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An update from our CEO: Reported software issues and our next steps

Hello,

I have heard from someone else who even exchanged the operating system, but the problem remained. Also, I did not disable everything from Google, only some functions. SO, Google does not seem to be the problem and if, Fairphone should tell You which Google functions have to stay switched on to make the phone work.

Anyways, I will not buy any phone with an android os any more, because I think Google should be split up. They are an irresponsible, much too big giant with way too much money and no tax paying ethics. May be, the open community should spend more time and effort to develop alternatives that enable real open markets to exist and that do not take an IT specialist to make use of the products.

Greetings

Ariane

I have more or less the same problem, and also NO TRUE SOLUTION.
Patrick.

Huh, these accusations are basically the same which the European Union has spoken out against Apple. Now, these two are the big players in the smartphone industry. Will you go back to a good old (and no longer available) Nokia feature phone instead? I do not like those practices, too, but you could compare these companies with children who have been told to not eat sweets. If they have any possibility to get chocolate, they will just take and enjoy it!

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There are a lot of different types of Android projects. I think we have to differ between AOSP (Android Open Source Project) Android One, Google Services and so on.
And there are community driven Android projects available - with as less Google as possible!
You can even buy a FP3 and a FP3+ with a preinstalled /e/ OS (which is based on LineageOS)!

And LineageOS for FP3 should get official very soon, too!
Indeed, it needs some steps to install a different OS like LOS on your device. But you don’t have to be an IT specialist.

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Hi @AnotherElk,

Thanks for your honest and critical feedback. There are several things we can agree on. Indeed, we do need to review our testing capacity, communicate more proactively and learn from this to avoid this situation in future.

However, we don’t come to the same conclusion that the current set-up with outsourced software isn’t working and needs a major overhaul. Most of it is actually working well. With the current set-up, we have more resources available, including specific knowledge for example to pass operator requirements. We also have a more efficient way of working on multiple products simultaneously. A large part of the FP2 development was, in fact, outsourced to Asia. We had an ODM and we currently have a software partner working with us. We also have internal software engineers who manage the outsourcing of the FP2. Additionally, we have internal engineers for the FP3. The only difference is that they are based in Taipei, working closely with our ODM.

In the future, we aim to have a single in-house team, with software engineers from both Asia and Europe, working with partners in a more consistent way on the software longevity of multiple products at the same time (FP2/FP3). Our current set-up is not perfect and there is still room for improvement, but our software longevity goal is quite unique in the industry and we need to iterate to build the ideal organizational set up for that.

That said, thanks once again for your feedback. We hear you, and we are working to constantly improve. :slight_smile:

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Personally I’d like to see this being marketed more.
IIRC the shop page (last time I checked) doesn’t say that software updates are planned for 5 years. That information is somewhat “hidden” in social media replies and some older press articles around the time the FP3 was announced.
The result is that I stumble over people every now and then who don’t believe me if I say the FP3 will be supported for 5 years (“but how can that be possible if Google only offers 3?”).

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Longevity can be achieved by stability, from which the FP3(+) is far away, unfortunately…

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I have read the reply from @rae to @AnotherElk , and I really must respond to it:

@rae Most parts of your statement focus on product development and administration, which, of course, are essential for many companies in the world. But I think you have not imagined what @AnotherElk has really meant.

For now, you really shall focus on one single product, the FP3(+), and iron out the bugs one by one, to get it back on track again. In other words: Please do your homework first to deliver what you have promised: a working product.

This set-up that you have been mentioning obviously does not solve the problems which have been poking FP3(+) users for months and months. Who is in charge to solve these issues? Fairphone, your ODM, or your software partner? Are you taking legal actions in case that these issues are not solved by your partners within a reasonable timeframe?

Please do not forget that you have a commitment to your customers, too, who have been supporting you on your way to success! If you let them down now, Fairphone most likely will go down the drain. Stability is the key to achieve longevity. Buying a non-working FP3(+) and replacing it by an “Unfairphone” shortly afterwards is just the opposite of what Fairphone want to do. And I really hate to say this, but you are clearly losing the focus of your goal.

So, please get your act together and fix your product a.s.a.p. We have always heard of Fairphone being a small company, but after months of waiting and making the product even worse (with the Android 10 upgrade), some users are losing their patience. Enough is enough!

