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The Mobile Phone Life-Cycle


So much often goes into technology, yet we often see a very small part of this. Your average mobile phone, for instance, often has a shelf life of a year or so in stores, yet its total life-span is typically much longer than this. It's an endless cycle that results in better and greater technology. As consumers of such technology, we too play an important part in this infinite cycle.

Yet a lot of this can often relate to you as a user and consumer, notably the mobile phone recycling stage. Understanding, or simply being more aware of this, can provide you with the benefits and incentive to actively participate and do so.

Design and Production

Before a phone even gets to a shop for you to buy, it first needs to be designed and produced. This happens on a faster and faster basis, as demand increases. You may notice that the more popular models have newer versions out on a seemingly annual basis. This is an obvious reaction to supply and demand, as the money from the previous version can be invested into researching and designing the better successor. As such, you can often bet that, once you have the new phone in your hands, work is well under way into making and improving its replacement.

Release and Usage

The release of a phone to the public is arguably one of the more important areas of a phone's life cycle. It is, after all, where the majority of success and profits are made. Design for a newer model rarely happens on a phone that doesn't perform that well at initial sales, for instance.

As far as you are concerned as a customer, this is the stage that benefits you. You get access to this new technology, as well as being able to upgrade your phone. Of course, in this current world the life-cycle of a phone can be surprisingly short. The average phone is only on shelves for a year. Whilst you're not obliged to upgrade as much as the phones come out, it's a big temptation for many. Even if you don't do it as prolific as this, you will still most likely upgrade at some point in the future. You may be doing it more slowly, but you're still contributing to this cycle that keeps technology going forwards.

Post-Use and Recycling

So what happens at the end? We all know of second-hand markets, but these just prolong the life-span and use of an individual model. What happens when no one ones to buy the phone, or it's not of enough value to even warrant you selling it?

In short, you recycle. The phone may be old and unwanted, but its internal components and the resources they are made of aren't. As such, you can get a surprising cash reward for you old phone. Not only will you get paid, but the internal parts all go back into manufacturing new phones and gadgets, thus carrying on the cycle once again.

Like most of people, John Harding has a strong passion for technology. If he is not writing about it, he is using it. He also likes to write about what goes on behind the scenes, such as on topics like mobile phone recycling using online websites and how we can benefit from understanding and helping these processes along.


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