Fairphone 1 maintenance comes to an end

As @Stefan explained above you can install the latest alpha version of the upgrade Fairphone was working on. It does have some bugs, but so does Kola Nut and it has at least a bit higher security patch level.

If the community ever comes up with a port of any #software:alternative-oses you’ll find it on the #oslist.

Yeah but not a lot of chips with FLOSS firmware on them exist and those phones that use them are not sold much, because they are outperformed by most other chips.
Fairphones goal is to prove that it’s possible that there is a market for fair electronics. That’s hard to prove when you produce a phone that nobody will buy.

1 Like

I’m now using it as a secondary phone (i.e. as a PHONE, and for some news aps); this way the phone is still useful (and I hope it will survive the 2 fine version 2 batteries I have).

1 Like

Many manufacturers support their devices only for a limited time. But with devices from big manufacturers you can still get custom firmwares like Lineage OS and have your updates that way for many more years. With FP, this is not an option.


Actually I don’t see a big advantage in the Fairphone anymore that you can repair and exchange parts yourself. This was one of most important buyer arguments but when it came to the point those parts for Fairphone 1 were not available anymore. So I had to buy version 2 which is not much more sustainable and not the original idea which was basically used in the initial promoting phase. Now Fairphone 2 is making trouble sometimes…the feedback from Fairphone is not really helpful.
If you really want something you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse…that’s happening now with Fairphone. Sorry to say…


Ich glaube das Problem, liegt auch beim Hersteller des FP1, ich glaube der ist schlicht nicht gewillt, Ersatzteile zu produzieren Fairphone ist auch einfach zu klein ordendlich druck zu machen.
Ich kenne die rechtliche Lage nicht, aber so wie ich verstanden habe, ist das FP1 eigentlich gar kein Fairphone, so wie beim Tesla Roadstr. Daher ist es ihnen viel auch nicht erlaubt, die Platine, bei jemand anderem Herstellen zu lassen. Natürlich gäbe es einen Trick, man müsste eine total neue Platine herstellen, mit einem anderen Layout .
Ich denke, der Hersteller kann nur das Layout und den Aufbau schützen. Ich glaube nicht dass die das Copyright für die Platinen Masse haben.
Natürlich wäre es nach dem upgrade, auf eine neue Platine, kein FP1 mehr, eher ein FP 1.5, aber ich glaube, das wäre dem User egal, er hätte ja dafür eine neuere Hardware.

Ich finde, man sollte, mit dem Hersteller des FP2, reden ob er gewillt wäre, ich glaube nicht das es rechtliche Probleme gibt, wenn ich neue bzw. andere Chips für die Platine verwende. Man könnte ja auch das Layout so ändern, das es auf dem ersten Blick gar keine Ähnlichkeiten mit dem Original hätte.
Ist nur eine Idee.


Hi Ben,

die Idee an sich ist nicht schlecht, nur bin ich der Meinung, dass sie praktisch nicht sinnvoll umsetzbar ist, und zwar aus folgenden Gründen:

  • Fairphone selbst hat eine Studie veröffentlicht, in der die Emissionen und Impacts der einzelnen Bauteile eines Smartphones bewertet werden. Hierbei kam heraus, dass die Hauptplatine knapp 80% der gesamtem Emissionen verursacht. D.h. ist die Hauptplatine kaputt, lohnt sich eigentlich ein neues Handy + Recycling des alten, beim Rest lohnt sich reparieren.

  • Es wurden 60.000 FP1 hergestellt, die Hardware ist alt und nicht modular. Baut man jetzt eine neue Hauptplatine müsste man für eine sehr geringe Anzahl an Nutzern eine Menge Geld für die Entwicklung in die Hand nehmen, obwohl es sich für diese, auch unter dem Nachhaltigkeitsaspekt, kaum lohnt ihrem insgesamt alten (man denke nur an die Kamera) Smartphone eine neue Platine zu spendieren.

  • Wenn es eine neue Platine mit sinnvollerweise anderem Prozessor gibt, muss auch das Betriebssystem komplett neu angepasst werden, was vom Aufwand her der Entwicklung eines OS für ein komplett neues Handys gleich kommen würde.

  • Ich denke es ist alles in allem schade, dass Fairphone es sich nicht leisten kann, wenigstens das Android 4.4 Update bereitzustellen, alles in allem aber eine mehr als verständliche Entscheidung.

