Anything that is not working in the fairphone project

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People can disagree. You think something is not important, JeroenH thinks it is. There is no way to convince him or you so it is better to stop your arguing :wink:


i’m so happy cause this topic trigger many reactions, shown many points of view.

Yes, but the question remains… why they did that? They can’t o just they didn’t want?

They said the same about FP2 :slight_smile:

off course, but i’m not sure that it would have gone just like that; instead maybe they will lost some buyers, cause not everyone can spend 500€ (or more) every 5 years.
Keep improving maybe it would have led to greater notoriety.

i remember very well that claim :confused:

I’m afraid fairphone will make us pay for its “fairness” (it’s okay), but in the future it wants to keep a large profit margin like other large companies.
My idea is that at the moment it is the best company from a sustainability point of view, but that it could do much better and does not want to;

it is the only company to produce eco-friendly smartphones and I believe it is taking advantage of this position ( it is still better than others, so we fit it well despite the many problems).

THE QUESTION; Is the company’s mission really to increase the environmental and social sustainability of their products more and more or is it to make profits from that part of the market that cares about social and environmental sustainability?

I believe you that you remember to have perceived it that way. But I think it was never said or meant like this.
Or do you have any source for that statement?


Interestingly, the Librem 5 has two M.2 slots for its wireless comms (one for modem, one for BT/WLAN). This is modular, but at what cost?

In place of an integrated mobile SoC found in most smartphones, the Librem 5 uses six separate chips: i.MX 8M Quad, Silicon Labs RS9116, Broadmobi BM818 / Gemalto PLS8, STMicroelectronics Teseo-LIV3F, Wolfson Microelectronics WM8962, and Texas Instruments bq25895.

The downside to having dedicated chips instead of an integrated system-on-chip is, that it takes more energy to operate separate chips, and the phone’s circuit boards are much larger. On the other hand, using separate components means longer support from the manufacturers than with mobile SoCs, which have short support timelines.[32] According to Purism, the Librem 5 is designed to avoid planned obsolescence, and will receive lifetime software updates.[33]

I haven’t been able to find NXP i.MX 8 on Geekbench. The quickest I could find is i.MX 8 QuadMax. It has 4x Cortex A53 1.2 GHz and 2x Cortex A72 1.6 GHz. 64 bit ARMv8, the A72 is 16 nm (compare with SD 750G 8 nm), while big.LITTLE it is only 6 cores. FP3 with SD632 has 8 cores, 4x A73, 4x A53, with higher GHz and 14 nm. A Librem 5 only has 4 cores of the A53 series at 1.5 GHz.

Performance-wise, if we look purely at CPU power, a Librem 5 is a downgrade compared to a FP3 (from 2019 with SoC from 2018). And the successor in the i.MX series isn’t much better. Depressing…

(I did check other features like WLAN and GPU but don’t have time now.)

Pinephone has an Allwinner. The successor Pinephone Pro (with one month warranty :man_facepalming: its meant for developers) sports the following (taken from website): The PinePhone Pro is the end result of this journey. It is powered by a Rockchip hexa-core SoC operating at 1.5GHz, and ships paired with 4GB of dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM as well as 128GB of internal eMMC flash storage.

IIRC it has a rk3399, RK3399 - Rockchip Wiki which has 2x A72 and 4x A53 at 28 nm (less performance than FP3). Another source: Rockchip RK3399 (OP1) | Processor Specs | PhoneDB

Of note, Pinephone Pro has near mainline Linux support.

I didn’t check MTK… Their track record is worse than QC, but I don’t want to dismiss them (they are #2 in this space and deliver serious horsepower)

Regarding FP2, Leo is making a USB-C replacement bottom module for it. But you can’t order it anymore.

eco-friendly smartphones and I believe it is taking advantage of this position

You are implying that in a ‘bad’ way and polarizing a multifaceted operation.

Fairphone’s goal was to promote fair trade materials and working conditions via a smart phone.

They have done that. So from my view they are using the phone, with it’s eco sustainability aspect to promote fair trade. In that sense they are taking advantage of the desire of eco freaks to want a sustainable phone in order to support fair trade, ‘good’ on them.

No one has to buy the phone so I can’t see how it could ever be polarized in a negative way.

Is the company’s mission really to increase the environmental and social sustainability of their products more and more or is it to make profits from that part of the market that cares about social and environmental sustainability?

