CES: Samsung vows to collect one million phones

LAS VEGAS Samsung Mobile has vowed to collect more than one million mobile phones before the end of the year as part of its eco-conscious wireless push. Chief marketing officer Paul Golden outlined Samsung’s green plans at a CES press conference today, building on the handset maker’s news of the week, which included the first DVR-capable mobile phone and demos of devices running on LTE.

To reach its goal of one million mobile phones, the equivalent of 300 Empire State buildings stacked end-to-end, Golden said Samsung would launch more media sponsorships and in-school programs to teach students about cell-phone safety and offer incentives for recycling.

Samsung introduced the first eco-friendly mobile phone, the Samsung Reclaim, in 2009, featuring bio-plastic hardware and 100% recyclable packaging, as well as a fully online user manual and prepaid postage recycling envelop. Golden said he couldn’t reveal details, but to keep an eye out for new eco-friendly mobile phones using renewable, recyclable materials to be announced later this year.

When asked about a Greenpeace announcement put out yesterday that cited Samsung as amongst the equipment manufacturers that reneged on pledges to remove toxins in products by the end of 2009, Golden said the announcement referred to other parts of the organization and that Samsung mobile phones have been free of toxic chemicals since 2007. I can’t speak to other parts of Samsung, but the important thing to us here with our recycling efforts is to take a leap and take initiative on the environmental issue, he said.

Samsung Mobile president Dale Sohn also said that he believes the US handset market will grow 2 to 4% in 2010, driven by consumers replacing their mobile phones quicker than the traditional two-year upgrade period.

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