How much does it cost to charge an iPhone 5 per year?

“The highly anticipated iPhone 5 is finally in millions of people’s hands,” Barry Fischer reports for Outlier. “Within three days of its September 21st launch, Apple had sold a record-breaking five million units. And within a year, analysts project that sales of the iPhone 5 will reach 170 million.”

Fischer reports, “The popularity of the new device got us thinking: how much juice does it take each year to charge a next-generation smartphone? To find out, we got our hands on a new iPhone 5 and also a Samsung Galaxy S III – currently the hottest Android handset – then headed into the Opower Lab for some testing.”

“Charging the iPhone 5 costs $0.41 per year,” Fischer reports. “While the annual electricity requirements of charging a smartphone are negligible, let’s not forget about the power of multiplication. If we consider the astronomical quantity of smartphones being used around the world today and in the coming years, their collective electricity consumption takes on a more intimidating profile. Global smartphone shipments (which includes people upgrading to newer phones) will reach 567 million units this year alone. And by 2016, 1 billion people worldwide will own smartphones. (There are currently 106 million smartphone users in the US.)”

“Even if we consider just the 170 million iPhone 5’s that are projected to be sold globally in the next year, their aggregate electricity requirements are nothing to sneeze at,” Fischer reports. “The collective annual electricity consumption of the iPhone 5’s sold within 12 months will be equivalent to the annual electricity usage of 54,000 US households (roughly equivalent to the size of Cedar Rapids – the second largest city in Iowa). That’s just for one smartphone model over one year.”

Much more in the full article here.


    1. Did you also want to know how much the GSIII costed? I did. I had to go to the article to find out: $0.53 / year. Kind of mildly surprised MDN didn’t point that out in their summary.

    2. What would be better, is if we calculate how much water we flush down the toilet each year. That’s much more productive and life saving work.

      Regarding iPhones and electricity is completely senseless.

  1. Now subtract the electricity usage of all the PC’s and Macs that will not be used nearly as much because their owners own an iPhone 5. THAT will yield a much different picture.

  2. This is justification for the elimination of the human race. I hate the power of multiplication because it skews reality.

    There are probably two phones per household. I bet the average yearly electric bill of a household is $960 (I made up that number) so this guy is trying to make a point about 82 cents vs 960 dollars? Give me a break.

    BTW, does anyone want to make an argument that bigger screens consume more power? Big-screen Android devices are not so green, are they? Smaller is greener?

  3. I did not realize the author already had a number for the average household electric bill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He used $1,290 which is bigger than the $960 number I made up).

    His point is even less meaningful.

  4. bullshit! all the millions of new iPhones will not be bought by new users, but most of them will replace another iPhone (which will be inherited by someone) or hopefully an Android – and in the final will replace an oldfashioned phone (Nokia &&&) So, how efficient where the old chargers? Who have mostly generated more heat than charge…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.