Fairphone 1 end of life options (newsletter)

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Today’s Email … Mehhh. Rationally I understand, emotionally I feel even more dragged away from FP. I just ordered a BQ phone (way less fair :frowning: ) because the FP2 is to expensive for me and I have to say that I completely lost trust in the project. I will switch to my new phone and keep the FP1 as a backup and as a museum item. I will try to put the 4.4 Beta on it though and look how it performs.


Got my hopes up today after receiving that email - should have known better. I expect this thread will see a flurry of activity as people read that email and end up here asking for updates… Nice to actually receive an email targetted at me as a FP1 owner though, which slightly reassures me we haven’t been completely forgotten about


That quote is wrong. I understand you want to talk about how you understand the message, but if you quote, then use the original text of the writer, and do not make up a quote.

The message is:

“Below you’ll find resources to help keep your phone going for as long as possible, as well as responsibly say goodbye if the time has come.”


I’m disappointed aswell. Or more precisely I feel misled and let down.
I’m coming to this thread from a notification mail by fairphone. It informs me, that my FP1U “may be nearing the end of its lifespan”. The solution they offer? Buying a fair phone 2, or, if you keep using the phone, buying replacement parts or upgrading to Android 4.4.4… So I’m arriving here and there is no upgrade.
So that basically means: Buy our stuff. This is not the type of sustainability I was expecting. I have my phone now for not even three years. That’s not a lot more than the 2 year life span of other phones out there. Is that the type of business model faiphone is running? Catch all the stupid believers, who are willing to pay more than for a comparable “unfair” phone and then have them buy a new one not every two years, but every 2.7 years? The original price of the FP1U already was a lot of money for me. Now they offer me to buy a used one, refurbished FP2, with “only a few scratches” for 500 €? To replace a phone after not even 3 years, that was supposed to be sustainable?
I have to say the FP1U is in deed getting harder and harder to use. Many apps require Android 4.4 or higher to be fully functional, esp. for video applications. Besides that, it starts having other quirks like ending calls or behaving erratically. The USB and headset sockets are loose.
Now I’m seriously thinking about replacing it. I would even try to keep using it to increase its lifespan, but without an update it might not be very useful for much longer.
I’m not sure I want to invest in another Fairphone. Not for a phone that is below standard for its price to begin with, like the first one, and that additionally doesn’t last much longer than any “unfair” phone.


Der einzige Unterschied, der vielleicht zu bemerken ist, sind ein paar kleine Kratzer.

What does that mean, small scratches? Are small scratches on the screen a possibility?

I like the idea of being able to buy a used phone and support the project btw.

Also in my opinion FP sometimes lack the necessary instinct how to address (potential) customers.

But the way some customers are treating Fairphone by their bold statements? Interaction should be fair in both ways!

The certified resources. The recycling program. The worker welfare fund. The constant effort to finally have the public focus the social and environmental effects of electronics production. With a small team. All in vain? Small gimmicks to embellish the back story for the phone you once were proud to get?

I hear that often and of course I do not know your personal situation - but I know people who own houses and say that a FP is too expensive for them.
Currently I have a guest from India here. 36 years old, coming as part of a exchange program for adults. His first time abroad from India ever. Grandparents spent a life as true Untouchables. When this guy says that something is too expensive for him…

And why that matters? Because there are always people paying for whatever phone one may buy. And we are literally talking blood and tears here. Just read the linked documentations and reports in this discussion:

If you blame Fairphone for something - try to make a better and fairer phone! It was an option for Bas van Abel. So it is for everyone.

And eventuallly - who knows. Maybe Fairphone responded with that mail just to my questions over here :slight_smile:


I must admit it’s a bit annoying to receive such an email - which suggests to update - when there is no update (yet).
Especially with this masked ‘end-of-life-announcement’, I would expect a clear message to be included: ‘yes, we’re still working on the update, but after that one, it’s done, because we cannot afford it’. You don’t want to scare off users, but also should be clear and honest - it’s a fine balance, I know, but I’m sure Fairphone staff is capable.
In any case I’m happy Fairphone does sent out an email to the owners - I guess that’s not something that we would see companies like samsung or Huawai do.


You’re right, that wrong quote was not appropriate. I edited my post accordingly.


There exist more than one intention to support workers who otherwise would get less money:

  • I could donate and do a good action.
  • I could buy a Fairphone.

But is it worth to spend more than EUR 500.00 to get something in return that is known to be vulnerable?

Why not e.g. donate EUR 300.00 to a workers fund and spend the same amount of money for an “unfair” smartphone?

The list of things addressed by Fairphone is pretty long. My ‘small’ list was only to show that imho just looking at the longevity of FP1 isn’t a good guidance for ‘judging’ Fairphone. Remember, you are quoting my reply to Fredo1 which contained a pretty bold statement.

I think, that EVERYthing that Fairphone does could be done much better by Samsung or Apple or Sony or Google. They have the resources of changing the world for better in a faster and cheaper and more effective way.
Are they doing it? No. Anybody else in a broad approach like FP does? No. Leaves us pretty much with Fairphone - in case we want to buy ‘responsible’ smartphones.

