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Making a comment on being earth-friendly, Steve Jobs announces LED back-lit LCD panels

The last time Steve Jobs made a personal comment on Apple's front page was when the company was criticized for having let one of its suppliers, Foxconn, treat workers poorly in foreign countries. Jobs stepped up and attempted to ease the tension alongside Apple having launched its own probe into the affair. Today, Apple posted another press release signed by its chairman and CEO to make a commitment into being a more environmentally friendly company.

Coincidentally, Apple also slipped in a tidbit about the future of its LCD displays. Jobs mentioned in his post that one of the key areas that his company was striving for was the removal of mercury in the use of its products. Mercury is a chemical element that is present in LCDs that use fluorescent tube backlights. Apple will announce LED backlit displays within 2007, which eliminate the use of mercury, Jobs said.

"Fortunately, all iPod displays already use LEDs for illumination, and therefore contain no mercury." Jobs said. "Our ability to completely eliminate fluorescent lamps in all of our displays depends on how fast the LCD industry can transition to LED backlighting for larger displays."

Users will gain several advantages with the arrival of LED backlit LCD panels. One key advantage is LED backlit LCD panels have greater backlight uniformity than cold cathode fluorescent tube-based LCDs. This gives professionals more color accuracy and a larger gamut. Of course being green means energy saving, and LED panels use far less energy than fluorescent tubes.

Jobs also mentioned Apple is very committed to reducing e-waste around the globe and his company is looking into new ways of designing more earth-friendly products as well as sourcing new materials.

"Apple is already a leader in innovation and engineering, and we are applying these same talents to become an environmental leader," Jobs said.

After Jobs' announcement, Greenpeace quickly responded by indicating that because of Apple's new commitments, it will update Apple's 2.7 out of 10 rating to a approximately a 5.

"Apple fans have greeted this campaign, and they have made clear what they want-- an Apple which is not just green skin-deep, but green to the core," the Greenpeace said.

The Greenpeace group also asks that Apple develop a program to recycle unwanted products in an earth-friendly fashion, and Apple is doing just that. Old iPods will be accepted at all 150 Apple stores in exchange for a discount on a purchase of a new iPod. Oddly enough, Greenpeace was kicked out of MacWorld late last year for voicing its opinions on products being displayed at the show.

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Oh please
By mcnabney on 5/4/2007 12:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
So Apple is trying to take credit (and Greenpeace is giving it) for normal changes in technology?

In that case I would like to declare that magnetic storage will get cheaper and larger, microprocessors will go faster, and computers will need more RAM in the future. Where's my accolade?

RE: Oh please
By Oregonian2 on 5/4/2007 2:55:51 PM , Rating: 1
Kinda. It's really Europe that forced everything, not Greenpeace (unless they influenced Europe). The ROHS standards to sell in Europe pushed the lead (and five other materials) out of production, that made process lines go ROHS and the ball was rolling where it's better/cheaper to be ROHS than not because most production lines have changed that way. That made part mfgrs make ROHS parts, etc. Took a LONG time, but the hump is gotten over. Some important industries (like telecom) are "behind" the switchover so it could be found out if the new materials are reliable long term (else it'd be interesting if the worlds infrastructure fell apart after ten years because leadfree solder or its higher temperature caused a problem longterm). But it's all switching over now, including Apple. Really no practical way not to without increasing cost to do things (used to be the other way around). So, I criticize what European policy makers do often enough, but this was a good one for them.

RE: Oh please
By JimFear on 5/6/2007 10:22:24 AM , Rating: 2
Something quite funny about the ROHS is that lead free solder is the main culprit for the red ring of death on the 360's because it has a higher melting point after the initial melt, which also means that re-soldering can actually kill the 360 unit so more go in the bin. We also get the whole "electronics must last much longer" initiative from the EU which is why our stuff is normally much more expensive, delayed and cut down (less parts = less chance of breaking but needs better engineering).

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction :)

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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