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Survey: Too many new smartphone models made each year

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SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Consumers think smartphone makers are releasing too many new models each year, a consumer survey showed Tuesday.

The survey conducted in six countries, commissioned by Greenpeace, showed that more than half of those who responded would prefer to change their phones less frequently.

Handset devices are one of the most frequently replaced electronics products. Top mobile phone companies, Samsung and Apple, launch new flagship phone models at least once every year, showing off the latest display and mobile processor technologies. Phone makers typically upgrade their cheaper lineups as well.

“Over half of respondents across the countries surveyed agree that manufacturers are releasing too many new models, many designed to only last a few years,” said Chih An Lee, global IT campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia. “In fact, most users actually want their phones to be more easily dismantled, repaired and recycled.”

The survey revealed some differences in attitude toward the phone repair habit across countries.

Chinese and South Koreans were more likely to have had their phones repaired than those in the U.S. or Germany.

Nearly half of respondents surveyed in all six countries believed that phone manufacturers should be more responsible for making recycling of their phones easier.

Respondents said battery life was an important feature for a new smartphone.

More than 90 per cent of respondents in China, Mexico and South Korea said that it is important for a new smartphone to be easily repaired if damaged. Consumers in all countries also said that producing a phone without hazardous chemicals was an important factor.

Greenpeace polled 1,000 consumers each in the United States, Mexico, Russia, Germany, China and South Korea.

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