“Gadgets come and gadgets go. The iPad you buy today will be e-waste in a year or two (less, if you decide not to pay to have the battery changed for you). The real issue isn’t the capabilities of the piece of plastic you unwrap today, but the technical and social infrastructure that accompanies it.”
I bought an iPad, and sold it on eBay 5 days later (at a profit). I love to play with gadgets, but increasingly the dynamic around consumer hardware is becoming a matter of conscience for me. A prime example is how good Apple is at building-in obsolescence. (1) Many of their devices have essential components which are designed to expire in less than 24 months and/or not be customer replaceable. (2) Many of their devices are purposely missing more or less essential features (de-featuring) so as to drive an 14 month upgrade cycle by releasing marginally improved devices. Apple gets a lot of credit for being “green” but building things for the dump is just about the most un-green thing you can do.