Anything that is not working in the fairphone project

, ,

You mean ‘me’ “support their product passionately” I wouldn’t recommend the phone to anyone. You have some unhealthy ideas about me.

You mean my friends and family lie to me ?? You appear to be residing in the world of paranoia :zombie: and deceit :business_suit_levitating: compared to the one I’m cultivating.


This seems less and less about the the Fairphone and more about your personal views on other people (me, my friends and family).


Could you please stop making everything about you?

This was and is not about you:

You don’t give support for the product, the company behind it does (with their heart).

As for that you and your family and friends are unaware of a problem, perhaps you all don’t know about an issue because you are ignorant about it? In logic, lack of proof for X does not equate the opposite of X is true.

So what is not working in the fairphone project.

There seems to be some heated concerns over the ‘firmware’ not being updatable in two or three years.

Is that a real concern? Am I too dumb to understand and too lucky not to have to care.

The talk of “Qcomm decides to stop supporting the hardware”

What does that really mean? Is it just about the firmware? If so would it be useful to have a topic specific to that issue, as it seems not to be a Fairphone problem.

Hey @anon9989719

You seem to be a nice guy and you are super active in this forum. So I’ll try once again to explain the issue to you.

Let’s start with the easiest thing:

would it be useful to have a topic specific to that issue, as it seems not to be a Fairphone problem.

It’s a Fairphone problem because they are the only phone manufacturer that promises to give their device software support past the date where the SoC vendor (Qualcomm) stops giving the SoC in the phone software support.

The talk of “Qcomm decides to stop supporting the hardware”

What does that really mean?

Qualcomm sells SoCs. The core component of every smartphone. They contain the processor, RAM, storage, the modem and often even more. These SoCs are highly complex products. They are so complex that they run their own low level software called “firmware”. This SoC has bugs. It’s unavoidable. This holds true for any modern processor of software system. It’s just how it is. Some of these bugs are discovered from time to time. Sometimes they can be abused by evil people. Let’s say you are using a Smartphone that has such a bug. The bug was discovered. The bug is in the modem (contained in the SoC). Qualcomm ended the support and it won’t be fixed. In this situation, let’s assume I’m an evil person and I send you a SMS. This SMS might be enough to take over your phone. This means I could let your phone silently call my pay-phone hotline to steal money from you. I could download all the photos you store on your device. I could read all the notes, texts and passwords you store on your device. I could listen in to you whenever I want by activating the microphone. I could watch you whenever I want by activating your camera. I could steal money from your bank account if you use banking apps. I could store forbidden media on your phone and call the cops on you (because I know from your GPS where you live).
All because of a bug in the modem and an evil SMS. And be aware: you will never know that I took over your phone. All this happens completely unnoticed.

Is that a real concern? Am I too dumb to understand and too lucky not to have to care.

I hope the text above is enough to convince you that it is in fact a real concern. And I’m sure you are smart enough to understand.

I don’t know anyone without a mobile phone and I’ve had one since 1996 and I’ve never come across a problem, let alone one co-incident with a firmware security issue.

More relevant I’ve never met anyone who has.

Just have a look here:

These are all security issues that were discovered with Qualcomm SoCs in November 2020.
There are over 20. In a single month. Not all of them might be as severe as my example above, but some like these do occur often enough to pose a threat.

Look at this overview:

Lists like this are published every single month. This is not a Qualcomm specific issue. It’s the same for every modern chip and for every modern software. The end of official support means that nobody fixes those issues. And yes this is terrible. You might have never heard about this but this is reality.

Just because it never happened to you doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Look at this case:

Woman tries to kill herself because someone hacked into her phone. Believe me: this issue is important.


Thank you for your detailed reply, it is helpful in understanding your concerns, but one point :slight_smile:

The example you gave about WhatsApp. You are showing that as an example, where the issue is the SoC. Are you implying that the WhatsApp breach was a SoC issue. I would have thought it was either bad management on the user or an app failing.

The point I’m trying to make is that the readers of this forum are generally quite happy with Fairphone as a company and there maybe 10 times that amount that are never heard from and hence don’t benefit or are encumbered by the topics.

More to the point is that the 5 years of support, I imagine, is largely seen as
a) the warranty, which ensure the phone works.

  • The possibility of user repairs and hardware upadates
    b) the likelihood of OS updates with associated security patches for 5 years or more
    c) I don’t think the average or common user is concerned about firmware security vulnerabilities or even heard of them as such

so I see this issue as only important for a very small amount of people. It is likely that not even one person will be effected by any firmware issue but many by other software issue etc.

So I think Fairphone have their priorities set for their business model which I’m happy to support by buying their phones, plural

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.