Amazon Fires cloud is powered by ancient tech compared to Apples cleaner iCloud

by David Pomerantz

July 25, 2014

Every new smartphone markets itself as more innovative, smarter and higher-tech than its predecessors. Thats why its so shocking to see Amazon release a first ever smartphone today with a component that is several years behind what its rivals are doing.

That component is the energy powering Amazons cloud, which is distinctly behind the times.

Amazon boasts that its new phone, the Fire, will offer free, unlimited cloud storage of every photo you take with it. Its a nice service, but unfortunately, those photos will be stored in Amazons data centers, which the company is currently powering with ancient, polluting forms of electricity like coal and gas power.

Its worth noting that cloud-based storage of photos and other smartphone data doesnt have to harm the environment. Apple, in stark contrast to Amazon, is powering its iCloud with 100% renewable energy from modern sources like solar panels, wind farms and geothermal installations.

If Amazon wants to offer its customers a modern phone, it should start by powering its operations with renewable forms of electricity like the wind and solar power currently being employed by its competitors.

Nows also a good time to remind consumers that there are some other big environmental problems associated with electronic devices, like e-waste, and that we should all make sure were extending the lifetimes of our gadgets, buying used products when we can, only purchasing what we need, and recycling devices at the end of their lifetimes.

If youve done all that, and you feel you need a new phone, then think about the energy thats powering all those great modern services, and ask companies like Amazon who are stuck in the past to offer you a greener cloud.

David Pomerantz

By David Pomerantz

David Pomerantz is a former Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace USA, based in San Francisco. He helps lead Greenpeace's campaign for an economy powered by 100% renewable energy.

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