Don't buy a FP3 yet if you don't like stock android or Google!

I do agree considering the treatment of property in general. But your statement was:

This may apply to conventional computer like devices. But speaking of “mobile phones” as we do here, I tend to place them among the field of embedded systems.
Here one may still do with it what he want, but if the manufacturer delivers the device with a appropriate OS and everything is matched, optimized, tested and certified in this form one may try to switch the OS, but the manufacturer need not cover such actions by warranty and imho does not violate anyone’s rights by preventing the option to switch the OS.
Prior to each purchase every products feature ought to be clearly described so customers know what they will get for their money. This should also prevent situations where one may unsuccessfully try to flash his mobile, as the option for re-flashing most sure will not be listed specifically as a product feature. Furthermore if one don’t like Google’s Android he probably is keeping the wrong product in his hands. Expecting the option to some day use the source code to modify and re-flash the phone without Google stuff seems to me a bit too high.

At last I also agree with the explanation from @calvofl0.

So who of the few that were trying to re-flash their FP3 can doubtless say that he done every single step just as proper and precise as the manufacturer to get the same result of a working/booting FP3 mobile?
I am uncertain if the GPL part in this case clearly should put each customer in the position to re-flash the phone with the provided source code. :thinking:
I think there is still much room for verification if the code is incomplete/wrong/broken or the complex procedure of compiling and flashing was not 100% matching.

I believe Fairphone is confident that the delivered source code is complete and usable. But consider this, what about Fairphone asking “individuals” what makes them certain that the code seems wrong, broken or incomplete?

You might be interested where this “horrible misunderstanding” comes from. Please have a look at that:

Are you really surprised about this misunderstanding? How can one draw a clearer connection between this bricked device and the supposed wrong source code?

Again: no. This phone was not bricked while trying to get the source code published by Fairphone working. If you believe so, there is some serious technical misconception involved.

Having the correct source code does not automatically get you a correctly compiled binary. You need to have additional knowledge to configure that kernel and do it right. It is highly likely that even experienced people don’t do it entirely correctly in the very first try. (*) Second, even if you have the correct binary, that does not mean, you get it running on your phone. Think of it: you have a binary on your computer - how do you get it into your phone’s memory and running?
There are other components involved, that are not covered by GPL, like the bootloader. The bootloader and the process of getting the kernel binary into the smartphone’s memory, and then the smartphones hardware to start execute this binary, can introduce any additional obstacles that have nothing to do with what the kernel does. Technically there is some chicken/egg problem: the kernel is supposed to operate the the phone, but to get the kernel running you need to operate the phone too - and this operation is obviously not under the kernel’s control. If something goes wrong in that state, its not the kernel’s fault - the kernel is only the payload here.

It’s only the kernel that is under GPL. But neither Android nor firmware components are. Therefore there is no guarantee that the end user benefits from the free/open kernel - the entire product is not free/open! One might ask what sense does this make - in my opinion it does not make any sense - besides for Google and probably the SOC manufacturers. Google did deliberately design the Android ecosystem like this, for their own interests. If you accuse Fairphone you are barking up the wrong tree. Fairphone can make the product more free/open by providing the necessary product specific information to help the community getting over the obstacles - but surprisingly you voted against this.

(*) Generally speaking, there is no bi-unique relationship between source code and binary; you can derive different binaries from the same source code.


Again: Yes. Of course yes, it’s obvious. And he even told me. He wanted to flash another rom (simplified explanation), in order to find a way to get to the system files backed up from the phone. Who is telling lies now?
Heaven, that’s annoying.

as long as it’s the seller’s property, he may do what he wants with it as well (again Article 17). I never tried to tell, that FP is not allowed to lock up their boot loader. But if I find a way to unlock the bootloader, it’s my right to do it. As stated before, this doesn’t mean that they need to cover bricks due to bad experience or bad luck. And even locking the bootloader OTA, while it is already your property is probably still legal, but really mean.

(and all the other statements related)
You might be right. And I fear, you are right. No one but Fairphone can prove it for now.

The only way I see to support the community getting this job done is by using my skills: Business knowledge and a fairly acceptable knowledge of human and customer’s rights.
Which is following:
I recommend people to ask for a proof of the correctness of the “delivered” code, according to the commercial laws. Even in case this is somehow covered by GPL to our disadvantage (which I also don’t know @Patrick1):
A. they need to prove that they did right (I already posted the law text above).
B. it’s a statement on it’s own if enough people ask for it.

