Effective marketing makes us do crazy things. Why did the major cell phone carriers decide that two years was the optimum time frame for commitment from a customer? They offer the deepest discounts on the most technologically advanced phones only when a two year agreement is signed. The phone then becomes out of date as soon as you walk out of the store, but it still works. You can still talk, I mean, text with people, and check Facebook, Twitter and the internet. Why do we feel compelled to trade in the phone after a two year run?
Of course, the cell phone company works the two year deals to guarantee steady revenue streams and keep customers locked into their brand. The effect on the environment, however, should make consumers think twice about trashing their phones every two years. While many cell phone manufacturers are conscious of the environment when choosing the materials to build the phone, there are still some toxic materials needed to make the phone work. Sprint is one carrier making progress in sustainability by “requiring that all devices go through UL Environment certification process before hitting store shelves” (2012, Sterling, S.). The focus on increasing revenues still requires Sprint and other carriers to convince consumers of the need to pay for a new phone every two years.