For the first time in my life, I find myself jealous of African technology. Stuff published an article about how solar powered cell phones in Africa are greatly benefiting the country’s people who have very limited access to traditional power sources. The article does a great job of illustrating how local farmers and independent businessmen are benefiting from the solar technology, but what I want to know is: why the hell don’t we have it in America?
Apparently in Uganda, 92 percent of the country’s 32 million plus population do not have access to an electrical power grid, so, obviously, they have an enormous need for a product like solar powered cell phones. But what about us? I mean, we’re trying to go green here, right? Hey Nokia – I would like a solar powered cell phone too.
According to the article, Samsung makes a model called the Solar Guru, which features an FM radio, MP3 ring tones, embedded games, and a torch light that sells for 60 US dollars. How is this not in the hands of Leonardo DiCaprio on the cover of US Weekly? And getting off topic a bit, if a solar paneled cell phone is so cheap, why is it so expensive to solar panel the roof of your house?
I suppose that even though I don’t have access to one yet, it’s nice to know that companies are at least trying to develop more globally conscious products. Sony Ericson and Nokia are developing phones that use lower energy consumption, recycled materials, smaller packaging, and electronic user manuals. Until these products hit our market, though, don’t forget that the best way to go green with you cell phone is to purchase a refurbished cell phone!