Apple’s latest hit product, the iPhone 5, may be the cheapest new smartphone on the market in terms of energy costs, according to a recently released study. The cost of charging an iPhone 5 for an entire year? Only 41 cents.
Energy analytics company Opower released a report this week tracking the costs of charging a wide variety of electronic devices. According to its research, the iPhone 5 is microscopically cheap to charge for a year, at only 41 cents.
In the study, the iPhone 5 emerged as the cheapest new gadget to keep charged, beating not only its direct competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S III (53 cents per year), but also its sibling tablet, the Apple iPad ($1.36 per year).
However, the old iPhone 4 is slightly cheaper than any of the new gadgets at 38 cents per year.
Despite these results, Opower isn’t attempting to draw any comparisons between Apple and Samsung. After all, nobody is going to be too upset about paying only 12 cents more or less per year for his or her preferred device. The point of the study was to examine how energy-efficient smartphones are compared with larger devices such as laptop personal computers, desktop PCs, and gaming consoles.
“The paramount point here though is not the difference between the two phones,” Opower’s Barry Fischer wrote, “but rather their striking similarity: the energy consumption of a modern smartphone is minuscule.”
The study also includes the costs of powering several other devices for a year, and the divide is very deep: The average laptop PC costs $8.31; the average desktop, $28.21; and an Xbox 360, $40.24.
To put it in perspective, an Xbox 360 costs nearly 100 times more in energy each year than an iPhone 5 does.
According to Opower, this is a good thing. By relying more on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, Americans can cut their energy consumption, saving them money and ultimately helping the environment.
“When we compare the electricity consumption of smartphones to the power needs of larger devices we have historically used for connectivity and entertainment, a clear energy-efficiency story begins to emerge: going mobile saves energy. And those savings are substantial,” Fischer wrote.
So, for the sake of the planet, please buy an iPhone 5. It’s the responsible thing to do.