.
  • Over 90% of both iPhone (90.1%) and Android phone (91.1%) users know what Earth Day is all about, which shows how environmentally aware both user bases are.
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.