Apple E-Waste

 Apple no longer provide you with a charger when you buy an iPhone. According to Apple, this is to reduce E-Waste because everyone has multiple chargers. Few people are buying their first iPhone. Apple do make quite a bit of their environmental credentials.

The problem is that chargers are not the biggest problem for e-waste and Apple products. The biggest issue is how Apple do security.

For several years Apple devices have Activation Lock as default. Activation Lock ties your iPhone to an iCloud account. If you lose your iPhone or it gets stolen, then no one can use your device. Even if the device is reset the moment it connects to the Apple servers it will be locked.

This is great for security. Your device keeps your data secure. If you set it as stolen, then there is a custom message on the lock screen. This is all good news for security but terrible news for e-waste. If you want to resell your device, you need to remove that lock first. If the device was given to you by a company or school for work or education, then maybe you have forgotten the password when you hand it back. The device may end up being locked. There are hundreds of thousands of Apple devices that can be used but are locked. They can’t be refurbished, renewed, or resold. None of these were lost or stolen. They just have forgotten passwords. They are just unusable bricks.

The simple answer would be to put a 30-day counter on a reset. if a device is reset, has not been set to lost, then 30 days later the lock is switched off. Easy. You turn around the logic so if someone does not proactively set a device as lost it can be reset, reused, and refurbished.

This would be the best thing Apple could do to impact the environment in a positive way.


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