Fairphone 1 maintenance comes to an end

The community:

  • seems to be very supportive of the FP ideals
  • very disappointed with the sudden end of FP1 support (especially batteries)
  • FP1 batteries seem to be the real problem to allow FP1’s to continue life (could be a good portion of 60000 still in use) (not junk usable FP1 phone due to no battery)
  • willing to contribute cash, pre-ordering, crowd funding for batteries
  • knowledge that there are batteries producing companies that could be approached if funding available
  • the HB5N1H battery is close, works, needs proper testing, may need temp/mgmt
  • multiple producers make this battery, could be approached with the FP1 specs (and likely make a usable battery with little development)
    —see some informal testing coments in 🇬🇧 🇩🇪 Generic battery to replace FP1 battery (⚠️see first post for warning) @Stefan
    Let’s try to prolong the FP1 lifetime and story and ideals

Hi to all,

much has been said about disapointment and things, so I don´t need to repeat it. I also think, that the battery issue needs to get done somehow.
When it comes to the software updates, maybe some creativity could help. When I got it right, there are 2 problems, one is that Fairphone as a company has not the manpower and budget to further work on updates for FP1, but have the license to. The second one is, that there are people in the community willing and able to help out, but they are not allowed to, because Fairphone is not allowed to publish the source code.
My suggestion:
let them become part of your company, let´s say as official Fairphone volunteers or by paying them a symbolic vage of 1€, so Fairphone don´t need to violate licenses by publishing code but can keep control by limiting access and the willing and able can finally contribute in this task, and maybe all of us could profit out of this.
I´m pretty sure, that there may even be some lawyers out there in the community willing to help to figure out, how to make this work.
Might be worth considering how to let an enthusiastic community participate in the development of the idea and the company to the benefit of everybody.

Best regards,


Oh wow, you’re one of these aggregator bots I’ve always been afraid of? :joy:

Yes, that’s what I meant!



The Netherlands have a minimum wage of € 8.95 per hour.

@TobiasF I think that the minimum wage doesn’t apply to short-term internships.

@bxl_11 About a third of the FP1s are still in use.

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That seems very low to me. Two thirds of the FP1 users have already dumped their phones? I thought users have chosen FP1 to keep their phones longer than usual.

I am curious what source you have consulted.


I’m not sure whether I even was supposed to share that rough number publicly. :wink:

Still I think it’s plausible since many users will have ditched their FP1s because of a broken screen, or just because the USB connector got loose. Remember that FP1 mainly was a proof-of-concept for implementing fair tin and tantalum in the supply chain. The design itself is not especially resilient (unlike FP2’s).


We did not stop the production. Fairphone does not produce anything. It is the suppliers that chose to stop production. That is how the phone industry works. Sourcing spare parts happens on a one-time basis. You find a supplier, you specify the quantity, you pay upfront, you get the parts (very, very, very simply put). After this order has been delivered, you might have to find a different supplier or you might have troubles concerning the quantity you order, or they might ask for a higher price. Anyway, you have to re-negotiate. At first, our assembly factory did these kinds of negotiations for us. After they stopped doing this, we had to do this ourselves. For such a small company like Fairphone this is quite a hassle. It’s a lot of back and forth.

What upsett me the more, Is that fp& was sell like a sustainable phone. At leat if you say nothing about this…

The Fairphone 1 was foremost sold as a fair phone. A phone that takes concrete steps towards fairer labour conditions and one that opens up the blackbox that is the phone industry. It is next to impossible in terms of reasonable expenditure of labour and money to upgrade this phone, which was already a bit behind in terms of specs when it was released. Our efforts were better spent capitalising on the learnings and means we gained through the FP1 and taking the next step towards a fairer phone. The modular design is easier to repair, source spare parts for and recycle, bla-di-bla-di-bla, you all know this. Bottom line: Ideas of longevity were sympathised with but could only be tackled with the Fairphone 2.

We did not know for how long the FP1 would last and we never made concrete estimates. We wanted to support it for as long as possible, and we think this is what we did. We as a company face a constant tradeoff between keeping our existing models for as long as possible and at the same time not ceasing to challenge the status quo and implementing the learnings we make towards making an even fairer phone. Impacting more lives of our workers by integrating fair and conflict-free minerals into our supply chain. By monitoring overtime and security in our factories. By making more people aware of what is in their phone and what machinery there is behind it. We have not known that the Fairphone 1 could be supported for this amount of time. But we know that it was not a business mistake to start the FP2. The goal of our business is to approximate a fair phone and make relevant learnings available to the public and prove a demand for fair phones so other producers will follow. Breaking ground with the FP2 thus was a success in that it furthered all of these goals. You don’t change the industry overnight and you don’t make phones live thrice as long as the industry standard overnight. If it were so easy, more companies would do it.



Interesting. What was the idea, then?

Not enough people willing to order and pay a fair price - their fault.
Not making the offer - your fault.

Yeah, we at Fairphone definitely have to take the point of too little community involvement in these matters, as we knew how dear these phones are to you and how happy we are that they are such. Flat out.