Neither: It’s to promote fair trade via both


It was explained in an email and dicussed here: End of sales FP2 bottom module - #5 by aylicarper


thank you :slight_smile:

I don’t find it a completely satisfactory answer unfortunately :confused:

Truly, and I would never want to be disrespectful, it seems to me that a lot of the answers I get come from diehard fans, rather than critical consumers.
it is as if there was a romantic falling in love with the company that does not allow to objectively evaluate even the critical issues.

Unlikely not and also I may not have reported the keywords in the most correct way; the general sense was that;

However in the blog the possibility of new models was omitted, such as the discontinued production of components, as well as that the upgrades would have been only a few and one per generation. Everything suggested quite the opposite. You can check it easily (I am referring to the launch period of the FP2).

I am not a fan of Fairphone nor would I promote or encourage anyone to buy a ‘Fairphone’

Criticisms are essential but who is the target of the criticism. Inanimate objects cannot be the target for a response whether a volcano, a fork or a phone.

When there is an artefact the manufacturer can be criticised, but there is the question as to what purpose is the criticism.

Often it seems people are not satisfied with the product, but here the product is a not so much a phone as a way of getting consumers to consider the impact on the labourers not the consumers.

So for someone like me the fairtrade is the focus. For example I buy Fairtrade and organic rum from Paraguay. There are better tasting rums but I do not criticise ‘Papagayo’ for their rum nor for that matter other less caring manufacturers.

So if there is a sensible criticism then approaches to Fairphone may be a more productive use of interaction rather just blowing hot air on the forum members, or do both or either.

Maybe Fairphone will take some notice but I bet they have heard it all before.

I couldn’t do any better or anywhere near as good a job as they have done.

There are aspects of the phone and the support that leave me tired and wanting out of this mire, but that where the lotus grows.

thant’s is absolutely not the point; both go togheter necessarily; i didn’t say that they are not working in that direction, but that can do it better.
Is not a case futhermore that Fairphone is an S.r.l. and not non-profit cooperative (non-profit cooperative does not mean that workers should not have more than decent wages, rather that profits do not go to the owners, but are reinvested in development)

I think mine is a “sensible criticism”; i think that the forum is one of the correct’s place to share opinion and open a debate also to move some respectful critic to some other opinion than mine :wink:

like i say it wasn’t my intention to offend anyone. Maybe “diehard” is a disrispectful term? in this case sorry, i’m not a native speaker.

I am among the active members of a repair café and the theme of repairability and programmed obsolescence is very dear to me. This makes me a very demanding person on these issues.


By the way I am not offended :slight_smile: just a bit bemused by what people see as a priority, which leads to a range of criticisms.

Whereas I like the notion that people can take responsibility in repairing their phones and other utilities, this then reaches out to the planet.

And here’s where I diverge from business as a producer of artefacts, and there is always criticism due to the artist and manufacturer but where fairtrade is at the forefront I find it difficult to address as the strong always exploit the weak. It’s the business of the soul, dare I say :slight_smile:

I do what I can on every day issues, not a public cafe. Did that decades ago, now it’s down to the sun, soil, rain and wind.

Glad to know you are at the public end of being aware of the human consumer indulgence.

Good luck with the cafe and your colleagues.


Sure, nevertheless, having arrived in the FP2 era just before the FP3, I can assure you I don’t consider the FP2 as a stable phone, whatever FP might have said about it, whereas from what I have heard of it, the FP3 seems to be, although not always highly satisfactory, much better designed (i.e not having microphone/USB/reboots issues due to hardware). Software is an issue I agree, but I hope they do better with FP4.

FP2 sales went down already in 2017 and 2018, at the point that people thought Fairphone as a company was dead. The FP3 was needed then.

Would you rather pay a cheap 150€ phone every two years? Comes down about to the same price, but not the same environmental impact.

Honestly, I doubt it, as I said before very few people would buy the FP2 in 2019, because unfortunately not many buyers like you or me find the FP2 satisfactory enough still today, and if you don’t have any buyers, then your company remains a concept. And even by improving it, if there are hardware issues, then you’ll spend even more money buying spare parts and improvements.
Maybe the FP4 is good enough for this.


a lot of cheap phone last more than that! especially if you take care of them and, as i said, paradoxally often are more easy to repair than precious model of FP ( simply cause of lack of component) :frowning:

My “two cent’s moral” FP company is forcing me to buy FP3 or FP4;
this is something i would have expected from apple, but not for this company :frowning:

it reasonable would not happen, it is always cheaper to repair if there is a chance!

