Increased Air Pollution in China’s ‘iPhone City’ Blamed on iPhone 12

BY Asif Shaik

Published 29 Oct 2020

iPhone 12

The newly launched iPhones 12 series smartphones are in high demand. And Apple’s suppliers are working hard to maximise the production of these devices to avoid product shortage. As these factories are working at their full capacities, they are churning out a higher amount of pollution, suggests Morgan Stanley analysts.

Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron are Apple’s major suppliers for the latest iPhones. And their factories are situated in Zhengzhou, China. This city is also known as ‘iPhone City’ as the majority of the manufacturing of iPhones around the globe is carried out at this place.

According to Morgan Stanley analysts, they have been consistently tracking air quality in Zhengzhou and they’ve found that the air quality has dropped since last month due to increased pollution. The firm suggests that the higher air pollution is being caused by Apple’s suppliers as their factories are running at a higher capacity to meet iPhone 12 series demand.

The firm takes air quality data from a non-profit platform that collects and publishes air quality data in China. Based on this data, the firm has found that the industrial production was ramped up in early September but dipped below historic levels. And this is mainly because the iPhone has made its debut one month late this year. However, the industrial activity has been ramping up even more in the recent days, it claims.

According to Morgan Stanley firm, they’ve seen an increase in nitrogen dioxide levels in the air. This pollutant is a direct cause of increased industrial production, it says. The nitrogen oxide causes acid rains, decreases the yield of crops, and more importantly, causes human health issues, including airway inflammation and exacerbating asthma.

Industries in China rely heavily on fossil fuels, which has been the main cause of high pollution in the region. Apple has always focused on protecting the environment which is why the Cupertino-based tech giant has been encouraging its suppliers to switch to renewable energy sources under an initiative called as China Clean Energy Fund. While Apple’s major suppliers, Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron, and TSMC have signed up for the initiative, the shift to renewable energy resources might take some time.

[Source: CNBC]