Klaus Burton


Smart phones: An ethical comparison

I recently did a comparison of the 3 main smart phones on the market today – Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One using GoodGuide, which is a really great website that reviews products and rates them in terms of their negative impact to the environment.

I went into it with a preconception that the iPhone would be the worst because of the press about the working conditions of their third-world workers.
To my surprise, the iPhone ranks most highly on GoodGuide in both categories they rate phones on – environmental impact and societal impact.
Here’s how they stack up:


The impact for all 3 of these phones is not good, especially the impact to society, and there are other phones that get much better scores such as the HP Veer with 8.0 and 7.0 and the Palm Pixi with 6.9 and 7.0, but in terms of the popular, flagship products, the Apple iPhone seems to be the best one.

Note: The phones on GoodGuide weren’t always an exact match, but close enough for me; I used reviews of the iPhone 4, Galaxy S Ii and HTC Inspire and other similar HTC smart phones.