Unfortunately it is not always cheaper to repair than to buy. It is typically the case of a 150€ smartphone when you have to fix the screen if you don’t know how to do it yourself.


yes off course, i referred to FP project in that case.
Apple’s device, for example, are absolutely super expensive in matter of fixing ( and not only)…
They should call instead of iphone, unfairphone for many point of view :slight_smile:

i suggest to see this documentary :slight_smile: Il vero prezzo del tuo smarthphone-Documentario/The real price of your mobile phone-Documentary - YouTube

While I truly understand this reasoning, it is not exactly to the point.
When it comes to the FP2, I regularly link to this online-article from techcrunch based on an interview with Bas van Abel:
Can Fairphone 3 scale ethical consumer electronics?

The important part in that regard is this:

With the Fairphone 3 he says the company sought to dial down the “radical” modularity of its earlier crack at the concept — so the result is less of a ‘party trick’ smartphone design, as the Fairphone 2 was (he dubs it a “show off” phone) — and more, well, dull but worthy; modularity as a utility that’s there to enable (occasional) repairs.

“You don’t need the phone to be so super smooth in taking apart to be able to repair it,” he says. “Fairphone 2 goes beyond the idea of repairability. It’s more a show off phone in that sense. And that also comes with risks.”

While I am sure, that they did not intend the FP2 to be a show off phone, it turned out that way. I myself disassembled my FP2 quite often (i.e. taking off the display) to show others the concept of the Fairphone and advertise it.
The lesson that unfortunately had to be learned, is, that this kind of modularity does result in lots of troubles. Finally, the bottom module showed itself to be the weakest point. And, as @Alex.A already pointet out, trying to keep this concept alive at all costs would have meant burning money, which a small company like Fairphone most likely could not afford.

The judgement of Fairphone as a company should not based on experiences with the FP1 and FP2, as they - in my opinion - were just finding their way. I felt like a kind of beta-tester with my FP1 and FP2. :wink:
While those two phones were introduced by crowdfunding - thus making it obvious, that one buys a product in progress/development -, the FP3 was the first mode introduced via a press-conference / mass media. And that’s, where my reasoning stems from. :grinning:


me too :slight_smile:

your reasoning is well argued and clear! Thank you.
however it seems to me to be a certainty that if I buy an FP3 or FP4, fairphone as a company will push me in a few years to buy the FP4 or the eventual FP5 respectively.
This is the trend that I see and that nothing seems to deny :confused:

No one’s pushing you to buy a phone, any phone.

There’s only so long the core module can be maintained be that 5 years or whatever and hence a new phone is developed around a ‘new’ SoC. Along with that are new modules 5G, WiFi-7 etc and they are not easily changeable within the same basic structure.

So we have a new phone.

If you are happy with the specs of the old phone you keep it as long a you can. I have one ten years old (not a Fairphone).

My old phone didn’t have WiFi calling and I have no network coverage where I reside so a new phone was useful. Being made with Fair traded materials etc made it must have.

So are you saying it’s not so much the FP4/5 that is the problem but that you don’t think your FP2 is going to last as long as you would like?

Do you really think it’s a working business option for Fairphone to keep the FP2 on the market. I’m sure if they thought it was they would have done so.

So it’s on the next iteration of this project of finding uses for Fairly traded minerals. After all that was the starting point not pampering to the usability and repairability of the consumer.

So the production line keeps it head above water and us consumers go under a little.

We can’t all float on the labour of others, some of us have to be the raft or holding up the sinking ship.

If you can hold out wait for the FP5 6 or 7 if they float you way maybe.

Anyway us holders of Fairphones clearly have our heads above some of the mire, or at least a nose.

thanks for reasonable answer.
Yes i desired a phone with fair trated materials and without planned obsolescence. and it is not a whim of a single consumer , but a different vision of production ( many you are confusing my post as a request for the complaints department, minimizing the problem; and yes as a consumer i can only ask for this and and choose to give my money to one company instead of another.)

i already answer to that question before: we don’t know, they surely believed so.
but the question regarding sustainability is social and ecological in the same way the two things go together, it is now clearly understood.
from the official balance sheets, it is clear that some were compulsory choices? and if this is not shown, doubt is reasonable.
(if it had been a mandatory choice they would have over-advertised it - which they did in the step between 1 and 2-).
it is simple logic.

I’m pretty sure I’ll buy a new fairphone, but I believe even more new, even more sustainable projects are possible and necessary if we really want to change our impact on the planet.

Maybe i’m a dreamer, but i’m not the only one tra là là.

However I am satisfied with this debate.

thanks to all who participated.

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