The Problem That Apple’s Stellar Rise and RIM’s Spectacular Fall Presents


Pundits have long been clamoring that Research In Motion, whose BlackBerry brand was once synonymous to smartphones, is now sailing in stormy waters, with the company’s total collapse expected to happen before the end of 2013. Last month’s BlackBerry World 2012 convention was expected to turn the tide; and it might have, since the BlackBerry 10 gave a rather good showing with everything pointing to RIM now able to catch up with the competition. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has long been saying that with the BB 10, the company gave their all to make sure that the OS would be their saving grace from an imminent demise, and the BB 10 demo at the convention showed that.

The problem was that Apple came out with their iOS 6 presentation a month later, decidedly leaving RIM in the dust, and forcing former Berry stalwarts to consider a BlackBerry trade in.

Talk of the merits of both OSes aside, the two extremes in sales figures posted by each respective company presents a whole other problem: That of e-waste.

E-waste, short for electronic waste, is pollution generated by discarded electronic devices. This type of pollution is doubly dangerous because, aside from the accumulation of plastics and silicon in landfills (both of them already notoriously hard to dispose of as it is), e-waste also produces biohazardous chemicals like lead, cadmium, and beryllium which leak from batteries, capacitors, and other electronic components.

This two-pronged attack (solid and chemical waste, that is) on the environment is definite cause for concern, prompting some people to sell used BlackBerrys instead of throwing them away outright. While a satisfactory enough solution, an even better one would be e-recycling.

E-recycling is a type of waste management that was developed specifically to combat e-waste. It has three elements to it that make it a much better alternative than merely selling or giving gadgets away. The first one is that it refurbishes these old and used electronic devices to make them look and work as if brand new. The second one is that, since they are second-hand gadgets, they are sold at lower price points. Coupled with their redressing to look like new, what we have are gadgets that are very attractive to budget-savvy consumers. Third (and most importantly), e-recycling is a green-focused venture first and foremost. This means that not only does it dispose of unusable electronic parts under the strictest compliance with set green standards, but every facet of its process – from power generation to materials used and whatnot – also follow said standards.

Clearly, e-recycling is a win-win-win situation for everyone involved: The seller, the buyer, and the environment. With a prospect such as that, it’s hard to say no to this. So before you head off to sell used BlackBerrys in anticipation of better smartphone alternatives, think about the environment. Head over to the nearest e-recycling center and do your part to help ensure a greener and brighter tomorrow. After all, what’s the point of having all the nifty technologies the future promises us if we can’t even guarantee that future’s existence in the first place?