Environmental Conciousness Hastens Carphone Warehouse Demise

As part of a corporate re-brand, the household name Carphone Warehouse is going to disappear from the British High Street after 32 years in business. The reason for the change can be attributed in part, to a more environmentally friendly consumer base.

Well, they’re not yet going the way of the Dodo, but standalone stores closed last year and and the name will no longer be a feature for British consumers. Instead of the mashup of Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse combination stores, with Team Knowhow and Dixons Carphone thrown into the mix, the brand will now operate under the umbrella of Currys from October 2021.

This is a much neater and tidier brand, but what brought us to this point?

Environmentally Concious Consumers

Here’s how a greener, more environmentally concious base of customers in the UK helped to make real change that has a real impact.

People are increasingly rejecting the notion of consumption for the sake of consumption that has been damaging our planet for decades. There is a high cost to the manufacture and disposal of mobile phones, especially around the extraction and re-cycling of rare earth metals.

Longer handset refresh cycles, which are great for the environment have meant Carphone Warehouse have moved away from agreements with three of the four Tier 1 mobile phone networks or Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). Environmentally concious consumers are moving towards business models that are more carrier agnostic.

Two prongs on this particular set of environmentally friendly suppliers have come together to put pressure on the mobile phone industry.

Sim only deals mean consumers keep older handsets for longer, reducing demand on precious resources and their environmental impact. They also allow consumers to opt for environmentally friendly phones such as the Fairphone.

Sim free phones enable consumers to hold on to their hardware and shop around for the deals they want. Tier 1 and 2 mobile networks are beginning to cater to this demographic by offering shorter term contracts. Sim free phones also allow consumers to choose environmentally friendly mobile networks.

“It’s Currys which helps [consumers] get the most out of the tech they already have, giving it longer life as well as bringing them all the exciting new stuff”, said Currys CEO Alex Baldock. We totally agree with the philosophy of giving current technology a longer lifespan, reducing carbon emissions and our effect on the planet.

A Short History

Carphone Warehouse started in 1989.

Back in the day, all mobile phones were in cars because of their cumbersome size. Their batteries and transmission equipment could not be carried by a human being on their person and at the begining of the 90s, Carphone Warehouse was the place to go for your next in-car mobile phone.

The first car phone call was dialled in 1959 on what was known as System 1, a network that could handle around 320 customers at launch. We’ve come a long way since then, with Vodafone taking care of around 17million subscribers.