Is the Fairphone really more fair than the iPhone?


Taylor Ford

This or That

August 30, 2021

It’s no secret that Apple is the pinnacle of fast tech. With a new iPhone released at least once a year, there is constant pressure on consumers to buy the hottest new technology, which has contributed to over 50 million pounds of waste produced from Apple alone each year (and this number is growing). When picking out a new phone, most people don’t think about sustainability. They see it as something reserved for food, beauty products, or clothing, but that is simply not the case.  

With over 50 million pounds of waste being produced by Apple each year (and that number is growing), the consequences of fast tech are detrimental to the planet and everyone living on it. 

First of all, Apple has managed to somehow mask itself as a “sustainable” company with the use of a few key phrases: “renewable energy,” “recycled materials,” and “closed-loop supply chain,” but this green-washing can’t get past us! Apple’s claims of 100% renewable energy? Its data centers are still connected to local power grids that use natural gases. “Recycled materials?” Only 25% of the iPhone is made from recycled material and only 55% of the packaging is recycled as well. “Closed-loop supply chain?” They can’t even give a target year they expect to achieve that! Apple may have been able to fool some people, but not us! 

Along with all this green-washing, producing a new phone every year puts tremendous stress on factory workers. The already overworked employees go from 10-hour shifts 6 days a week, to 12 hours shifts for 13 days in a row when a new iPhone is set to release. This is unsustainable, inhumane, straight-up illegal, and clearly shows how Apple values profit over people. 

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Fast tech is not, and never will be sustainable!

This is where the Fairphone comes into play. First of all, the elephant in the room is the price difference. The Fairphone costs around 485 USD while the iPhone 11 costs about 600 USD, and that’s AFTER a price reduction since the iPhone 12 came out. 

Something unique about the Fairphone is that it is made to resist fast tech. With a modular design, it is intended for the consumer to keep the phone for years and change out the modules as they break, or as new updates come along. Pretty cool right? We think so! 

Fairphone is by far the most sustainable phone on the market, sacrificing profits in the name of sustainability. Of course, I don’t expect a lot of you to give up your iPhone anytime soon, but I do ask Apple to reconsider their priorities and to put sustainability at the top. 

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