Fairphone 1 maintenance comes to an end

These are not the news I wanted to hear.

Of course I knew that this would happen, but three and a half years are shorter than I expected (although more than most vendors do).

I hoped at least for a stable KitKat release. So, all the time you spent developing on this upgrade has been useless.

My phone still works, but I’m not sure what to do when it doesn’t. Buying a FP2 after you let us down feels wrong.


I’ve been using the 4.4 Alpha for quite a time now and am quite happy with it. At least GPS is working better than with any other version I had before, and battery life is not too bad.
But, I admit, I am neither a frequent power user and I don’t have things like google services or facebook or any always-on chat tools.
My next phone (if this one breaks) will run Ubuntu.


These are very disappointing news. As a committed FP-user from the first generation, I have followed the development with enthusiasm and also with the necessary patience. There have been frustrations, but the highly important aspect of sustainability has so far counterbalanced all of them.
Thus, I am happy to say that my original FP1 first batch still works perfectly, and so has my FP2 come to do. I am a happy Danish member of the German Facebook group Fairphone Freunde with more than 4,500 likewise patient, creative and idealistic users. We are very interested in a continued service and support of FP1, especially in the further supply with batteries. Batteries are technically seen a minor problem, but mean a crucial impact.
Can you please inform us about possibilities for a continuing production of batteries? Thank you!


From all the previous discussions it looks like producing new batteries is unrealistic. So a realistic approach could be to design a frame that would hold a third party battery (most probably with lower capacity…) and provides the correct electrical contacts. The FP1 in our household still runs fine on its second battery, so I didn’t have the pressure yet to investigate this further. It would probably be something like this:


As you do not continue, would you then please link to the public friggin’ kernel source ?

Thank you very much.


@wolf This is not the direct link, but you might be interested in this. Don’t get your hopes up just as yet though!


You’re right. I do feel let down. One of the things that attracted me to Fairphone 1 was its alleged sustainability, and the idea that it would last a long time was a key aspect of reducing its impact on the environment. It’s already impossible for me to download lots of Android apps as they are not compatible with the phone. I was hoping this might be fixed by the Android upgrade but now that won’t happen, so my phone (which otherwise works fine) is on the road to being obsolete whether or not spare parts are needed or available. I’m glad that Fairphone has made some forward steps with regard to sourcing conflict-free materials but I’m still facing the prospect of replacing my phone sooner than anticipated and I don’t have confidence that a new Fairphone will be sufficiently future-proof or have a significant enough positive impact to justify the cost.

I knew I was taking a bit of a gamble when I bought my phone as the whole Fairphone project felt like an exciting experiment. I spent about 3 times more on the phone than I have ever spent on a phone before and I wouldn’t have done that for any other company. I’m still happy to have contributed my money to finding out whether a globally fair phone was possible and financially viable. And I still have a working phone, so I’ll see how long it limps on for. But am I convinced enough of the project’s success to invest again? At the moment, I don’t think so, sorry.

(PS: It would be nice if you could fix the ‘special page for Fairphone 1 owners’. The link from email returns a 504 Gateway Time-out error message and the link from the post above lets me in, then after about 5 seconds kicks me out on my a*se. Kind of adds insult to injury…)


Thanks to all of you for the effort you put in to making the Android 4.4 upgrade. I used the different Alpha and Beta releases and most of the phone worked really well, with only Bluetooth LE being problematic, and I fully understand that was not your fault :slight_smile: It was a very worthwhile effort, which extended the useful life of the phone for me.

I have now passed on my FP1U to a friend based in the Netherlands, and he is very happy with it. I didn’t tell him that the software was only a beta version and he has not noticed that it is. Great work, and thanks again!



Sorry about this. We are aware of the issues and our developers are working on a solution.


I find it very hard to get my head around this.
Under the premise of focusing on FP2, I can understand the reasoning behind it, but stopping the work on FP1 after such a short time goes so strongly against the very idea of a sustainable phone that I am not convinced about the priorities. I wonder whether really more impact is made (globally) by focusing on FP2 (-> maybe! … I hope so!) but also I wonder whether FP2 will be stopped comparably soon…?
So far I am happy that my FP1 is still working well, I am also optimistic about the hardware, but I do use it a lot and I can foresee the time when apps I use regularly will stop working with the current OS…


Fully agree - I’m still supporting fullhearted the idea of sustainability. But after all frustrations many of the FP1 users suffered (i.e. OS-Updates …), this news is just frustrating.

