Found a really cool study by ZD Net that has occasionally no doubt made all of us ponder. I've had a thought that the total electricity consumed by a mobile phone from its recharging is worth less than one dollar (or one Euro actually) per year but that was an ancient number from very hazy sources. Now we have a fresh study by ZD Net who did it on a phablet-screen iPhone 6 Plus. They measured that it consumes 19.2 wh (watt hours) per night of recharging. In a year it amounted to 7 kwh (kilowatt hours). And by current US electricity costs that amounts to 84 US cents ie $0.84 to keep the iPhone on for a year in electrical costs.
Note - the industry has totally different (vastly higher) power requirements at the base stations at the cell towers, so its not a total cost. This is the electrical cost at our end. The other electrical costs are of course part of the costs of operating a mobile network and part of what you pay for in your phone bill. But yeah. Now we know. 84 cents per year, or every four days of recharging, you've spent another penny on your mobile addiction in terms of its electricity costs. Thanks ZD Net for doing the story.
So how is that then cumulatively for humankind. Again, its not much. The total bill to keep all our phones recharged in terms of electricity would be about 39,000 Gigawatt hours (gwh) per year (about five large electrical power plants running 24h per day - but this covers all 5.6 Billion handsets both smart and dumb). In dollar terms, roughly 3 Billion US dollars is our electrical bill to keep all phones recharged in a year.
Now.. for ALMOST all other numbers you ever wanted to know about mobile.. they're in the TomiAhonen Almanac 2015 edition.