As we look at this week’s big Apple announcement, all expectations are that Apple will join Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and others with 5G-capable phones. It seems exciting. After all, if 4G was good, 5G has to be better. Right?
But here’s the thing: While 5G has long-term potential for overall telecommunications infrastructure, it doesn’t appear to have many near-term advantages for smartphones. In fact, it would seem that if you’re paying just to upgrade your phone to 5G, you’re probably wasting money.
In this article, I’ll explore five reasons it’s hard to get happy about 5G – at least for this generation of smartphones.
1. Not available in most areas
Sure, 5G will be built out tower-by-tower across the United States. But right now, it’s pretty unimpressive. Here’s what CNET wrote in June about connectivity:
On availability, T-Mobile users were connected to its 5G network 22.5% of the time,
In the United States, where food is relatively easy to come by for most of the population, roughly $165 billion worth of it is wasted every year. That’s enough to fill 730 college football stadiums. And of the food that is wasted, the majority of it is at the household level.
“In a consumer-based culture, food can become easily devalued, especially when it’s relatively cheap, as it is in the U.S., for the most part. And that ends up being a driver for food waste,” said Chris Wharton, assistant dean of innovation and strategic initiatives at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions.
“But if you can show people how much they’re wasting and what that means in terms of dollars and cents or lost opportunities for their kids to eat nutritious fruits and vegetables, then you have put value back in the food, and that could potentially drive down
Cell phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches: the modern world is packed with a dizzying array of gadgets that bring us connectivity, entertainment and information. Our hunger for the latest models – and the cachet that buying them brings – is such that these pieces of kit have, for some, become readily disposable.
This “throwaway” culture often means consumers are guilty of getting rid of old devices as soon as new ones come to the market, a habit that can have a significant effect on waste streams and the environment.
A recent report found that 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was produced in 2019, with just 17.4% of this amount “officially documented as properly collected and recycled.”
The Global E-waste Statistics Partnership published the “Global E-waste Monitor 2020” report in July and described e-waste as containing harmful substances including mercury, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons and brominated flame retardants.
Lifestyles in China are changing rapidly, and ordering food online is an example. However, those billions of delivery meals produce an enormous amount of plastic waste from packaging, but also from food containers and cutlery; in one year, some 7.3 billion sets of single-use tableware accompany the food. Around one-third of the 553 kilotons of municipal solid waste that is generated each day comes from packaging. That is why a group of scientists analysed whether using paper alternatives or reusable tableware could reduce plastic waste and associated life cycle emissions.
Ya Zhou (associate professor at Guangdong University of Technology) and Yuli Shan are the first authors of this paper. Yuli Shan, Dabo Guan (Professor at Tsinghua University) and Yanpeng Cai (Professor at Guangdong University of Technology) are the corresponding authors.
‘We quantified the environmental impact and modelled different alternatives,’ explains Shan. The alternatives to the single-use plastic tableware were