Also fully agree


I’m not happy with this decision at all. I bought the Fairphone 1 mainly because I hate the idea of having to buy a new phoneeach few years. I can live with the old Android because what counts for me is that it works, I have not encountered much problems due to the old software and I accepted that.
What really hit me today is that there will not be any spare parts produced anymore. I changed the back cover, the midframe and the battery up until now. The prospect of something else breaking or not working and then having a phone with broken and unfixable parts is really something I was hoping I could avoid by buying this phone and so I am disappointed with this decision. This might be necessary for the future of the Fairphone brand but for me as a user who backed the movement during as one of the first 5000 buyers, this is disappointing.

Please mind, I still support the idea and believes of Fairphone and value the efforts it takes in sustainability, improving lives and work conditions.

But: There were bumps in the road, as one could expect when you do something new, but this is somehow seems like a full stop for a phone that should be long lasting.

edit: sorry, seems like this is now a reply to @katrin’s post, that was a mistake.


Can’t you at least release a new version of Android 4.2 with some security fixes? Please. I don’t need Android 4.4, but I don’t want to use OS with security holes.


Very much what @Isata said.

I may add that I recently broke my display, and I am getting comments from various sides that the “sustainability marketing” is crap. Only this weekend, I apologetically defended Fairphone and told several people that at least FP was still trying to get Android 4.4 to the phone - despite being quite aware that Android O is probably hitting the market this year in Barcelona as version 8, and 7.1 is the current version.

Given my experience, and the current price of €529.38, I am seriously in doubt if I should replace my FP1 with a FP2.

I wonder if you can at least set up a buyback program for people who will buy a FP2. This would be some kind of incentive. And I seriously beg you not to let down FP2 customers the same way. I convinced several people of buying a FP2, and in general they are satisfied customers. If the same story happened again to FP2 users - a drop of support well within the lifetime of a standard smartphone - this would be horrible.


I don’t have a FP1 anymore because it was stolen :cry:, but the main reason I bought it to contribute to let the project start was that was born to last, so I’m pretty disappointed.
I think that the minimum you can do for the rest of the owners of FP1 is to let them have a huge discount to get FP2.
And please, I have now FP2 and I’m super happy with it: make it last. For real.


Thanks, still hope for those sources the company worked on until recently.

This is a question of copyright. All the stuff that we would be allowed to publish is pretty boring because it is out there already. The juicy parts are proprietary to Mediatek. There are some Fairphone related changes to open source parts. But they are really really minor…

Did Fairphone ever consider crowdfunding specific spare parts? I am primarily thinking of displays and motherboards (as opposed to batteries) here because those are expensive enough to justify the losses from transaction costs involved in crowdfunding. This way you would have had the certainty that you would not produce a large amount of excess spares that would never be sold/needed.


This is sad new.
Anyway, can I still subscribe for the Android 4.4 Beta program? I would at least like to run the latest beta to continue using my phone as long as possible; I don’t care about the Bluetooth issue.


Hi folks,
what a great success for sustainability and environmental saving: I now have a 3 1/2 years young smartphone that was never developed ready (BT4 isn’t available until now although the hardware would be able to). There was a promise that the Android would be save and up-to-date… nothing!
I have a smartphonethat was bought with the promise of longevity and repareability. Well it was designed to be but without spare parts. who cares… Especial the batteries. My old Huawai 8160 uses its first battery since 5 years now and is pretty good. My fairphone battery quits its life 2 1/2 years old :frowning: The price for a new battery was so high, i made my spare unit myself. I can do this, others not.
Now canceling the development of Android 4.4 you lost all the trust I ever had in your honesty. We, that entusiatic guys that gave you our money to move something, we are dissapointed that you dont’t care about us. You don’t care about environment and all teh rest you promised.
By, you lost me. Be sure, I’ll never buy a fairphone again and be sure I’ll tell everybody not to buy such a crap. It is much more envirinmetal friendly and sustaionable to buy a smartphone that is well supported by second source and a big open community.