And I am just giving a general recommendation to everyone who likes to have privacy on his phone not to buy the FP3 yet. My wife, who was supposed to get this phone is bond to a medical pledge of secrecy and therefore not allowed to share her Data with others (including Apple and Google). So, it’s not only a personal fetish but obliged caution in my case. Yes, not a lot of medical staff (and nurses, caregivers, midwifes) take care of privacy as soon as it comes to smartphones, scheduling appointments and making phone calls or even using Whatsapp and skype to talk to their customers (wtf).
@Patrick1, if you have a better option for my wife than a de-googled Android device and using local open source software, I am glad about a serious advice (PM).

The key here is the interpretation of “preventing”. I think most users agree that a manufacturer of a mobile phone may place warranty restrictions on users that (try to) run a non-standard OS.
As for actually stopping tech-savvy users from trying to do so anyway, manufacturers have a choice to make. On the one hand they should make sure nobody accidentally bricks a phone just by toying with the exposed settings, if they had no clear intention of replacing the operating system. Some safeguards against accidental software corruption and warnings about warranty when someone overrides these safeguards are in place.
On the other hand a manufacturer should respect the right to own and repair the device. Using sophisticated DRM techniques to prevent third party operating systems from running on the hardware at all cost is arguably (and I really mean arguably!) not within the spirit of ownership.
But this brings another interesting point: security. If users have a mechanism to replace the operating system, the core bits of the software, then what can malicious third parties, hackers, do with the tools implementing this mechanism? Consequentially, whatever mechanism Fairphone would offer or document to flash a custom OS has to be 100% airtight, not permitting e.g. installation of malicious software in the existing Android installation or the extraction of privacy-sensitive data from my device.
This security angle puts quite some responsibility in Fairphone’s hands. I personally don’t believe in “security by obscurity”, so simply making no technical comments on OS flashing would make me skeptical about the security of the phone. But whatever mechanism they engineer must be carefully vetted.


The bootloader comes up regularly in the discussions about alternative OSes, as it is a major determinant to whether you can run custom code (which can do basically anything). The security model for the bootloader specifies that when the bootloader unlocking process is performed, data on the phone needs to be wiped to avoid unauthorised access to any data.

Individual vendors may also implement other measures in the bootloader to avoid untrusted code being run. Whether the primary reason is device security or something else (e.g. not wanting to deal with warranty claims caused by messing with the system) is something only the company will know.

Regarding bootloader unlocking, two comments come to mind:

  • If I recall correctly, motorola devices require an IMEI-dependent unlock code that you can request from their support. The portal that allows you to request the code makes you agree to certain terms that include acknowledging that your warranty is void. When the device is unlocked, the boot animation changes to clearly indicate that the device may have been tampered with and that data may not be secure. No secretly changing things on someone else’s device (although I’m not sure that can’t be worked around), but it also looks like they want to make it clear they take zero responsibility from that point onwards and that you’re on your own. It will be interesting to see how Fairphone will act in this regard (as the unlock codes for Fairphone appear to be IMEI-dependent as well, the idea may be for support to log the IMEIs in requests for unlock codes).
  • There have been some reports by people who visited a Fairphone community event that the bootloader would be locked as part of licensing conditions for Google components, with a fee payable for each unlocked device. Apparently this fee was factored into the FP2 price, but is being handled differently for the FP3 as the vast majority of users has no need for an unlocked bootloader. If all this is true, we don’t know whether this means that Fairphone intends to charge for unlocks, or whether they’ve accounted for e.g. 10% of users requesting one and will hand them out free of charge when requested.

Side note:
See also the debate on encryption on phones and whether or not backdoors should exist for law enforcement.

If you return the device stating that the device is not in conformity with the contract of sale, the onus is then on Fairphone to prove that device either is, in actual fact, in conformity with the contract of sale, or that the non-conformity is the result of misuse or such if they intend to contest. As to what conformity is, that’s set out in article 2 of the EU directive you linked to (here’s a link to the English version for those who prefer that). I find it surprisingly difficult to argue that not knowing whether the code supplied corresponds to the binary on the device causes the device to be non-conformant to the contract of sale in manner defined in the directive. What’s worse is that for customers who purchased the device when the source code wasn’t available, it could be argued that they could reasonably have known about source code issue, which precludes claiming non-conformity (Art 2.3). If the legal owners of the GPLv2 code start legal action and the outcome is that the kernel needs to be removed from devices, I’m sure that would render the devices non-conformant.
If anyone wants to go down the route of returning the device because they believe the device isn’t conformant with the contract of sale, note that some European countries have variations in consumer law that require you to notify the seller of the defect within two or three months of discovery. When discovery actually took place or will take place, I find a difficult concept.