VG Joshua


Dear people from Fairphone, dear community,

like all of you I’ve been hit hard by the news that there won’t be any update to the FP1 anymore. I’ve thought quite a bit about my experiences with this special phone and want to share my thoughts with you. But first let me introduce myself.

I’m a physics student and will hopefully have my bachelor’s degree in a month or two. Afterwards, I’m beginning my MSc in Computational Science and Engineering, so programming is my passion.
I was among the first 300 people who made the very first batch of 5000 Fairphones possible. The reasons why I supported the idea, even accepting that I could loose the money (I learned later they would have given the money back in case of failure), were the following. I list them with descending importance:

  • The complete source of the OS would be published.
  • The phone is rooted out of the box.
  • It would be a phone to keep a lot of years, i. e. there would be software updates during all the time. --> ecological aspect: less resource usage
  • Improvement of the lives of factory workers and miners, less usage of conflict minerals (which I had never heard of before… thanks for raising my attention guys! :grin:).

I was quite lucky when the phone arrived. In the last 3.5 years I talked to some other people owning a FP1. They were not satisfied with their phone (touch screen almost unusable when it’s raining, bad camera etc.). I always defended Fairphone because it’s not the right choice when you want a high end device. I’ve always said that a Fairphone is more ethical and sustainable than, say, an iPhone. However, today, I’m not sure about the last one anymore. I think the sad truth is that an iPhone would have lasted longer, resulting in less resource usage. Of course, the social aspect would have been worse, but that’s not my primary motivation in buying a Fairphone.

Altogether, here is my constructive criticism:


  • Durable hardware in my experience. I just had to replace my battery a couple of weeks ago, but that’s normal for batteries. The pitty is just that I hesitated quite a while before ordering it because I was worried if the update would reach us before Google stops support with security patches… And no there’s no update at all
  • Root access without compromises. I’ve really enjoyed that point.
  • The industry has changed because of you! More manufacturers are now using conflict-free materials.

Conclusively, one can say that you kept what you promised the first 5000 funders: We’ve started a movement.

Now I want to express what I didn’t like so much:


  • The source code of the OS is really hard to find.
  • It is not possible for the community to participate in software development. There are many motivated and competent people, especially over at xda-developers, who want to contribute. Please let them do so. The best thing to do would be to set up a Github repository (or multiple for different parts of the OS). The best way (imho) would be to also make documentation, issues etc. public.
  • Part of the above point: Mediatek chipset It was known at the time when you designed the phone that Mediatek doesn’t often keep promises about releasing source code.
  • Spare parts. In my opinion, that one’s not your fault. In the beginning, you didn’t know how many people would buy your phone. To all the complaining people: I know it’s frustrating, but keep in mind that it was not even sure the FP1 would ever be built at!

Altogether, FP1 achieved some of its goals. But it also turns out that especially the technical aspects are a bit too ambitious to get it right in the first try.

Any ways, my sister is using a FP2 and only had to replace the back cover. The new one gets quite hot and leads to some random reboots, that should be fixed or at least be a warning about it…

I’ve taken my time to write this super-long post. Sorry :wink: But I also think that the people from Fairphone should read my thoughts since they explicitly asked for them. And, more importantly: Please reply to my con arguments. I’d like to know your motivation in your decisions. If you’re not letting the community know, I interpret this as lack of openness that’s completely inacceptable for a company advertising its openness. I read “participate in the community”, but there’s almost no way to do so…


P. S.: This morning, a Swiss newspaper published a small article about the end of life of the FP1: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtschaft/standardfairphone-i-nur-noch-fuer-bastler/story/31295651.
The subcaption of the picture can be translated to: “The first model did not keep its promises.”


Fairphone never promised anything![quote=“paulakreuzer, post:58, topic:30482, full:true”]

Fairphone never promised anything!

They always just expressed their hopes for things they plan to achieve.


Yeah… this is not a promise though : https://www.fairphone.com/de/2016/06/30/fairphone-1-upgrade-to-android-kitkat-4-4-coming-soon/

insisting of this argument of “they did not promise, it is just you all that are stupid and think that they promised something but they never said the word “we promise”…” it is just ridiculous. Also, people with FP1 which actually feel all these problems, will be even more angry at the FairPhone because implicitly you are saying that they used a subtle communication to say something but still having a shield to repair themselves with.

This is something the FairPhone must consider to review.


