I feel a little bit ashamed but, as I have already said, I can't resist to have a look at the Apple rumours sites when there is a Steve Job's Keynote.
For those who are not Mac fans, it may be useful to know that Apple doesn't stream live the conferences when they launch new products, so all of us good folk meet in chats and in rumours web pages where we crave to read some reports of Steve's speech.
Last Thursday I decided to stay a couple of hours longer in the office and from 7 pm (central Europe time) I was ready to read some news from the Steve's keynote that was taking place in the Apple headquarters.
After 10 minutes MacObserver reported:
"Steve says that recycling has been kept in mind from the ground up. Says iMac is great in this area."
As I understood later he was speaking about the new iMac case and screen: the display is now made with glass, and they replaced the plastic at front side with aluminium (the back side is still in plastic). Ok, it's nice to hear Steve saying something about the environment, but to be honest these updates are not revolutionary at all. So I was quite surprised when the morning after I found out on my RSS reader that so many Mac Blogs were reporting it as a great announcement for the environment.
Investigating the iMac Tech Specs page the only information that I found about the environment was:
Electrical and environmental requirements:
Meets ENERGY STAR requirements .... (I suppose they mean Energy Star 4, the last and more restricting certification, but it's not clear). Apple apparently hasn't yet updated this page with the new iMac Product Environmental Specifications.
Nothing else about the improved recyclability, so I can't say much more about it. What I can say is that you won't find anything about a new global take back policy, one of the requests that Greenpeace has addressed to all the electronics companies and that Apple hasn't yet implemented. Designing products that can be more easily recycled is important, but I'd love to know where my old iMac will be recycled, how and from who. If the companies will not take care of their products after they are dismissed, they can easily end up in some dumping place in India or China. Doesn't matter how easy to recycle they are.
Another thing that you won't find on the general iMac specifications is something about hazardous chemicals. Apple missed again the greatest chance to rid of their products of dangerous toxic chemicals. Nothing about PVC free or BFRs free, nothing about Lead or other heavy metals. Even the display is disappointing. Steve himself wrote in the "Greener Apple" statement:
Apple plans to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of mercury by transitioning to LED backlighting for all displays when technically and economically feasible. But, as MacWorld pointed, they didn't add yet a LED backlighted display in the iMac.
So, this new iMac has gained a sleeker design and some nice aluminium and glass details, but it's a pity that they won't definitely lead the computer sector for the ecologically friendly technology.
One of the pictures that Steve Jobs used in his last presentation showed how the new iMac looks much nicer than the one of their competitors. Next time I would like to see that they are really different, inside too.
If you want to help Steve and all the CEOs of the most important electronic companies to take the right decision, sign the Greenpeace challenge: Who will produce the first Greener computer?