Fairphone 1 maintenance comes to an end

Very disappointing! And now we are probably expected to buy the FP2, how convenient!

As any other product, un-FairPhone proves it is just another phone trapped in programmed obsolescence …
What is most upsetting of this is that FairPhone used us FP1 buyers as guinea pigs and now turn their back on their first supporters.
This is very annoying coming from what I thought was a committed, ethical, responsible, honest, and fairer company, with a positive mission and a great idea.
It turns out they are just delivering hardcore green washing.
Sadly I bought into it and believed their story.
I am gladly not recommending this phone to anyone …


Sorry, but I can not share this point of view. In my opinion we all knew (or at least could and should have known), that it was a first time phone by a new startup. If I was a guinea pig, I knew it. They even shared the evolution process of the phone, so it was clear, that FP1 was an off the shelf version of a chinese manufacturer.
Well, what can be expected, when this manufacturer has even droped out of the phone-business? I for sure have never thought about Fairphone taking over the production.
One may see it as turning the back on him/her, but I concede, that they virtually have no other opportunity, as long as they intend to stay in business. And what good would it have brought to spend more resources on the outdated FP1? Production of spare parts would have cost a small fortune, so that the price they would have to ask for them no one would be willing to pay. The software development problems have been discussed wide and long in this forum and it seems the obstacles could not be overcome with a reasonable effort given the shrinking numbers of FP1 in use.
Well, as I almost always state at this point, some more explanation by Fairphone would have been really appreciated (some cost calculation for the production of displays and batteries for example).

Sorry, if you feel that way; I tend to grant Fairphone, that they have done everything they could to keep FP1 alive (besides a lack of communication), as I have no hint otherwise. The FP1 just stands to prove, that the target Fairphone is aiming at, can only be achieved one step at a time. Fairphone just has to prove over and over again, that they are learning their lessons.
And on behalf of that the FP2 was quite a logical way in the right direction, being modular, developed by Fairphone itself and with better specs and more fair minerals.

Of course that’s not the end of the road to a truly fair phone.
If you have lost the faith and are not willing to buy into it again, well, that’s up to you.
I, at least for myself, have come to the conclusion, that I am willing to support them on that way, as long as I do not get the feeling, that they get lost in the translation.

When it comes to recommending this phone i.e. the FP2, I always check what the phone might be needed for. If someone want’s to play the latest games all the time, stream lots of videos and be online for hours in a row, I would at least advise to have a powerbank ready to have enough power.
If someone wants to just use it as a phone, with the occasional navigation, download or browsing, I always advertise this phone.
Although I everytime do point out, that it’s still a new company and a new phone, that some people really had trouble with. Yet, it is worth a try and I would expect the phone to become more reliable and the quality control better with time; especially if they do not develop new phones from scratch with every new Fairphone.

No one - of course - needs to buy a FP2, but opt for any other manufacturer, buying a cheaper phone with even better specs, that might last as long as the FP1 or even longer. I can’t and would not blame anyone for it.
This way one just does not support the improvements towards a fairer production chain that Fairphone is working on. And that - basically - is the difference Fairphone makes for me; given the active and helpful community, the possibility to switch OSs (which I did not) and the chance for upgrades in the future as an add on.
On that behalf donating money - to me - is not the same, as it does not change the way the industry is working (therefore my reference to the production chain). The same goes for a second hand phone, that has been replaced by another conventional phone. It is a valuable, ecological sane and a good decision, but it does not influence the way the industry is working.

EDIT: Did some editing to the posting to rather generalize my opinion, as I did not intend to offend or attack someone personally.


This is sad news. Not according to the spirit of Fair Trade and Durability.
(PS: durability, a suggestion for life cycle analysis http://www.openlca.org/ )

I have an FP1 and access to a FP2.

A suggestion:

  • The sizes of the 2 phones are quiet different. Personally for me the FP2 is to big, so i probably won’t buy it.
  • Why not continue with a medium (FP1) and large (FP2) phone?
  • Whatever then can be reused from the FP1 to continue the medium line?
    ** It might even be an (invasive) diy? Maybe even on a organised meetup?

In the long term i think the only option for durability would be a full open source stack. (software, hardware)

Anyway, thanks for the good work. One can try to make a difference, some succeed.


Hello, This is my first post to the forum, so it is very unfortunate that I have to say, I feel sad, not only for myself, but also for Fairphone. I am disappointed by the abandonment of Fairphone1 maintenance. I have recently been coming up against the need for an operating system of 4.3 or above. I have 4.2.2, so I am finding my Fairphone1 unable to meet developments I expected would be met when I purchased. I had saved for a long time to buy Fairphone1, but with the price for a Fairphone2 now beyond my means, at more than my monthly income, Fairphone is not so fair, being an item for the rich people only.
What is the trade in or exchange value of a Fairphone1 towards a Fairphone2?


