End of sales FP2 bottom module

Mine too, even without magnetic adapter (yet).
But then, I don’t carry it around that much (and only occasionally & very briefly in trouser pocket).

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+1
Canfigure out why blue print can’t begive away to world community :-/

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You know who would repair them. Meanwhile I have the mics available. A USB issue is mostly just a brokes solder joint.

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Answer from the support of my questions.

Not enough for me. Still disappointed and I’ve lost the majority of my trust in the mission. I demand more details on the cost/benefice according to them to not have a solution for users who need to replace regularly their bottom module

Dear Alexis

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us. My name is from our support team, I’ll be happy to help with your request.

In general, our aim is to support our products until roughly 5 years of life counting from the launch date. Hardware and software are important sides of this support.

Since the launch of Fairphone 2 in 2015, we’ve been working hard to ensure module availability. Spare part sourcing will always be a challenge, especially as a small player in the electronics industry.

Ensuring the availability of spare parts becomes an increasingly delicate balancing act once the manufacture of the phone stops. You can read more about supply chain and sourcing Fairphone 2 spare parts in our blog post

We stockpiled parts based on future sales and refurbishment projections - while keeping in mind our environmental footprint and minimising e-waste by not producing more than necessary. However, since 2019 sales of the bottom module have been higher than projected.

Despite needing to end sales of the Fairphone 2 bottom module, it’s still possible to extend the life of your Fairphone 2 device and we recommend to check out the [Market section] of our Community Forum. Our community is very actively involved in our mission and arranged a second-hand market place for Fairphone products, including the bottom modules.

We remain committed to supporting all Fairphone users and other Fairphone 2 spare parts are still available via our [webshop]

In case you have no use anymore for your Fairphone 2 device and would like to give it a 2nd life with us, while also keeping in line with your values then you can consider upgrading to Fairphone 3/3+. In exchange, we are happy to offer you a discount through our upcoming recycling programme. You can already sign up and be the first to know about our new recycling programme on our recycling page.

Thanks for supporting us on our journey towards fairer electronics and please let me know if you still have questions.

Have a good day!

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I quite agree with you. The Fairphone reply links you to a blog post from 2017 which includes the quote:

“While we still can’t guarantee that manufacturers will continue to supply the specific components we need for five years, in the event that a component is no longer available, modularity gives us room to modify the design to accommodate a different part. In the coming years we will also have more working capital available, thanks to increasing sales and new investments. That means that finances will play less of a role in our longevity decisions.”

So where is that modification, where is the flexibility? A commitment to five years support for a product sounds groundbreaking, but if Fairphone 2 was launched in 2015 and ceased production in 2019, then it’s only one year post-production support. Not very impressive, particularly to somebody who bought a phone in 2019 and is having a lot of trouble with it.

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Exactly.

I feel like I’m not the one really impacted by the decision as my FP2 has been there for a long time (5 years) .

But what about the most recent FP2 acquirers ?

i’ll share here their next answers to my questions

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Signs of these modules breaking at a higher-than-acceptable rate go all the way back to 2016. This is essentially admitting that they have not taken this failure seriously for years, a rather gross negligence on FP’s side.

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While I tend to agree; we always should keep in mind, that this forum is not the “real world”.
There might be a higher percentage of users with trouble in this forum, than is representative for most users.
And it might as well be possible, that quite a few users gave up on their FP2 and did not buy a replacement module.

Essentially, we do not know, how things were looking on the sales side of Fairphone.

I am on my first bottom module as well and my guess would be, that it’s a question of the way one is using the phone. Maybe users in this forum are the more adventurous kind, which results in more and faster broken bottom modules. (To be clear: It might just be a possible explanation and does not mean, that it’s their fault or that they mishandled the phone.)
And if the bottom module for the average user broke after 3 years, than this would have caused a higher demand 2018/2019.
(Those modules broken within the first two years, Fairphone should have a most exact count of, as they will have been warranty cases mostly.)

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I found the warranty procedure quite complicated and annoying and a few times they wanted me to send my phone to the Netherlands. So after some time I just started to buy a new bottom module everytime it broke again although it have been warrenty cases. Avoiding the hassle was worth the money for me.

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Admittedly, I did not read all the messages here. I am also disappointed that the bottom module will not be available any more, but my disappointment does not go towards Fairphone but the electronics industry.
The aim of Fairphone is to change industry and this current issue is a proof that there is still a long way to go. As I am also working in the high-tech area with manufacturers mostly in China, I know how difficult it is to even get the same parts after 2 years. The industry is still of the kind “you don’t repair, you throw away and buy new”. Thus finding a manufacturer who is willing to keep up production of a very low volume (below 1k parts/months) is virtually impossible and I am amazed how Fairphone managed to continue the support of Fairphone 2 up to now.
So this is another moment where good will meets reality. And it will depend on companies like Fairphone to keep going, trying, despite these draw-backs to really make the change we decided for when we first bought a Fairphone. And it also depends on us, the users if companies like Fairphone will have a chance.
The intention remains to build a fair economy, long lasting electronics and ideally a circular economy. We still have a long way to go, it will be hard with lots of throwbacks like this one, but the fact that we decided for a Fairphone in order to exactly achieve these targets shows that we do care.
As said above, I am disappointed, but for our economy, not for Fairphone. Let’s keep striving. Let’s also keep supporting each other with spare parts once our phone definitely says good-bye.

