Greenpeace calls out 3G iPhone, suggests toxic chemicals usage
In a statement issued Wednesday by Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner Casey Harrell, the environmental group speculated on the iPhone 3G’s possible use of certain chemicals that it deems toxic based on information presented on Apple’s Web site. The Greenpeace statement came just days before Apple’s planned retail release of the next-generation iPhone, set for tomorrow.
“Based on information available on Apple's Web site, it appears the electronics company known for innovation has missed an opportunity to reinvent their new 3G iPhone, to be released July 11, in green,” Harrell said. “While new product models such as the MacBook Air and the new iMac made progress compared to previous editions in reducing toxic chemicals such as PVC [polyvinyl chloride] and brominated flame retardants (BFR), Apple has not announced any new improvements in designing out the toxics (PVC, BFRs, antimony) that Greenpeace found present in the first-generation iPhone.”
Greenpeace called out the original iPhone three months after its release in October 2007 for using such chemicals. Greenpeace backed those claims with a video teardown of the iPhone. However, in December 2007, the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum came to Apple’s defense and reminded that the substances Greenpeace seeks to eliminate are all approved for use, and provide critical performance and safety functions in a wide range of electronic products.
Nonetheless, Apple has made a public commitment to completely phase out usage of PVC and BFRs in its consumer electronics by the end of the year. According to Greenpeace, other leading mobile-phone OEMs such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson have already displayed product lines free of these substances.
"The iPhone may be 'twice as fast' and 'half the price' as Apple advertises, but does it have just as many toxic chemicals as previous models? Based on the iPhone specs from Apple's Web site, it appears that the "G" in the new 3G iPhone will not also stand for green,” Harrell said. “Steve Jobs has missed an opportunity to reinvent the iPhone in green and catch up with other leading mobile phone providers such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson whose product lines are already free of these harmful substances.”
In June, Apple was ranked 11 out of 18 companies in Greenpeace's latest “Guide to Greener Electronics,” scoring 4.1 points out of a possible 10.
Apple did not return calls from Electronic News requesting comment.
ISuppli Corp has also made predictions on the iPhone 3G without having one in hand. In June, the market research company released a “virtual teardown” of the coming handset that estimated a $173 bill of materials for the iPhone 3G.