Despite the ongoing signal strength problems displayed by the new iPhone 4 , there can be no denying that the latest Apple gadget has been a runaway success. With Apple claiming 1.7 million units sold in just the first three days it would be hard to argue. One of the not often discussed implications of that kind of sales surge is what happens to the previous model? It can now be revealed that Apple users are environmentally friendly types, you could call them green Apple users I guess. The iPhone 3G is now officially the most recycled mobile phone in the UK.
I was recently checking out what kind of recycling value my iOS 4 upgraded iPhone 3GS had, just in case I felt the urge to get an iPhone 4 when that signal problem gets sorted, and couldn't help but notice that the iPhone is far and away the most often recycled handset at most of the online sites that deal in such things. At the mobile recycling comparison site Compare and Recycle iPhones occupy the first, second and fourth most recycled positions as I write. The iPhone 3G 8GB is first, followed by the iPhone 3G 16GB and the iPhone 3GS 16GB. Only the Nokia 5800 prevents an Apple one-two-three.
I'm not actually sure that Apple users are being green out of any desire to be environmentally friendly to be honest. In fact I'm pretty sure that the high recycling rate is driven by money, pure and simple. This isn't all that surprising, given the relatively high cost of upgrading a handset in Apple-land. A quick look at the comparison site figures shows that you can expect to get as much as £233 ($353) for an excellent condition 16GB iPhone 3GS, with the same capacity iPhone 3G valued at as much as £188 ($285) and even the entry level 8GB iPhone 3G fetching £169 ($256). This compares with an average value across all handset types being traded in of around £80 ($121).
But it's not just iPhones that have seen a recycling surge courtesy of the iPhone 4 launch, iPods are also being recycled in record numbers. According to Simon Walsh, co-founder of online recycling outfit Mopay , there has been a 70 percent surge in iPod recycling since the iPhone 4 became available. "The iPhone can do everything that an iPod can and more. Even though the Walkman managed around 15 years as the music player of choice, it looks like the iPod will follow the path of the mini disc player and soon become surplus to requirements" Walsh explains. iPod recyclers should not expect quite such a good payday as iPhone 3G recyclers though, with a top of the range iPod Touch fetching no more than £60 ($90).