In either case … good luck with any of that with this community here :slight_smile:


Yeah, ‘intended’ would have been a better choice of words. Unless they patch it again.

Well, just stating, that the device is not in conformity, might not be enough.
You should add some proof or at least some information, that makes your claim plausible.
And from all I read about the GPL in this thread, that is a real challenge.
You will have to offer some explanation, that things are not working the way they should be when using the published source code. And that - according to my understanding - takes real expertise and not just the claim “You did wrong!”.

That’s at least my understanding of some explanations; especially in posting #20 further up in this thread:

Maybe this is an argument for Fairphone to consider the effort involved in opening up or even creating a Google-free OS: I will not buy FP3 as long as there are no reports of successfully running Google-free Android on FP3 - until then, another solution (currently FP2+OOS) is good enough for me.


Well, given how FP claims they value sustainability more than sales (their words I believe are “the most sustainable phone is the one you already own”), you may just have made an excellent counter-argument for them against releasing FPOOS for FP3. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Don’t buy that phone, thats what i tell everyone how ask me about my FP3, it feels wrong to use it, i wish i had never buy it.
I will never buy again a fairphone where is no google free alternative os avaible.
I wish i had return the phone as i was possible :frowning:

The performance of the fairphone company in this case is underwelming


Why did you?

Why didn’t you?


I just hope, you tell them as well, why you are feeling bad about Fairphone:
You buying a phone that is changing working conditions for the better for miners in Congo and factory workers in China and not reading, that it comes with Android and no open OS.

Please enlighten me, what new phone is has a google-free alternative available on entering the market. Developing such an OS always takes some time, if I am not mistaken.

Otherwise I guess @AnotherElk said it all sooo well already.


That is really something I’d like an answer to :wink: I didn’t have a smartphone before the FP1 and never had a smartphone by another company and not enough time to keep up-to-date on all phone manufactures.

The question I ask myself is “When you say ‘don’t buy a Fairphone’ because they don’t provide a Google-free OS, isn’t that like saying ‘don’t buy a smartphone’?” How does it apply to just Fairphone and not every other player in the marked (except probably Pinephone and Librem 5, but IMHO they are not mass-market ready (yet))?


Don’t forget IPhone. You can say a lot about it, but it’s Google-free, even at launch. And Apple’s business model isn’t based around tracking and ads, so if privacy is your prime concern it’s not such a bad choice… although it doesn’t come with all that nerdy full-control-over-your-phone goodness than OSS Android could offer, and they’re absolute pioneers in unrepairability.


well, I can’t answer for @karloff, but my answer would simply be: please show me another phone company that has such an amount of nerds and geeks tied up in it’s own community forum (or anywhere else).
but for some reason, the most most recent Samsung flagship (seems to be Galaxy S10, google told me) has LineageOS support already. Even though it contains a chipset that was just recently developed only for the S10 itself - unlike FP.
Is it maybe possible, that the kernel Samsung provided just worked as it should have?

uhm. I am having trouble with the definition of “open OS”. Sorry.
As far as I understand, Android is an open source system based on Linux and developed by google.
yes, it usually contains some proprietary software and some hardwarespecific proprietary drivers, but you can’t say, Android is not an open OS.

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When people ask me advice on what phone to buy, I usually take some time to figure out what they need. If they want a really good camera, for example, I don’t advise the FP3. However, many people have already asked me about my phone because they didn’t know it, and I always take the time out to talk about all the good work Fairphone is doing and why I chose this phone over the latest Samsung or iPhone. I don’t think any of those people are very concerned about Google, so why would I discourage them from buying the FP3? Especially since I love it so much, I could never feel bad about recommending it! To someone looking for a Google-free alternative, I say, the Nokia 3210 is just the phone for you.


The pinephone could be an answer. The Libremphone too.


I don’t understand the goal of this topic.

I have the feeling we all should be responsible consumer and look for information before buying a product. In this case, it is written on the Fairphone 3 that it works on Android. Point! There is nothing else to discuss. People who don’t want Google should try a Pinephone, buy a FP2 and use /e/, Ubuntu Touch or something else on it but not shout loudly about a clear statement from Fairphone about its new product.

I think this topic should be closed since it brings no useful information. There is a much more interested one for people who are constructive like FP3 custom rom development based on released source code.


I don’t think iPhones are relevant here. They are Apple exclusive. Even if Fairphone would want to build a fair phone based on iOS, Apple wouldn’t allow it.