Why didn't Apple Use Rechargeable Batteries in the First Place?

By  |  Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Kudos to Apple for developing a more energy efficient charger for reusable AA batteries, and introducing it today along with the new Magic Trackpad. I’d glad that the company is advancing its environmental record by making less toxic products, but at the risk of sounding overzealous– it’s about time. Apple’s stylish wireless keyboard and mice are needlessly sending heaps of batteries to the landfill.

I bought my iMac early this year, and felt awful at the idea of having to burn through disposable alkaline batteries. A plurality of fanboy friends told me that my Magic Mouse was “pretty awesome,” but “ate up” its batteries. My solution was to purchase some Sanyo Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries and the accompanying charger.

I’ve gone through at least four charge cycle for my Magic Mouse; the keyboard batteries only had to be recharged once. Had I not taken it upon myself to be more environmentally responsible, they would be at least as many batteries sent to wherever Manhattan’s trash goes. My question is: Why didn’t Apple use rechargeable batteries in the first place?

Most of Apple’s customers wouldn’t have minded paying a few more dollars in their Mac’s sticker price. Apple sold 3.472 million Macs last quarter. Not all of those Macs shipped with wireless peripherals–for one thing, the majority were notebooks, not desktops–but many did. While Apple could have been more forward thinking then, it has the technology now. I’d like to see it begin to bundle greener batteries with its products.



6 Comments For This Post

  1. ediedi Says:

    I've always used rechargeable batteries on all my devices (bluetooth mice, remotes, etc.). I don't really see what the fuss is about.
    In what respect is Apple's charger more energy efficient? When left in the outlet not being used; does anyone leave their charger plugged in when they don't need it?

  2. Matt Says:

    Okay, that's not Apple's responsibility. That's a choice the individual can make. Yes, they offer it now. The option was always available from third-parties. In fact, they developed a charger with less drain once the batteries are charged, which is great. And now the argument is they should've done it all along? Take some personal responsibility. Apple's not who should single-handedly save the environment.

  3. David Worthington Says:

    It's called being a responsible corporate citizen. If Apple does it, others will follow suite, and far more people will be using rechargeables. Isn't that a good thing? And note that I DID take "personal responsibility."

  4. Louie Says:

    What levels are we falling to here? We now are going to get excited that apple has it's own battery charger? Come on now. Everything they produce does not need a fanfare.

  5. j c Says:

    You're asking why Apple didn't give you the brains to decide that with devices that run through batteries maybe it's a good idea to use rechargeables? I… I don't know how to respond to that.

  6. n-acetyl tyrosine Says:

    battery chargers that are made from china are always getting busted in our home;