Top 5 Reasons NOT To Buy The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is billed as being “bigger, better and faster” than previous iterations, and if you feel like you simply can’t be seen without one, you’re not alone. But please — before you rush to the nearest Apple store to shell out $200-$700 for this new product — stop and THINK.

Just because a technology advances doesn’t mean you need it. The world is drowning in an ocean of unwanted electronics, only a small percentage of which are recycled. Most of these e-waste recycling operations are in developing nations where untrained workers, many of them children, melt toxic plastics over open flames just to get at the precious metals beneath.

New technology is great when it solves a problem or consumes less energy. New technology for the sake of buying something new is a hoax and a swindle. Apple, like all technology companies, is in the business of making and selling gadgets. For that reason, they plan for their products to become obsolete quickly. They carefully monitor the release of features, ensuring that each release has just enough “new” stuff to tempt you to buy. iPhones aren’t meant to last. They’re meant to be replaced, at a high cost to you and the environment.

Here are five important reasons why you don’t need to buy a new iPhone 5. Resist the pressure! And when someone asks why in the world you’re still using your old phone, send them a link to this article.

1. You Already Have A Working Phone

Chances are, it’s the iPhone 4S which just hit the market a little over a year ago.  Even if it’s not, I bet that phone in your pocket still makes calls, sends texts and it might even let you look at Facebook while you’re supposed to be working. Here’s the thing: the iPhone 5 doesn’t even have that many new features. Sure, it boasts a big screen and a faster processor, but it won’t do your homework or work if you drop it in the toilet. In short, there is nothing surprising or revolutionary about the iPhone 5.

2. Foxconn Riots/Worker Rights

Within a week after the iPhone 5 hit the market, there have been reports of riots and worker beatings inside the Chinese factories where the phones are made. According to Foxconn, which has come under scrutiny for worker treatment in the past, it was just ”a personal dispute between several employees [that] escalated into an incident involving some 2,000 workers.” Right. And I’m sure the stress of producing millions of iPhones to keep up with consumer demand during the launch week had nothing to do with it.

3. Environmental Impact of E-Waste

Let’s say that of the millions of people who will buy a new iPhone 5, 20 percent of them actually make an attempt to recycle their old phone instead of throwing it in the trash or stuffing it in a drawer somewhere. That’s a lot of phones looking for a responsible recycling program. Not all e-waste recycling schemes actually make a point to keep all elements of the device out of the landfill. Some merely pack mobile devices into huge shipping containers and send them off to Africa for processing. See, African nations have almost no environmental regulations, so the waste can be burnt or buried for a lot less than it would cost to pay American workers to recycle and reuse it. There are some responsible cell phone recyclers, but you have to take the time to find them.

Keep reading for more reasons not to buy the iPhone 5…

4. You’ll Have To Buy All New Accessories

Still feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy? Living paycheck to paycheck? Stop and think about whether Apple is the best place to put your hard earned money. Remember what I said about built-in obsolescence? iPhone 5 finally got rid of that prehistoric 30-pin connector and replaced it with a smaller dock connector. BUT a new connector means you’ll need new adapter for accessories. Thus, you will need to repurchase all new accessories that will be compatible with this new feature. That’s just one reason why Apple is considered one of the least green tech companies in the world.

5. Apple Is The 1%

If you’ve been following or participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, you know that a major complaint of the 99% is that corporations are stifling the American economy. They lobby for self-serving tax breaks and against environmental regulation. They ship jobs overseas while making record-breaking profits year after year. And guess what? Apple is one of them. Forbes reports that Apple’s overseas cash hoard grew from $17.4 billion in 2009 to $30.8 billion in 2010, all while paying a lower tax rate than you.

Related Reading:

The Future of Environmentalism: Nanotech and E-Waste

Apple: “Mistake” To Leave Green Products Registry EPEAT

An Eighth-Grader’s Letter To Apple CEO Tim Cook

Image via Thinkstock


Arbella J
Past Member about a year ago

Your blogs and its stuff are so notable and worthwhile it can make me return.

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Chris G.
.2 years ago

Hey buddies, such a marvelous blog you have made I’m surprised to read such informative

Amanda Griffin
Amanda Griffin4 years ago

Eventhough knowing all these I am a great lover of iPhone 5 as I think it has more plus sides than the negative sides being discussed here.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Beth, for Sharing this!

Valerie L.
Valerie L5 years ago

What a great article! I hate the fact that all tech companies plan for their products to not last, thus causing more environmental pollution. If you need a new phone because the old one is broken, then by all means get one, but it seems to me that the Apple devotees are caught up in getting the latest thing just to be cool. Adding to the electronic graveyard is not "cool"

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 5 years ago

No Apple products for me aand nothing made in China. Thanks for posting.

Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

Thanks. I just don't get people who are obsessed with electronics.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

loved this! these things are simply un needed

Ida Gian
Ida Gian5 years ago

Unnecessary things: that's what the world is full / fool of!

Marisol F.
Marisol F5 years ago

I never had an iPhone, but I was considering getting one next year. Maybe I will not ever get one. I can't afford one now, and the only reason I wanted one was because my friends were bragging about how great they are. When my Droid is on its last leg, then I'll consider getting a new phone. It'll probably be another Droid.