At Fairphone, “transparency” seem to be a relative concept. On one side was the traceability of minerals, the counts of production cost, etc… is a very good thing and high value of the company. For the rest - and I regret - this matter of communication.
In the values held by Fairphone there is transparency, creativity, collaboration, community support …
In practice this is not always true. Recently, one of my messages was censored on the user’s forum. Another time it was moved and merged into and old post, etc… Probably too critical of Fairphone.
When the crowdfunding of the Fairphone 2 was launched, it was suggested to us that the Fairphone 2 will be an open-source phone, that we could install other OS (Cyanogenmod, Firefox OS, SailfishOS, …). An example of openness. But this is not the case and they sold us a full Google phone (even if there is a version socalled “open-source”, without Google apps).
At the same time, for months and months, enthusiastic users try to port other OS to the FP2. But Fairphone deigns providing any assistance or answer some basic questions (including the legal aspects of using the binary blob required). No time, try by yourselves.
Fairphone also announced the development of its OS would be collaborative, community developers could make their contributions, see the evolution of the code … But none of that side. It is always opaque. During the updates, we must be content changelog announced, but you can not actually see what has changed.
More generally, the level of bugs and defects that affect all users, Fairphone is not transparent (and this is probably deliberate).
Several times I saw it. Even by participating to the beta program, when reporting a new bug, there is no feedback. It is not known why introduced a new bug is still there after one or two updates or if the problem is followed by Fairphone, or when it will be fixed … But thank you for devoting time to Fairphone to test updates…
How many devices are defective, what causes problems, wich fixes are made, what are the difficulties, the status of bug fixes? And what about the shop and the availability of replacement parts? You said transparency…
After less than a year of use of Fairphone, though convinced of the approach, I must admit that I am disappointed. Not on the imperfections of the device, but on the way the company works and its relationship with “the community”. Month after month, Fairphone shines in the media on the occasion of the socio-environmental awards it wins (which in itself is a good thing to see that his approach is recognized and appreciated), but almost forget it still accountable to its users and forget that from a technological point of view, the Fairphone 2 is far to be really recommendable.
I do not know what you think but i’m sure that some people understand very well (and share?) my point of view. After spending so much time promoting the Fairphone and helping people (in particular in the french community group of users on Facebook), this little rant still very fair to Fairphone.