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Blog Post: Leasing

Continuing the discussion from Latest blog posts:

After reading this blog post I realized adavantages in modular design that hadn’t come to my mind before. If you consider leasing as a future option to have a phone it makes a lot of sense for customers and providers/producers to use a phone with a modular design. This way it is easier to be refurbished after the first period of use than a standard phone. This way you don’t need as many skilled workers which makes refurbishment also cheaper (I have no idea of the dimensions, maybe it’s not that much) so the savings could be passed on to the customers. More providers might consider including such a phone into their offerings for lease. This might end in a much higher number of phones with more than just one period of use.

I would probably not lease a phone though as I really want to own it so I can do with it whatever I want. Also in modular design there’s still room for improvement on the technological side of course. But a ‘normal’, non-tech-geek user who is interested in sustainability might appreciate a leasing plan for their phone so they can have an up-to-date or second hand phone and get a new one after some time. Once this idea is established, there could be a thriving market for second-hand refurbished phones. Sounds great to me, what do you think?

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2 things come to mind:

First: FairPhone often mentions how a phone is a very personal device. We grow an almost personal attachment to it. Will a lease plan where your phone is not truly yours and might’ve had previous owners compatible with this? Won’t people prefer a new device because, for instance, the act of unboxing a brand new phone grows a sentiment of ownership?

Second thing is that when we talk about refurbishing phones or recycling them, the first step should be to increase awareness about the possibilities among phone owners. The figures mentioned in the blog might be skewed because lots of people don’t know about things like Closing the Loop.
So phones end up in drawers because people don’t know what to do with 'em. Most phones don’t end up in disuse because of a defect but because there’s a newer, better, faster replacement available. People probably don’t want to throw away (or otherwise get rid of) a perfectly well functioning phone.

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Just a general comment, as I think many people already interact with the world through a variety of leases… whether it be your house or apartment, your phone on contract (which you renew every year!) or your ‘personal’ or company car… we’re all locked into contracts that mean we don’t own our stuff.

It’s an interesting point, because we might not see these a leases, but of course they are. You don’t own it unless you’ve paid your contract out.

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For people who are uncertain whether they want to lease or buy there could be the following two options:

  • Start leasing the phone and if you decide you want to keep it pay the rest of the price as if you payed in rates until then

  • Buy the Phone and if you decide you don’t want it anymore - instead of selling - send it back and get your money back minus leasing costs for the time you had it.

Would be cool if Fairphone offered theese options.

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That would be an advantage for the ones who aren’t sure whether a Fairphone is the right device for them. But I wonder whether this also promotes sustainability or not.

True, many people will. That’s one reason why we have that much electronic waste.

Also true. One aim should be to increase awareness (and in my eyes that is something Fairphone already does in a way).

Sadly, this is a change you can see everywhere in the world, even software like Microsoft Office is offered for monthly payments. Everything gets centralized and consumers more and more depend on big enterprises.

Right now I’m not quite as enthusiastic about the option leasing a phone any more :stuck_out_tongue:

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On the other hand, if I think about it, my First Edition Fairphone is so personal to me that I am not sure if I want to give it away, when it seizes to work. At least I will keep the engraved back cover!

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Think positive, that should be "if it ceases to work" :sunglasses:

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