After reading “World’s first ‘ethical’ smartphone to be unveiled this week- The Economic Times” blog post, I was intrigued by the idea of ‘ethical’ technology. We tend to think about businesses being ethical or people being ethical, but not necessarily a product. The ethics behind the phone are considered a huge step for technology production, because the phone is said to be the first “fair trade” phone, meaning it is the most ethically sourced product available on the current world market. The phone is made by a Dutch company and is said to have no tin or tantalum extracted from conflict areas, meaning extractions are coming from conflict-free mines.
Interestingly enough, the phone sounds to be a possible competitor for the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy because of its large touch-screen. The post even mentions the issues surrounding Apple and Samsung’s choices to produce their phones in conflict areas with terrible working conditions. This possible competition leads to many questions… Since the retail price of this ‘ethical’ phone is around $350, how is the price so low if production costs are probably high? I assume this because if there are no labor issues, workers must have decent pay, and if metals are being extracted from conflict-free areas, I assume the costs of extraction are higher than conflict areas, otherwise Apple and Samsung would be getting their metals from this same place. Does this ‘ethical’ phone have much of a profit margin?
Furthermore, I am interested to see if the phone will catch on in the US. I don’t want to be pessimistic, but the technology seems to good to be true. It is possible that the phone may sell well in the beginning, but I foresee technical problems with the phone that the company may not have money to fix due to its low profit margins from the production of the phone. I do hope that I am wrong, but I am anxious to check back on the phone in January after it has been available for sale for one month.
- World’s first ‘ethical’ smartphone to be unveiled this week – The Economic Times (csuitementor.wordpress.com)