Greenpeace has a bit of an up-and-down relationship when it comes to Apple, but lately it has really started to hammer home one specific goal: Getting rid of planned obsolescence.
Look back at January of 2017, when Greenpeace ranked Apple as the “greenest tech company” on the planet. Several months later, in October of the same year, and Greenpeace ranked Apple in second place. Right there in the middle of those two rankings, in June, Greenpeace called out Apple for what it believes is “planned obsolescence” on the company’s part. And now, in light of Apple announcing a brand new disassembly robot, Greenpeace is ready to go after Apple again.
As reported today by MacRumors, Greenpeace is calling Apple out for its newest disassembly robot, Daisy, which is a newer version of the same robot, Liam, the company introduced a couple of years ago. The new model can disassemble iPhones and prepare them for recycling more efficiently and faster than the previous model, but that’s not carrying much weight for Greenpeace.
In a statement, Greenpeace Senior Analyst Gary Cook says that Apple should focus more on manufacturing devices that simply last longer, rather than focusing on recycling older models. In addition to that, Cook says Apple needs to change its habits, and create devices that can be repaired more easily, and upgraded by the owner. Cook also notes that Apple’s battery replacement program, which is currently running for $29 per incident (one per device) instead of the standard $79, indicates that people want to keep their phones longer, rather than recycle them and buy new ones.
“Rather than another recycling robot, what is most needed from Apple is an indication that the company is embracing one of its greatest opportunities to reduce its environmental impact: repairable and upgradeable product design. This would keep its devices in use far longer, delaying the day when they’d need to be disassembled by Daisy.
Customers want to keep their devices longer, as evidenced by a 3 to 4 week wait for a battery replacement at Apple retail stores earlier this year, when Apple was compelled to dramatically reduce the replacement cost.”
It should be noted, though, that Apple is still fighting against this image that it plans for its devices to fail. In fact, the company still states that one of its primary goals is to keep devices out there running longer, and prides itself on offering repairs for devices as far out as up to five years after a product is no longer being manufactured.
The battery situation, and dealing with throttling software, didn’t help Apple’s cause. And it’s hard to argue with Greenpeace’s evaluation of the battery replacement program, with delays and reports that Apple has had to bring in third-party help just to handle the demand.