I really hope so!

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Though I don’t have the actual FP business data regarding troubles, support etc.; judging from this forum and the message from the CEO, I unfortunately have ot agree with @DeepSea.

I really love, that FP is striving to get the FP2 to Android 9 and to level out the troubles with FP3(+) and that FP has found a setup, that enables to work on both products at the same time.
Still, it somehow seems, that the setup is not exctly working as intended. Maybe there are too many cooks spoiling the broth or they are not acting coordinated enough? Most likely it’s something, that is not easy and even less likely fast to solve.
However, I am sure, you are well aware of this, as your posting shows and you are working on it to get it done. I send you all my good vibrations to help you cut the Gordian knot; especially in those special times.

Possibly a key-problem, as @Ingo already pointed out, is the scarce communication. If there really are bigger troubles and this forum is not just a tiny bubble fed by the dissatisfied customers, those people that have a non-working phone need consolation, support and at least the feeling, that FP is making a difference in customer care as well.

Maybe a psychologist for your support team could be an idea. The right one really can work miracles communication-wise. In my humble opinion, some progress in this area is needed as well as it’s not only about software development.

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Hi Rae,

thanks for trying to clarify some of the issues.

A major one is missing from my point of view: Fairphone must definitely ramp up its support capacities. Especially first level is really poor in both response time and quality. Also, offering a kind of hidden web form and phone as the only channels here is anything but up-to-date.

Best wishes,
Thomas

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Even more so, as the support-page only recently was “hidden” under “Contact”, when the homepage was restructured.

But possibly that’s more of an issue for us, that we know how it was, than it is for new users looking for support. They most likely will click on “Contact” automatically.

Hi everyone,

To follow up on some of the responses received here.

@DeepSea, thanks once again for sharing your concerns and suggestions. We hate it as much as you that we have quality issues with some of our devices, but we are focused on solving these issues. However, we cannot only focus on the latest product on the market. If we aim to make our phones last longer, we can’t drop off the support for the previous products once a new product has been rolled out. In that sense, we really want to change the standards in the electronics industry.

By software longevity, we mean for example doing an Android upgrade without the Qualcomm support, which is a challenging project from an engineering perspective. Nobody is doing that except Fairphone, software longevity has to be achieved across products and was built from Fairphone 2.

That said, having both a fair and a working product is our main priority and we are actively working on finding solutions and improving our processes. As promised, and in line with our value of transparency, we will provide an update on our progress with the software issues some users are experiencing in the coming days.

The current change to the website which saw “Support” being replaced by “Contact” on the main header, was done in order to more clearly direct people to the correct contact person (eg. business, press/events etc.) as these requests were all being received by our Customer Support team.

We know there is room for improvement, which is not only a matter of software development, it indeed impacts the whole company from customer support to communication, etc., but we take our commitment to our customers very seriously and are actively working on these improvements.

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Hi everyone,

Please take a look at our recently updated blog for the latest on our progress. I will return to this thread as soon as we have more info. :slight_smile:
Thanks once again for your patience and understanding! It is much appreciated.

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I wanted to give a status update from myself, because at my last post, I was a bit upset with the support and the situation with my Fairphone and the ghost touches.
Meanwhile, I have been send a replacement display from the support and for 2 month I didn’t have any more issues with ghost touches.
Like I stated in the ghost touches thread I think that the problem is related to moisture in the phone and happens when the phone was out in rainy weather or especially now in very cold weather. I pack mine in a waterproof bag now everytime I go out (particularly when cycling). I hope that this helps and I won’t have any more issues.

But what I wanted to say is, that the support was very nice and helpful. Maybe they’re a bit slow in responding at the moment, but I’m now very satisfied with the solution of my problem and how I have been treated by the support. Very friendly!

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Hi everyone,

Happy to share some positive news on this topic. We have posted another update in the same blog. :slight_smile:

If you are experiencing any of these issues, and you haven’t already contacted our customer support team, you can reach out to them to be personally notified when there are new developments.

Rae

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Hello everyone :sunflower:,

The January update, with some encouraging news, can be found in this blog once again.

As always, if you are experiencing any problems with your Fairphone, please reach out to our customer support team, who will take care of you.

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