Sony Ericsson released two new phones fashioned out of recycled materials today—the long-awaited GreenHeart C901 and the Naite—in an attempt to both boost its environmental credibility and reduce company carbon emissions 20% by 2015.
The phones, made from old CD cases and water bottles, will undoubtedly appeal to consumers actively searching for eco-friendly options. Still, Ericsson doesn't want the phones to be niche products. The company estimates that the Naite, the lowest-priced 3G phone in the company's line, will be one of its biggest sellers. But if Ericcson doesn't want the GreenHeart to appeal to a limited number of consumers, perhaps it should change the name to something a little less hokey.
Both phones have casings made from at least 50% recycled plastic and ultra low-power chargers. Instead of packaging the phones with paper-heavy instruction manuals, the GreenHeart and the Naite will come with e-manuals that reduce the packaging's overall paper use by 90%. That's no small feat—the e-manuals will save approximately 13,000 trees per million phones. Ericcson estimates that these changes also reduce the carbon footprint of the phones by 15%.
Neither products are full-fledged smart phones, but both come with a relatively standard array of features, including e-mail and Web access, 5 megapixel cameras, Google maps, and USB support.
The GreenHeart and Naite are expected to be released later this year, but they won't occupy the green phone category by themselves for long. Samsung's upcoming Blue Earth smart phone, made out of recycled bottles, will be solar-powered, as will future offerings from Sharp and LG.