- 19 February 2009
By Molly Webb, Head of Smart Technologies, The Climate Group.
Is Apple the Kindle killer? This is the question at the heart of the Economist article "An iTunes Moment" which suggests that more people have downloaded ebook apps on their iphones than have bought the new Kindle that came out in February.
Leaving aside the assertion that no one reads anymore (clearly they must), the question is important because every device that is made has an environmental footprint in its manufacture, use and disposal (or reuse) and our predictions of the footprint of ICT devices was not based on a proliferation of new gadgets (which we couldn't predict), but on the business as usual growth of existing kit - mobile phones, laptops, networks etc.
If we took photos, talked on the phone, texted, emailed, listened to music and read books all on different devices, the footprint of ICT would grow faster than anyone in the industry would like. But fostering innovation in susbtitutes for high carbon activities is also an imperative; ah, the convergence conundrum.
Some convergence will take place under business as usual, but I would like to see convergence as a first priority, and allow consumers more choice in the features they want on their multi-use devices.
(...But I am dying to try the Kindle!)