In a fairer world, you should be legally pursued for false advertising

… I doubt they have. Because that would require things like paying living wages to the workers in the factories, sustainably sourcing more than just 2 of the minerals used, a decent cap on weekly work hours (they allow 60) and support for binding supply chain responsibility regulations (which they opposed). I have the links to all of these in another message in this thread.

That post with the links is here, for those that don’t want to search for it.

1 Like

It always depends on how you use the phone. I work from home and only use it when I leave my house.

Before I bought the FP1 I had a Nokia 5230 for about 6 years without any issues, original battery (and I could still buy a new battery for it on Amazon)

I calculated to replace the battery on the FP1 after 5 or so years, use it for another 4 or 5 years… That’s my definition of extended product cycle and I was already alarmed when I read that Fairphone announced a new model.

I will surely get the 5 years out of the first battery and I can live with outdated software.


Well guys, this is not exactly what I expect from a company advertising their phone as sustainable and long lasting. As someone who bought the FP1U with sustainability in mind, this for sure makes it my last Fairphone…


Many things have already been said, but I still think that it is worth while still commenting on this issue, because some things are just not accaptable.

As one of the users who contributed to the idea of a fair and sustainable phone by taking part in the crowd funding, I now have to find out, that we cannot really speak of a sustainable idea. Where is the point in building a phone with a battary that can be exchanged when battaries are no longer available? Whenever I or some friends intend to by some technical equipment I start asking whether batteries can be exchanged, knowing that they are a week part that can make a otherwise still functional device useless. I do that to raise awareness of the fact that nowadays many decives are just looked upon as throw away items after a few years no matter what the conditions for peole who produce these things and for the environment are. Now, we learn that we have bought a phone with exchangeble parts but these are no longer availabe after a time period which is unacceptble. My previous mobile I used for ten years and I have got a new battary after eight years. Same with software. I thought that fairphone was a company which does not produce things for people who want the latest and fanciest functions on their technical equipment (which the fairphone does not provide anyway) no matter what the conditions for workers and enviroment are but for those who want to use the necessary basic functions taking into account the consequences of their consumaerable behaviour. The information on the termination of support does not at all agree with that. I will look for another company next time.


Okay, I’ll rephrase to make clearer what I mean: one of the aims of the project was to communicate the difficulties of making a fairer product in the electronics industry, and it has done so for me. Regardless of how well, or not so well, Fairphone succeeded in making such a products (it is quite clear from other posts Johannes made that he thinks Fairphone didn’t do so well), to me they did reach that objective and in the process have made me more aware of how other products are made.


All products have their lifetimes, and as a proud owner of one of those 10,186 specially engraved back covers given to the crowd-funders that helped get FairPhone started, I accept that this is the way of the world.

Many thanks to the FairPhone team past and present for getting this important product to market and helping shift the discussion and giving consumers a real choice.

A question: is a FairPhone 3 in preparation? The reason I ask is that FP2 has been available for some time now, and when the time comes to move on from my FP1, I would like to know whether I should go direct to a FP2 or wait for an FP3.


Exactly, We have to see Fairphone different from normal companies; some of the posters express anger, disappointment, hurt customer expectations.
While, with the mainstream companies, these feelings might be justified (but for the most part, things like discontinuation of failed products are handled more rigorously by other companies), we have to think different © with Fairpone.
The first and single differentiator has been fairness in the production chain. Not open source, not a different customer experience.
Most of the FP owners like to get part of a movement - which is yet to be started.
additional pillars might be:

  • open all sources, including hardware
  • open the company internal discussion and decision process
  • open the companies financial base to something community / collectively owned

These expectations have been there and maybe fed by some Fairphone statements but have not been in scope as far as I know (and contrary to my wishes).

Fairphone managed to state an important example saying:
-> it IS possible to source minerals and work from fair conditions. Some bigger companies start to do that now. Mission 1 accomplished. Means: Even if FP1 would be a technical wreck (which it isn’t, at least for me and my 4.4 Alpha version) it would’ve been worth all the money and all that human energy. Thanks to all contributors.
This is even true where FP workers conditions don’t yet meet FPs own standards - alone the publicity makes it worth (and we have a working not-so-unfair phone as a surplus).

Let’s see where this journey goes.


Fairphone’s @Douwe said this in that other topic:

Since the interview with Bas was apparently talking about “late 2018” I expect a FP3 in late Dec 2018, or speaking from experience, in early 2019.


which other companies?

1 Like

Philips for example: