The highly anticipated iPhone 5 is finally in millions of people’s hands. Within three days of its launch, Apple had sold a record-breaking five million units. And within a year, analysts project that sales of the iPhone 5 will reach 170 million. The popularity of the new device got the team at Outlierthinking: how much juice does it take each year to charge a next-generation smartphone? And how does the energy consumption of smartphones compare to that of other consumer electronics?
To find out, the team got their hands on a new iPhone 5 and also a Samsung Galaxy S III—currently the hottest Android handset—then headed into the Opower Lab for some testing.
While the annual electricity requirements of charging a smartphone are negligible, let’s not forget about the power of multiplication. If we consider the astronomical quantity of smartphones being used around the world today and in the coming years, their collective electricity consumption takes on a more intimidating profile.
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