It is estimated that by 2021, the world’s population will discard 120 million smartphopnes per year, and that number is expected to grow. To reverse that trend, Sharad Mittal and his team at Teracube have developed the second generation of a line of sustainable smartphones that aims to reduce e-waste through a combination of recyclable and replaceable materials with one of the most comprehensive product warranties that covers accidental repairs.
We recently got a chance to catch up with Sharad to learn more about the development of Teracube and its latest offering.
Enzo Njoo: Tell us about how you came up with the idea for Teracube 2e and how it all started.
Sharad Mittal: We formed Teracube back in June 2018 because we wanted to change the disposable nature of the consumer electronics industry. From day one, our goal has been to design and build great products that last longer and help save our environment.
The first product we launched was the Teracube One, a sustainable smartphone. Smartphones are among the most significant contributors to e-waste due to their manufacturing process and e-waste when consumers discard their old devices. Sustainable smartphone options are minimal, and we knew we could design one that was reliable, easily fixable, and better for the planet. So, focusing on a smartphone for our first product made the most sense. After we launched the Teracube One last year, we were blown away by the response from customers. Quickly, they started sharing feedback with us about what they wanted to see next, which was a smartphone that was affordable, easier to repair, and even more sustainable. That’s why we got to work on the Teracube 2e.
Enzo Njoo: In what ways is the Teracube 2e a better choice for the environment?
Sharad Mittal: We’ve made so many decisions with the sole purpose of making this phone as sustainable as we could. To start, the phone body is made of 25% recycled plastics, and it also comes equipped with a fully biodegradable case made of wheat starch and biodegradable polymers. We’ve also decided not to include any in-box accessories, including a charging cable, wall charger, and earbuds, which allows us to reduce our packaging by 50 percent, making it one of the world's most sustainable and minimalist smartphone packaging designs on the market.
We also equipped it with a 4000mAh replaceable lithium-ion polymer battery. Dwindling battery performance is one of the main reasons people throw away their old phones. By allowing customers to pop out the battery and replace it easily, we’re providing them a way to upgrade their phones and hold onto them longer.
Not to be forgotten, for every phone sold, we are planting a tree. Ultimately, the longer someone keeps the Teracube 2e, the more sustainable it becomes.
Enzo Njoo: Why is now a good time to bring the Teracube 2e to the market? If not now, when?
Sharad Mittal: The consumer electronics industry has an e-waste problem, and companies must start to invest more in designing products that last longer and are kinder to the planet. For us, the Teracube One and Teracube 2e are just a start. We want to keep pushing the envelope in this direction by building more environment-friendly products with modular designs, and eco-friendly components.
Enzo Njoo: How will products like the Teracube 2e shape the future of sustainable design?
Sharad Mittal: We’re already starting to see some consumer electronics companies address the issue of e-waste with their design choices, but in our opinion, there is still so much more than can be done. It’s not just about focusing on the materials used, but about finding ways to extend the life cycle of products and devices and help save our environment. Small changes can make a huge impact.
Enzo Njoo: What is the significance of Teracube's 4-year warranty?
Sharad Mittal: Over 150 million smartphones are thrown away every year in the US alone, so ensuring that our customers hold on to their phones longer than the industry average of two-years was a priority for us.
We are proud to be the world’s only smartphone with a four-year warranty that offers two-way free shipping and covers accidental repairs for a flat fee. While other smartphone warranties cover only defects, our warranty supports our mission to reduce the environmental impact of consumer electronics by ensuring customers can enjoy their device for years.
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