iPhone uses 100 times less electricity than fridge, But scientists are bitterly divided over the smartphone’s carbon footprint
Liberals love to try and spin facts into lies.
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While most scientists agree that the cost of charging a smartphone is small, they are bitterly divided over how much smartphones use when connected to the cellular network. The hidden cost of running a smartphone is 40 kwh per year if the phone is used for voice and text, and then rises to 300 kwh with general usage — including use of options like Siri and YouTube and 10 gigabytes of data per month, according to a new report by Mark P. Mills, founder and CEO of the Digital Power Group, a consultancy and capital advisory group and senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute, a think tank.
And although a smartphone only costs about 500 kwh to manufacture — versus 1,000 kwh for a fridge — Mills contends that the annual energy allocated to making each smartphone is up to three times greater because, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, most fridges last 18 years and consumers update phones every three to five years. “When you buy a phone, you are also paying for the cost to build it,” Mills says. (His report “The Cloud Begins With Coal” is sponsored by the National Mining Association and American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.)
The irony is that smartphones need only a minuscule amount of electricity to charge. It takes around 3.3 kilowatt hours per year to charge an iPhone 4, according to the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit national energy research organization; that’s less than the 400 to 450 kwh per year it takes to charge the average family refrigerator. To put that in perspective: An iPhone costs around 38 cents per year to charge, based on one single charge per day, the EPRI found, compared with $65.72 per year for a refrigerator. (A desktop computer, by comparison, costs $28.21 a year to charge.)