Sep 28

Apple sold a record number of iPhone 5 devices, but how much does it take to charge all these devices? Opower did some research and you may be surprised how little you pay to keep your iPhone 5 battery alive. After Opower got their hands on a new iPhone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy S III they headed into the Opower Lab for some testing. They found out that charging the iPhone 5 only costs $0.41 per year.

Using a Watts Up Pro Electricity Consumption Meter, we measured how much electricity it took to charge each phone from 0% to 100% full. Taking those results and modeling them across a year (see Methodology), we found that on an individual basis, the latest smartphones use a trivial amount of electricity.

They also tested the Samsung Galaxy SIII and found out that the charging costs will be $0,53 a year, which is only $0,12 more than the iPhone 5 primarily because of the Galaxy’s larger battery. Opower noted “The paramount point here though is not the difference between the two phones, but rather their striking similarity: the energy consumption of a modern smartphone is minuscule.

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. Global smartphone shipments (which includes people upgrading to newer phones) will reach 567 million units this year alone. And by 2016, 1 billion people worldwide will own smartphones.  (There are currently 106 million smartphone users in the US.)

Even if we consider just the 170 million iPhone 5’s that are projected to be sold globally in the next year, their aggregate electricity requirements are nothing to sneeze at.  The collective annual electricity consumption of the iPhone 5’s sold within 12 months will be equivalent to the annual electricity usage of 54,000 US households (roughly equivalent to the size of Cedar Rapids – the second largest city in Iowa). That’s just for one smartphone model over one year.

Way more details about their research can be found here.

Source [Opower]

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