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Green mobile market to hit 485 million

Juniper Research predicts that the market for environmentally friendly handsets will hit 500 million in five years

Green mobile market to hit 485 million
The market for green handsets could reach 100-500 million units per year by 2014.

Analyst group Juniper Research is predicting that consumer demand for ‘green' handsets could drive the market to reach 485 million environmentally sustainable mobile devices per year by 2014.

Juniper says that while shipments of devices with green credentials is low today, at around only a quarter of a million shipments this year, changing consumer attitudes are likely to drive manufacturers to deliver more green devices, leading to shipments of 105 million units in the next five years.

The average mobile user is responsible for around 25kg of CO2 emissions per year, a collective total of 93Mt of CO2 globally at the end of 2008, according to a new report from Juniper, ‘Green Mobile Handsets & Applications: Strategies, Scenarios & Forecasts 2009-2014'.

The bulk of the carbon emissions associated with handset manufacture are created during the production processes, says Juniper, from raw material and component production and manufacturing. Ensuring more environmentally friendly production is therefore likely to be a main focus for phone vendors.

Other areas that can be addressed by mobile companies to cut emissions are likely to include increasing energy efficiency in the handset, increasing energy efficiency of the charger, using solar-power for handsets or for charging; and less packaging. More recycling programs or buy-back schemes, such the Sony greenheart program and Nokia's we:recycle initiative, are also likely to gain ground, and vendors can also make an impact by including more ‘green applications' on handsets or app stores, to encourage awareness of environmental issues.

Dr Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper Research and lead author for the report, commented: "With manufacturers only now beginning to introduce green handsets, shipment volumes are relatively low in all cases. Moving forward, we should not expect to see production lines of completely ‘green' phones, but a gradual move to introducing green elements throughout devices."

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