Smartphones are able to tackle a wide variety of tasks that would otherwise be divided into many separate devices, each having its own carbon footprint. As a consequence, smarthphones have largely replaced or reduced the consumption of:[1]

  • Communication devices (land line telephones, beepers, walkie-talkies. etc)
  • Cameras
  • Video recorders
  • Laptop and desktop computers
  • Radios
  • Portable audio players (Walkmans, Discmans, iPods, mp3 players, boomboxes, etc)
  • Landline phones and pagers
  • Flashlights
  • GPS receivers
  • Clocks (wristwatches, alarm clocks, stopwatches, etc)
  • Calculators (including scientific calculators and graphing calculators)
  • Gaming devices (Game Boys, etc)
  • Voice recorders
  • Paper (agendas, calendars, maps, letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, dictionaries, notebooks, documents, address books, tickets, handbooks, etc)
  • Mirrors
  • Metronomes and tuners
  • DVD players
  • Flash drives
  • Remote controls
  • eBook readers
  • Police scanners
  • Cards (credit cards, IDs)
  • Banking devices (ATM)
  • Keys (for cars)
  • Gambling devices (slot machines, etc)
  • Levels
  • Light meters
  • Decibel meter
  • Data acquisition devices
  • Spectral light meters
  • Compass
  • Tape measure and rulers
  • Pedometers
  • Speedometers

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Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Maybe the consumption of some of these devices has actually increased since the arrival of smartphones, but surely their consumption would be much higher without smartphones.
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Authors Felipe Schenone, Joshua M. Pearce
Published 2021
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
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