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I agree with you and have liked your comment, BUT, all of the issues you have highlighted were known to Fairphone, especially upon manufacture of Fairphone 2, and it seems that decisions have been made that if anything make the problem worse rather than better.

It is simply wrong to sell somebody a phone in 2019 that is sustainable and repairable and then say that in 2020 you are withdrawing support for it in fundamental ways because you have ‘supported it for five years’.

If you want to withdraw support, as people suggest, throw open the blueprints to third parties to plug the gaps. The problem areas are not insurmountable.

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I agree to a certain point.
But first a tiny correction. We have 2021 already, when they are announcing the end of selling bottom modules.
It really is extremely sad, that they have taken this decision. But if they in fact sold way more than expected right in the last year of production, there might have been no more possibility to get new ones.

First of all; I have no idea if the did if or didn’t do it.
But I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from the availability of third party spare parts. My guess is, that there would hardly be any third party supplier stepping in for bottom modules.
Just take a look at the availability of third party batteries.
There were essentially no spare batteries for the FP1 and there are only 2 manufacturers besides Fairphone selling batteries for the FP2.
And that’s a spare part, that sells quite good and is a kind of standard device.
But I might be wrong of course.

And I fully agree with @DietmarP .

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Dear Ewa Gouwens,

thank you for having openly and honestly announced the shortage of Fairphone 2 spare bottom modules. Thank you also for the opportunity to discuss this openly in your forum. So I answer to your announcement email openly via the forum.

I came to Fairphone by the Crowdfunding Campaign in 2018. In autumn 2018, I used a special offer of Fairphone to their crowdfunders to buy a Fairphone 2. So your recent announcement may disappoint not only customers, but also crowdfunders which became customers.

After 7 years of using a water protected Motorola Defy, I renounced outdoor longevity capabilities in favour of reparability perspectives by modularity.

I understand your conflict concerning provisioning a stock of spare parts after end of production. This problem could be alleviated by standardizing the Fairphone device internal interfaces between the modules (similar to PC internal interfaces). With such a design, a “Fairphone 5” spare part would fit into the “Fairphone 4” and the stock-of-spare-part problem would have been gone.

For such a feature (as well as for outdoor capabilities), I as a customer would accept even if the Fairphone became larger than it is.

Best regards

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Probably the customers who accept even more size of the phone will be a low percentage. I must admit the size is the maximum acceptable for me also.

Your idea is, and I am sorry to say, wishful thinking. Universal interfaces need a fixed wireing. To keep your example: Is there a grafics card with AGP available anymore? Are the different DDR RAM standards (pin)compatible? Which CPU socket should be use for the FP4.

It would be really cool if cell phone parts become interchangable. I would be the biggest fan.
But even Google did canceled their project ara.

Fairphone is heading for a repairable phone, not a universal kit for any needs.

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While you are - unfortunately - absolutely correct for now, wishful thinking doesn’t hurt and might drive development or at least be a reminder.
Otherwise, we might get used to current limitations and don’t start questioning them anymore. Who would have thought a modular phone a real possibility after “the parrot” (i.e. ARA) was declared dead?
(To be honest, I expect enough developers out there to have an eye on this kind of things.)

Like the saying goes:
Everybody said it was impossible until someone came along who didn’t know that and just did it.

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Speaking of ARA, I wasn’t aware there had been usable prototypes. I always thought it died during concept phase. But here is kind of a review from 2 months ago:

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The need of something is the motor of progress.
The progress sadly is the killer at the same time. Standardisation evolves and creates new standards. So its hard to limit hardware which is in competive progression. Especially for communication devices and IT this is reality. We witness right now that a support of a five year old device is probably not economical possible at the moment. It could be, if we all pay higher prices of our devices. On the other hand even the price for the FP3 is complained by the customers here at the forum.
So I need to ask the question how loadable is the customer? Will he pay 600, 800 or even 1000€ for a phone to keep the possibility to eventually buy a spare part six years in the future while newer needs are growing in his mind of changing the device for a newer technology?

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That would be fair enough if it WAS a five year old product, It isn’t. It’s a TWO YEAR OLD product!

That’s an oversimplification. Sure, the last FP2 was sold two years ago. But then, the first was introduced five years ago (and that set the technical specifications). That distinction is usually not relevant for “mainstream” phones as they are typically sold for one year until the successor comes out.

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Hi everyone,

To follow up the email that was sent out last week with some answers to your questions.

We investigated many avenues to extend support of the bottom module including looking into manufacturing more bottom modules. However, doing so would involve re-certification of the entire product, which would involve significant cost and capacity.

Due to health and safety concerns, providing the blueprints or allowing users to repair their own bottom module is not an option. These modules are made up of almost 1000 components that are so small, delicate and interconnected that it is unsafe to allow customers to come into direct contact with these electrical components and chemicals. We do not encourage customers to repair or create their own modules.

We have always aimed for five years of support from launch, and after supporting the Fairphone 2 for a full 5 years, it’s simply not possible to produce more bottom modules anymore. We do however continue to support the Fairphone 2’s software and several other modules currently.

We hope this answers your questions. If you are still under warranty and your bottom module is broken, you can get in touch with our Customer Support team for an in-warranty replacement.

Best,
Rae

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