You Don’t Need an iPhone 13

Sam Reeves, MVC Writer

Holidays are coming, wallets are thickening, and retail therapy grows more and more tempting. What purchase could be more opportune than a new phone? You use it so much everyday, you may as well spend the money and get a good one if you are going to rely on it so much. Could you even live without your phone?
These are all valid impulses. But your current phone will probably last another year. Buying a new phone means you lose at least $300 (if you are lucky on trade-in) and you contribute to the ever worsening crisis of electronic waste. Verizon will let you trade in your iPhone XR, but nobody is going to buy it. Why would anybody buy something you are spending so much money to replace? If you are lucky, they will recycle the battery. But, according to EPA data, provided on the ECD Corporate Recycling website, 80-85% of electronics go straight to the landfill. Do not believe their lies.
In the United States, it is estimated that 70% of heavy metals in landfills come from electronic waste. Articles like this one detail the toxic story of electronic waste. Many materials in each phone are scarce, valuable, and toxic. Even with good intentions, recycling these components is still no clean task. For example, extracting copper from a logic board may require burning certain components, releasing toxic air pollutants. These toxins can also enter soil and water near the area they are discarded, contaminating local crops.
If you really do need a new phone, consider the iPhone 12. It worked great for everyone 12 months ago. They are selling at greatly reduced prices now that the people who impulse bought one last year are back on the hamster wheel getting an iPhone 13. You save at least $200 and miss out on what, exactly? A 10% brighter screen? 10% bigger battery? 10% faster processor? All that, and yet it is still a phone: a screen, camera, glass, and charger. Same as an iPhone 12. Same as an iPhone XR.
You may not be able to live without your phone, but you can live without an iPhone 13. Save yourself the money and guilt on your conscience.