Research firm ABI has said that most cell phone makers’ green phone intentions often fade “like a wireless signal in an underground parking lot,” but some phone makers are still launching green-branded product lines. This morning Sony Ericsson (s sne) (s ericy) is announcing its “GreenHeart” phones and phone gear, which have a 15 percent smaller carbon footprint, an online manual (no paper), smaller packaging, and made of at least 50 percent recycled plastics. The launch lineup includes the C901 and the Naite, which are pretty standard phones other than the more sustainable designs and branding.
Sony Ericsson, which currently ranks near the top of Greenpeace’s Green Electronics Guide, says it plans to eventually incorporate the GreenHeart features into the rest of its broader phone portfolio — which probably means that doing things like using recycled materials, getting rid of paper manuals and reducing carbon emissions from the phone footprint actually makes economic sense. ABI notes in its report that phone companies often use green products as a starting place to launch proven green elements into the rest of their product pipelines.
What remains to be seen is if consumers care one lick about having a green-branded phone. Other phone makers have launched green phone lineups, like Nokia’s Evolve, and Samsung’s Blue Earth. But while I haven’t seen any product sales data about these devices, I haven’t heard about people waiting in lines to buy these things, either.