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iPhone 5, Galaxy S3 Need Less Than $1 Electricity Per Year

There is now a new estimate that keeping an iPhone 5 charged over an entire year will consume 3.5 kWh. Other phones with different battery capacities, however, may incur substantially different charges. For example, Samsung's Galaxy S III manages 4.9 kWh. By itself, a single smartphone will cost less than $1 over an entire year to charge. For this writer, the cost is about 31 cents.

However, in aggregate, the power consumption of all smartphones is substantial. Opower said that the 170 million iPhones that are expected to be sold over the next year will consume as much power as all homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which has a population of 128,000 people. Of course, the company also noted that the local battery is not the only power concern in a smartphone, but the data centers delivering information to those phones need to be considered as well. On the positive side, we are using smartphones for tasks we previously used notebooks or desktop PCs for, so we may end up with a power reduction after all.

Opower noted that a typical desktop PC requires about $28 of power per year to run, while a notebook needs about $8.

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  • DRosencraft
    If you care at all about the environment, or saving money, then this will make you feel good. Energy efficiency has become a persistent concern/interest in tech development in recent years and it is showing real progress. Mostly, however, the problem still rests in figuring out a way to make bigger inroads in curbing the energy appetite of data centers. There has been some progress there too, such as switching to different power generation measures (solar panels, wind, geothermal) but I think there is a lot more that can and will be done in the near future.
    Reply
  • Benthon
    Hahaha. I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa! :D
    Reply
  • $28 per year for a typical PC? wow, guess I'm A-Typical because my beast has a 1.2 kW PSU, and probably runs at around 250W idle and 900W when I'm playing an intensive game (such as Skyrim or Battlefield). I would assume I'm using, oh roughly 14 kWh per day (my computer is on 24/7) which comes to 14 x 365 = roughly 5 mWh. with power being at like $0.0955 per kW in PA average, let's say 0.1 to round it out. My computer costs me.........$500 per year to run.
    Reply
  • rosen380
    "However, in aggregate, the power consumption of all smartphones is substantial. Opower said that the 170 million iPhones that are expected to be sold over the next year will consume as much power as all homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which has a population of 128,000 people."

    Don't almost all things used by a lot of people look bad in aggregate?

    The average American eats 112 bananas per year-- which produces about 6 pounds of banana peels as waste. That's not so much for a whole year.

    In the aggregate though, Americans are combining for over two billion pounds of peels per year. With the weight of American's banana peels in building materials, you could build 35000 1000 square foot houses, in which the 128,000 residents of Cedar Rapids Iowa can live in... :)

    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    $28 per year for a typical PC? wow, guess I'm A-Typical because my beast has a 1.2 kW PSU, and probably runs at around 250W idle and 900W when I'm playing an intensive game (such as Skyrim or Battlefield). I would assume I'm using, oh roughly 14 kWh per day (my computer is on 24/7) which comes to 14 x 365 = roughly 5 mWh. with power being at like $0.0955 per kW in PA average, let's say 0.1 to round it out. My computer costs me.........$500 per year to run.


    You'd be surprised. I'm willing to bet that peak load on your system is nearer 300W and idle is around 70W (depending on components used). And I'm sure that your system is running nearer the lower end most of the time.

    I've measured a number of systems, low end systems run about 150W full load (around 40 idle) vs my setup with a Phenom 1090T and (previously Radeon 6870) Would peak at 290W under load testing. I'm sure the numbers are a bit different now but even Gaming Rigs use a lot less power than what you would think.

    Electronics have made tremendous strides in efficiency over the last couple of decades.
    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    It should also be noted that their methodology is faulty when comparing one phone to another. Although relative to other devices I'm sure the numbers aren't off by more than a magnitude or so.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    If you care about the environment, don't buy new digital junk every year, even if you can afford it. I bought my last cellphone in 1989 and whenever I use it, girls are checking me out.
    Reply
  • killerclick
    JacekForgotHisPasswordAndDoesntWantmy beast has a 1.2 kW PSU, and probably runs at around 250W idle and 900W when I'm playing an intensive game
    I doubt you draw 250W on idle, even if you have 2 year old dual-card setup.

    Reply
  • rosen380
    "guess I'm A-Typical"

    Until reading this, you didn't think your PC and/or use was a-typical?

    Anyways-- if it is idling at around 250W, then a day you leave it on and don't touch it is at 6 KWh. To get to 14 KWh we're talking 12h 18m of intensive gaming plus 11h 42m of idle. Is that really a typical day?

    If that was the case, and you shut down the machine when you were done with each session, the near 12 hours of ~0 vs 250 Wh per day would mean an annual savings of $107 -- granted, you'd waste a minute every day waiting for it to boot back up
    Reply
  • ushyperion
    28$/year who, i wish. I rock 6 24" screens and one big ass pc. It costs me about 500Euro~(750$)/year
    Reply