Green handset shipments may reach 392m by 2017

9 May 2012

The eco-conscious Samsung Replenish, now available in the US via Sprint

Are we about to witness a massive splurge in green handsets hitting the marketplace? Juniper Research appears to think so, as its latest analysis is predicting that green handset shipments will reach 392m by 2017, with more than half of these handsets being green smartphones.

Let’s stay with 2012 for the moment. Juniper is predicting that 31m such green handsets will be shipped this year. Do the math, and it means Juniper is predicting more than a tenfold increase in green handset shipments by 2017.

But what exactly is a green handset? Juniper defines such phones as being comprised of 50pc or more recyclable materials and free of certain hazardous chemicals.

Taking the Samsung Replenish approach as a case in point, Juniper is anticipating that handset vendors will increasingly follow its example. The Replenish itself is made up of 82pc recyclable materials. In the US, the Android smartphone is available through Sprint.

The Juniper report also takes a look at the environmental impact of handsets and tablets throughout the life cycle of these products.

Juniper also believes mobile network operators can increasingly play a crucial role as green champions due to their customer-facing position. It points to the promotion of recycling initiatives that vendors could endorse, as well as providing eco-ratings at point-of-sale.

Following the recent Greenpeace How Clean is Your Cloud report, Juniper said vendors need to consider the impact of data centres as part of the impact of smartphones and tablets.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic