Photo via Tjeerd
Bad news for Nokia employees, but good news for e-waste avengers. The cell phone giant is planning to cut production at one of its major plants, Salo in Finland, as well as its research and development operations in the Finnish town of Jyvaskyla. While the news lands as a bleak reminder of the bad economy, it can also be seen as great news. Nokia is being very smart here. While it's very unfortunate that jobs will be cut, it is good that the company is cutting back on production before a major crisis hits. While analysts expect the smart phone market to grow this year, Nomura technology specialist Richard Windsor says that the idea of growth this year is unrealistic. Nokia apparently agrees, cutting production to avoid a wasteful surplus.
"With these plans, we aim to scale down Salo production to reflect reduced market demand, while operations in the factory continue uninterrupted," Juha Putkiranta, a senior official at Nokia, said in a statement.
Another reason why this is good news, as we've said before, is because there is a massive number of cell phones already in the US in need of homes. There are 700 million used cell phones in the US, and there is absolutely no reason for most of the 140 million cell phone users in the US to be replacing their phones every 14-18 months, as statistics currently show . Nokia's slowed production helps to ensure that fewer gadgets get tossed into the waste or recycling stream before their time.
Idealistically speaking, if more cell phone manufacturers slow their production during 2009 and instead focus on boosting take-back programs and selling refurbished gear from those programs, we could start to make a dent in that glut of used phones and begin to use only what we need - not only what we want.