Consumers say Apple and Samsung make too many smartphones

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The iPhone 6s is selling like hotcakes.
Do you really need to upgrade every year?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

When it comes to smartphone upgrades, consumers now think that companies like Apple and Samsung release too many new models and don’t put enough effort towards recycling.

A new study from Greenpeace surveyed over 6,000 people in the U.S. China, Russian, Mexico, Germany and South Korea and found that the average person has at least three phones at home, and more than half said they more than half said they would be okay with changing phones less often.

The survey is part of Greenpeace’s new “True Innovation” campaign that challenges IT companies to make products that are just as innovative for the planet as they are for our lives by reducing energy and toxic chemical use.

“The recycling rate of mobile phones is particularly low compared to other electronic goods, and people don’t know if they can contact recycling companies, the government or the brand,” said Chih An Lee, Greenpeace’s global detox campaigner. “Most don’t know how to wipe data, but that’s the first thing certified recycling should provide.”

Researchers found that nearly 30% of smartphone owners upgrade because their previous device was broken, while slightly more than that upgraded because they wanted a device with more up-to-date features.

Considering Apple and Samsung absolutely dominate the worldwide smartphone market, a lot of blame can be thrown at them. Samsung hasn’t made recycling a big focus of its business yet.

Meanwhile, Apple is making it a point to increase its recycling efforts. The company even touted some of the tech it uses to recover iPhone waste by revealing its recycling robot Liam earlier this year.