Ap­ple’s AirPods tough to re­cy­cle

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Ap­ple Inc’s new wire­less head­phones could be a prob­lem for re­cy­clers, ac­cord­ing to an elec­tron­ics firm that took apart the de­vice to re­view its com­po­nent parts. Ap­ple has been pro­mot­ing a more en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious im­age for the com­pany af­ter hav­ing come un­der fire in the past for con­struct­ing its de­vices so tightly that their com­po­nents can be dif­fi­cult to cost-ef­fec­tively dis­as­sem­ble for re­cy­cling. But Ap­ple’s lat­est 4-gram wire­less head­phones, or AirPods, have glued-in tiny lithium bat­ter­ies that make re­cy­cling dif­fi­cult, said Kyle Wiens, chief ex­ec­u­tive of iFixit, the com­pany which took apart the AirPods and has pre­vi­ously an­a­lyzed other Ap­ple prod­ucts.

“They’re ba­si­cally say­ing this is the fu­ture of head­phones,” said Wiens. He es­ti­mates Ap­ple has sold 1.4 bil­lion pairs of iPhone and iPod head­phones, weigh­ing about 31 mil­lion pounds. Given that the iPhone 7 ships with­out a tra­di­tional head­phone jack, AirPods may sig­nal Ap­ple’s fu­ture. “There could eas­ily be a bil­lion of th­ese things over the next 10 years,” Wiens said. Ap­ple has said that the $159 AirPods can be re­turned to the com­pany for re­cy­cling. A spokesman de­clined to com­ment fur­ther on re­cy­cling the de­vices. The head­phones, which Ap­ple re­leased last week af­ter a one-month de­lay, have gar­nered pos­i­tive re­views. —Reuters

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