IL-amendGartner anticipates global smartphone sales growth will decrease from 14.4 percent growth in 2015 to 7 percent growth in 2016. If these predictions are true, only 1.5 billion smartphones will be shipped this year.

The decrease in smartphone sales growth may not come as a surprise to many industry professionals. Consumers are seeing less reason to upgrade devices annually, with carriers migrating from traditional subsidized models to leasing models for devices. One of the most recent developments in the overall trend of slowing smartphone sales is Apple’s decision to extend the official lifecycle of an iPhone from two years to three years.

Increasing the overall lifespan of the iPhone not only affirms consumers decisions to hold onto devices longer, but supports the mobile device refurbishment and recycling industry. Increasing device lifecycles is one development in establishing a sustainable electronics ecosystem.

While this is a step in the right direction, mobile device refurbishment and recycling industry professionals will still face many challenges before achieving this goal. Read HOBI President Craig Boswell’s thoughts on the future of mobile device refurbishment and recycling, and the hurdles the industry will face while trying to achieve complete sustainability.