It's sad indeed to see what's happening now in India and China and we've been there before (remember the first industrial revolution!). That said, history tells us that over time, we will get better at recycling. Human beings have always found a way, and mother nature has a very robust way of steering us towards it....
I think so too, Rick. IoT is a disruptive technology that will create new opportunities for many players (silicon, RF, networking, software, apps etc. etc.) What is exciting about it is that it affects us ALL and in a very direct way.
e-waste is a big challenge. It is not so for the mobile as for CRT, coolant, ACs, Desktops and other electronic equipments. Mobiles somehow have a relatively short life cycle so despite the smaller size the amount of waste could be comparable.
There are excellent regular business programmes broadcast by the BBC in the UK and on the BBC World Service. And are, of course, available via the internet:
I have head a programme about mobile money before. Here is another:
GlobalBiz: Mobile Money in Kenya 20 July 2013
I have not listened to this one, yet, I'm a bit behind on my Podcasts. However, I cannot recommend this programme highly enough, so I should imagine this edition is worth listenning to. (I subscribe via iTunes).
I've watched a couple documentary talking about e-waste. Indeed, not only US but also the other developed countries are shipping e-waste to China and India. To certain extent, it is sad and irresponsible. However, the e-waste are selling with a price. China and India are buying them and recycling them for other purpose. Sadly, the recycling processing is as polluted as the manufacturing process, if not more.
Looking back to 1991 when the first GSM network was launched in Europe, GSM phones in Europe and Asia continued evolving for 10+ years. The iPhone was launched in 2007. The market didn't respond well until iPhone 3 in 2008. Barely over 3 years, the smartphone market has already been saturated. What a short product life cycle!
When a market getting close to saturation, product companies will start creating a niche to stand out from the crowd. All the gadgets, for example, Google Glass, Smartwatch, are created for this purpose. The finger print id from Apple is one of the many features that may make Apple iPhone to be the leader. Not quite yet! I like how the finger print is scanned and how it is being used. However, the limited areas - unlock a phone and Apps store authorizaton - will keep it from thriving.
The saturation of smartphone market is reality. Will it keep ambitious company from entering? When iPhone was launched, mobile phone market was seriously saturated and no one foresaw the data market would take off from mobile. iPhone with the apps store created a niche and they have become the mass market. How will the mobile devices evolve to create another niche?