I would like to suggest you write to Fairphone and tell them you have a FP1 and what would be the cost of a refurbished Fairphone 2 for you.
In the webshop a refurbished Fairphone 2 costs € 428,55


You can install the unpolished #kitkat (Android 4.4) port:


Hi Stefan

Thank you very much for your prompt reply to my posting about the withdrawal of Fairphone1 support. It is very much appreciated.

Unfortunately, I believe I am one of those customers to whom words like, unpolished #kitkat port, Macademia 1.9.9-pre3 Alpha and Kola Nut are regrettably meaningless. Likewise with appreciation of things like potentially unstable, and how to apply unified partition layouts. We rely, and I accept it may be un-warranted, on software to be automatically updated without understanding what is going on.

I understand why you have made the decision but am disappointed to now be unable in future, to further participate in your great and much needed enterprise. To be fair, my Fairphone1 is still functioning quite adequately for most tasks, but obviously not able to engage with an increasing array of ‘mobile’ technological opportunities.

Very Best wishes

Charlie Graham


I made no decision, I don’t work at Fairphone. -> Community Moderator: From the community for the community. :slight_smile:

If there is a Fairphone Angel near you, you can ask them for help with updating your Fairphone 1.


What change of position do you expect? As far as I understand, the batch size they would need to order of new batteries (and so, also the investment) is just too big:


That analogy does not make sense, as time passes continuously in the meantime. It would be fairer to compare the situation to a baker that you want to buy bread from, only you do not know when you are going to need it, and he doesn’t know if the mill will have enough flour on supply. Of course, the baker is not going to tell you he cannot sell you any bread, unless he knows for sure he cannot get any flour…


I think this was an analogy to how it went with the Android update for the FP1. Originally it was announced for Sept. 2016(?) (I’ll be there at 5.") and after that date had passed they kept on telling that it’ll come (“I’m coming! I’m almost there.”) until they had to give up on it (“I’m not coming.”). In that way the analogy makes sense, it’s sad but also understandable from the company’s perspective.


If you think that that analogy fits well, then at least they kept everyone up to date about the status. (something other people complain about they didn’t).

They also could have said nothing… Maybe it would have been better; you can’t break any promises if you never make them.


A post was split to a new topic: Blueborne fix for Fairphone 1?

I can understand this decision concerning the more complicated spare parts. But not for the battery:
Please tell me: whats the price for producing lets say 10 000 Batterys for fairphone 1?
You could even collect orders for that battery and then let someone produce a batch. Can’t be very expensive!?

Regards, Ben

I have heard from Fairphone that you need to order at least 50.000 if you want to get them for a reasonable price, and that was not an option since there are only an estimated 20.000 Fairphone 1’s still in use.


The problem, as a Fairphone employee explained in a post, is exactly what is to be called “reasonable”.

No one ever offered some solid numbers regarding the reasonabilty of producing a batch of replacement batteries.

So, you’ve been told 50.000 is the magic number. Reasonable price (for FP to order them), just guessing, would be about €5 per piece: €250.000 total then (Anyone with more insight should correct me here).

If you could find 10.000 FP1 users willing to pay about €25 for a brand new replacement battery, this could be handled without too much damage on any side.

But no one ever asked. :unamused:

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On the #efct17 there has been a discussion with Fairphone employees and community members about this topic and that is where the number of 50.000 comes from. It was pretty clear at the time that there was no viable way to get these batteries.

We did ask them on the EFCT. Batteries are not that cheap. They did a calculation like yours and the total price was nearing a million (or over a million, I don’t remember) instead of your €250.000. Batteries are simply not €5 even if you order 50.000 of them. And that doesn’t even consider the environmental problems associated with ordering 30.000 or more useless batteries.


I would have guessed that as well.
What really annoys me quite a lot, is the lack of information.
Not only I have posted this question for just some basic number-crunching more than once; addressing especially @Douwe directly, who has been on the forum since then quite regularly.
So they were able to share this info on the #efct17; well, where was the problem to share this info here in the forum. Just three numbers: minimum order: 50.0000, Order price 20 € each. Maximum of 20.000 FP1 still in use. So you can see, that the battery would have to be sold at least for 50 € each to reach the break-even point. That only working if everyone purchased a battery.
And of course it would be against all sustainability to waste 30.000 or even more batteries for phones that can no longer be supported software-wise.
It even seems, that the generic battery for the Huawei phone will soon be sold out and seems not to be produced any more; although this phone must have been sold in much higher numbers.

But no! No message from FP in that direction.


You’re the first one here giving such information. Would have been better - if these numbers are correct - to just make them public. Everyone would have agreed that preordering batteries for 1M would be insane.

BTW: By saying “No one ever asked” I meant that FP didn’t ask the FP1 users, not the other way round - sorry, if I wasn’t clear enough.

Agreed. If there really is a 50.000 lower limit to producing batteries. This, too, could have been communicated openly, couldn’t it?


What I really don’t understand: What’s wrong with the FP1 batteries, so they couldn’t use the same kind in the FP2? And FP3, and…