Is Apple Creating An E-Waste Problem?

What happens when one company changes one simple port? Quite, a lot actually. When Apple first hit the technology market with its 30-pin iPod port in April 2003- it made for an extremely easy and streamline solution for such a popular gadget. Now nine years later, news has leaked that they will be changing the port to a 19-or-9 pin overhaul. Regardless of which solution they choose, it has the potential to create an e-waste problem if not executed properly.

The new pin layout is coming and it’s expected to be coming sooner than later, so Apple users be prepared. Apple has sold over 610 million devices with a 30-pin dock connector- estimated around $2 to $3 billion in sales. With the new pin layout it will result in Apple relegate a great number of iPod docks to the scrap heap, leaving many to invest in new adapters along with new Apple accessories. It is expected for the value of Apple products with the old connector drop which will cause for a large amount of these items to enter the eWaste steam. This change will also encourage users to upgrade their existing systems, making it a relatively lucrative move for Apple and Apple accessory manufacturers.

The real impact can be seen as negligible, docks are made of plastic and a few magnets. In an ideal world all of the docks with the 30-pin port will end up at an eWaste location where they will be recycled into new products or they will end up in the secondary market, used by millions who simply can’t afford to upgrade. We’re interested into watching how the industry will shift into a different direction. What do you think will happen?

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