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Apple iPhone reportedly consumes more energy than a fridge

Maybe you drive a hybrid car and recycle your plastic containers. Perhaps you have bought carbon offsets, and even installed solar panels on your roof. But if you're using an iPhone, you should know that a new study claims it uses more energy than a refrigerator.

This analysis isn't strictly talking about the power used to run your device, although that is a part of the calculation. The estimation of total energy usage from the Digital Power Group includes all the energy that is consumed by the mobile device. That means datacentres, Wi-Fi networks, and so on.

The report estimates that about 10 per cent of the world's energy is used in IT, and a lot of that power still comes from coal. Factoring in all the back end equipment, streaming an hour of video each week, according to the report, uses as much power as two refrigerators.

According to the Digital Power Group, the average iPhone user consumes about 361 kilowatt-hours of energy each year, whereas the average refrigerator only slurps down 322 kilowatt-hours.

So should you get a less efficient refrigerator so you don't have to feel bad about the imbalance? Maybe. But if you're really worried about it, you could choose to use your mobile device less.

The issue is far from settled, though. Forbes insists that the report is simply working from incorrect assumptions.

Feel free to evaluate on your own.

Apple is currently gearing up to launch the new iteration of the iPhone, which much of the tech world believes will be called the iPhone 5C. Follow the link above for some of the biggest rumours so far.