Feeds

Hey, Apple. THIS is how you flog iPhones in new markets

Saving the planet and turning profit, one old mobe at a time

Remote control for virtualized desktops

MWC 2014 Last year mobile phone trade-in firm eRecyclingCorps announced that they had recycled 10 million phones in the past four years. This year they said they'd chewed through the same 10 mill in the last year alone.

It would be nice to think that people recycle old phones out of a love for the planet, but the company has found avarice a much more powerful driver. Customers don’t recycle, they trade in.

When eRecyclingCorps tried putting envelopes in the boxes of new phones only one per cent of people used them. With shops offering trade-ins against new phones they are aiming for 50 per cent.

Around 95 per cent of the phones which are traded in are sold on for re-use, with the remaining five per cent being recycled. This might be because there is a list of phones they will take. It’s a long list of 4,000 phones, but many of the cheaper handsets are not eligible.

The company concentrates on higher end phones – 80 per cent of their take comprises smartphones, which makes their processing worthwhile. Phones are wiped – using tools that are more thorough than a factory reset – refurbished to varying levels of finish and often reflashed with new software or language packs to reflect the country to which it is being sold.

For many countries – although India is the example always cited – the iPhone is hugely aspirational. Despite the Indian middle class being greater in number than that of Europe, the cost of iPhones is often beyond their means. Previously owned phones are a way in.

Kelly Carnago from eRecyclingCorps was careful not to criticise Apple but gave the impression that Cupertino is on a learning curve with recycling, and is starting to appreciate that it’s a way to take on Samsung in some markets.

The vast majority of phones come to eRecyclingCorps through operators' shops running recycling programmes with cash incentives for trade-ins. In the US this mostly happens through Sprint and Verizon.

One interesting trend is that people are hanging onto phones for longer. Carnago attributes this to both a lack of innovation and lengthening contracts. A recycled phone is typically 22 to 24 months old. Phones which come into eRecyclingCorps have their IMEI tracked, either in the shop which takes it in or through the refurbishment process. Phones that have been registered as stolen are rejected. If they make it as far as eRecyclingCorps' Kansas HQ the phone will be quarantined and payment to the operator clawed back. It’s then up to the operator to take it up with their customer.

At previous years there have been a lot of green initiatives at Mobile World Congress. There’s a lot less of that this year, but it is good to see that some green shoots remain.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.