Donating and buying an “unfair” phone? Not good in my opinion. The major point of the FP endeavour imho is to show, that fair devices can exist on the real market.
As for donating - I have the feeling that donating always helps to keep the status quo going. Soothing symptoms, not changing causes.

But is the FP2 (we are now not talking about FP1 here anymore) really so vulnerable? So much more vulnerable than other devices? Guess for that evaluation we needed some statistics. Looking to the car industry where much more expensive devices are sold by giant companies which fail regularly FP isn’t performing that bad. And certainly there are competitors in the smartphone industry with more burning/exploding batteries :wink:

Also - what is the source of all that fuzz in this thread? FP has nowhere stated (to my knowledge) that they will stop trying to support FP1.
They simply show possible ways for FP1 owners how to proceed from here.
Of course now reading something like “reaching the end of its lifecycle” isn’t something FP1 buyers hoped for 3 years ago. But following their story I come to the conclusion that they are battling the rules of the current market situation at many fronts and did not succeed completely everywhere immediately. Try yourself to find a manufacturer in Asia that produces spare parts for FP1 forever. Or try to port Android.


Huh, thanks for your long and valuable reply.

So for now it seems it is up to the customer to decide whether to buy a product made to care for responsibility or a product made for reliability. I would like to see both goals achieved. Maybe Fairphone can do that with their next smartphone.

Depends. Currently only FP2 is offered. So any “now” decision would be regarding FP2. Your statement implies, that FP2 is rather unreliable. But compared to what? A similar expensive phone? What does reliability mean? That there are software updates? That sometimes speakers fail? Does reliability also imply potential provision with spare parts? There could be a lot more questions to this.

My take on all this is a little different.
Currently you have the option to select from various packages. E.g. the Apple package which includes a phone and the way they treat workers and the things they care about.
Or the FP2 package which contains also a phone and all the things FP stands for.


Compared to a daily use at least until the end of the warranty period (two years).

I would say yes if we talk about security updates.

Yes if they fail within the warranty period.

It is worrying to see a lack of spare part supply for so many devices that are still covered by warranty…

@Gerry & @maik this is not the right topic to discuss whether the FP2 is reliable. Please stay on topic.

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I think the worst aspect of the FP1 end of life issue is the uncertainty. I have read through this entire topic and I am still not sure if Fairphone has given up on FP1. It would be very helpful if someone from Fairphone could give a clear answer to the following question:

  1. Is there a realistic prospect of the the long awaited OS update ever producing a fully functional phone? By fully functioning I mean a phone that is usable by the average user and not just someone with a degree in computer science or has sufficient time and expertise to spend a lot of time fiddling with it.
    If YES then what is the best estimate for when that will happen? And if it hasn’t happened by that date will the project be abandoned?
    If NO please tell us now so that we can stop waiting and make some other choice.
    If NOT SURE please tell us at what date the effort will be abandoned and we can decide if we want to wait or do something else.

Disclaimer: I don’t work for Fairphone.

Fairphone did not abandon the Kitkat porting effort, after they had passed their estimated release date of September 2016. Judging from this I’d say that they won’t abandon it altogether, but keep on working on it until a release happens. Everything else would be a loss of many working hours of the developers.

The only reason I see that would Fairphone make consider to give up on FP1 would be when Google stops releasing security patches for Android Kitkat. But that’s entirely up to Google and Fairphone is probably too small a player to be able to influence Google’s decision.

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Thanks Stefan for your reply.
If you are right that still leaves us with the uncertainty which as I said is the worst part. There is no point continuing with the developers effort if all the users have abandoned the FP1 in the meantime. Their time might be better spent on FP2.
It would still be nice to hear something official from Fairphone.


Relax, use your phone as long as possible, and do not count on a release of “KitKat”. When Google withdraws support for security updates, whenever that may happen, and “KitKat” is still not in reach, then it is time to make a change.


I must say I felt let down by last week’s message on the FP1 .
I’ve bought the FP1 to back the project showing the world that you can make a decent phone with respect for environment and work circumstances.
I accepted the fact that I paid more money for lesser technology than other phones at the time.

however… from a decent phone and decent company I would have expected more in terms of support. I’ve had to accept that I couldn’t properly use the bluetooth functionality and many times had to restart my phone to make it charge the battery.

Problems that have not been solved in the past 3yrs. I was hoping to get these fixed in the KitKat update promised for September 2016 (?!) , but with last week’s message I’m having very little confidence in getting this update and these problems fixed.

So until my screen breaks I can use my FP1 with the same problems and an increasing feeling of degraded security without updates being provided.

It looks like I’ll be looking for a new phone soon. Will it be a FP2? Don’t know yet. I’ll be reading up on the forum on user experiences so far to make my choice on that.


This is a great discussion and I’m also feeling betrayed by the lack of support for my Fairphone 1 but I guess that comes with the territory of supporting a new company 'kickstarting" a new phone. I still believe in what Fairphone is doing but because of this experience I’m not going to be buying a Fairphone 2.

By the end of the summer I will probably end up buying a new phone from Samsung. So there ya go. :frowning: