In the cost breakdown for the Fairphone 2, it’s stated that “The projected costs are based on [Fairphone’s] business plan of producing and selling 140,000 phones per year”.
Seeing how long it took to reach 15,000 pre-orders for the Fairphone 2 (roughly 2.5 months, 16 July - 28 September), I’m quiet sceptical on whether this calculation will work out, because that is only half the “speed” needed to reach 140,000 sales in one year.
I am not sure about the absolute numbers but I think even though the most interested people may already have bought their phones in the last months, there is an important distinction to be made between the pre-order and later selling periods.
For pre-orders people need to trust the company much more than when the phone is known to function and everybody is able to find comprehensive reviews or even lay their hands on an original non-prototype. Some questions which are still open may as well be answered, which might incite others who are waiting to order their FP2…
Edit: + They would not have to wait as long to get their hands on it, which may be important for all those who don’t have as much money liquid all the time. Instalment schemes might further help but this is still another subject and as far as I know not in fairphone’s hands.
Pre-orders are much more difficult to sell. Only enthusiasts are ever going to pre-order a €500 phone, 3/4/5 months in advance from a small organisation that has only ever made 1 product before.
The vast majority of people don’t buy phones in advance. They buy a new phone when they need one, and expect it to be delivered as soon as possible.
And lets remember that there are no reviews of the phone anywhere to be found. Hoe many people are willing to €500 without reading a single review?
On top of that, phones are not often than not bought through a reseller.
And finally, the FP team have spoken about making a big push for selling the phone to businesses this time around.
It’s certainly an ambitious target, but I don’t think you can write it off from pre-order sales.
On the contrary to your assessment, I think selling 15,000 on a phone with no reviews from a small independent manufacturer which has only ever sold 60k phones, despite being months away from delivery, and before FP has made a real push into other sales avenues is pretty impressive.
I know it’s a different topic, but ooooh would I love to see that! Fairphone for businesses … If it was possible to connect the Fairphone with Mobile Device Management Sytems (“MDM”), that would be marvelous!
We are working on it here… I’ve talked to a guy, who is an event manager for Three Austria and owns a FP1. He said that the Fairphone would fit Three’s slogan “It can also be done differently” (Es geht auch anders) perfectly and that he would spread Fairphone stickers in the marketing department. Maybe we see the Fairphones in Three stores some day…
If they can get it to work in the US and elsewhere - no problem. If they can get the upgrade modules as well as the replacement/repair modules side of things sorted - no problem. If not, well, we’ll see.
2016 is more than half way through and I’d like to pick up on this topic again.
According to a blog post, Fairphone has sold 40,000 FP2s (as of May '16). Assuming this rate of selling phones was measured from the beginning of 2016, it still would only reach roughly 100,000 phones when projecting the same selling speed for the time from June to December 2016. (Having said that I’m not experienced in market predictions.)
We as a community must not stop to spread the word about the world’s first fair-trade smartphone. And in my opinion, Fairphone should try to acquire contracts with more cellphone companies. T-Mobile Austria is a good start and swisscom has followed so far. But the biggest market in Europe is currently Germany and I’ve not seen any german cellphone company (yet) which sells the Fairphone with their mobile plans.
As far as I know, most people buy a phone with a mobile plan, because they either don’t want to or simply cannot afford 500, 600 or 700€ at once. So if it’s hard to find cellphone companies to sell the phone, could Fairphone offer an installment payment in their own shop?
You should get your phone at T-Mobile Austria then. Austria is used as a guinea-pig for the German market. So if T-Mobile is happy with Fairphone sales in Austria, they might offer the FP in Germany as well.