This! Thank you, this is was Fairphone always was about for me. Im glad you took the steps to make FP2 a technical interesting device with it’s modularity. I think there are so many challenges to change that Industry. Keep focused on a few that are realistic.

Fairphone was never about being the longest supported phone at the market. And there are a lot of similar priced phones from 2013/14 that are abandoned by their (big) manufacturers since a long time. I understand everybody’s frustration, but I guess it’s time to move on — even if that means leaving the Fairphone 1 behind.

I know Fairphone encourage everyone to use the FP1 as long as possible, but I don’t. I would recommend nobody of my friends and family to still use it, it’s simply outdated and the software is insecure and more and more apps will stop working. An update to Kikkat would have meant the world two years ago, but today, to be honest, it would possibly delay the inevitable by a few months. It might sound arrogant, but personally, I wouldn’t even invest the 30€ in a new battery. If my battery would get week, I would try as soon as possible get a new phone.

Once again, I understand all frustration and part of me applauds the creativity of some of your solutions, but personally, I am happy that Fairphone moves forward. At I am excited what comes next.


@anon99326380 What I don’t understand is why Fairphone doesn’t even release the specs (dimensions, internal circuitry) of the FP1 battery. I can’t imagine how this would make you liable and I can’t imagine that the OEM of the FP1 could have something against releasing the specs for a battery that was designed four years ago.

Maybe you can tell us more about the difficulties here.


Hey Stefan,

I have to stay vague on this matter until there is an official messaging for this, but for the moment I want to remind you of the fact that the Fairphone 1 is not our own design, but a licensed design.

I hope I can get back to you with more information anytime soon.



Hi to you all, as soon as I read the news I didn’t feel bad: I understand it. As a electronic engineering student probably I should have known this from the beginning. Anyway, what I did was to open up the online marketplace to buy a new battery, because I want to keep my fp1u up and running as long as possible and not complain on sw support etc, I really am in that portion of buyers who don’t care about performance in a phone. To me, there’s linux desktop for that (at least in 2017).
I found out not a single battery was left in stock… Now, that’s the only realyl sad thing. I appreciate the efforts here on the forum to find out a geometrically suitable battery, but I’m not gonna carry an un-tested DIY phone in my pocket every day. Batteries are complex, circuits to charge them are too and this sounds a little crazy to me.

Just wanted to point out this: there are different fp buyers… not everyone is going to flame againts fairphone. A lot of us just really want to keep the phone as long as possible and are not going to abandon the ship because no 4.4 will be delivered. Personally I couldn’t care less… but we need a decent battery for the upcoming years!

I think was important to ensure that buyers like me had the possibility to get a new battery from fairphone, knowing that the support was at the end of its life.

Anyway, thanks for what you are doing and keep up the good work!
I’ll see what to do when my battery will blow up.

All the best,


If I were the FAIRPHONE ORG, it would be important to look into FP1 batteries and:
–> Email all FP1/FP1U owners (60000) and post on the web/Facebook/Forum with something like this:
"“ We, at Fairphone ORG apologise for the announcement of the end of support for FP1. With FP2, unfortunately, the resources of our small organisation are over stretched and we are no longer able to properly support the FP1 part of our project. Also the spare parts for FP1 have been exhausted, and we are unable to financially have additional FP1 parts manufactured. Some parts may be available in the forum marketplace.
We do appreciate the FP1 community.
The battery is a known area that quite frequently fails, which would leave a working phone unusable. No batteries remain in stock. In order to attempt to prolong the lifetime use for users of the FP1 making it more sustainable and help to finance a procurement so that it could be viable, we need to setup a pre-order for FP1 replacement batteries of AT LEAST nnnn , by Sept xx, 2017. Users may pre-order batteries for xx euros each. If this attempt to find a new supply of FP1 compatible batteries fails, the money will be returned. Crowd funding donations will also be accepted.
Please look HERE for instructions to pre-order batteries or make donations.
Thank you.
FP Team ""
Now, I hope something like this could keep Fairphone alive, and recover its reputation. :slight_smile:


Hey Andrea,

I just want to clarify that the causality was the other way around (in case I didn’t misunderstand you): Since we ran out of spare parts and we figured that Kit-Kat is a constant pain-point, we decided that making a painful but clear cut would be better than drawing out the agony. Spare parts and Kit-Kat resulted in the end of service. It wasn’t that we decided to end FP1 service and then figured there are no batteries left anymore anyway (in a deliberate polemisation of what I think you said, of course).

As with the battery, we take the point that this seems to be very very crucial for a lot of people at least on the forum (which is where the lion’s share of this discussion takes place).



Thanks Daniel4. To again highlight the need for FP1 batteries, below is a list of many of the users who actually expressed concern for FP1 batteries on the forum. @Douwe @Stefan @anon99326380 @Bas This does not include the 35 users who request FP1 batteries in the forum Wanted market since Jul 9, like comixza, urrell…
casp Hecki pippi tin paul Albert1975 Justus BertG Quiss42 be rikdb
pke Volker1 Johannes Marc_CB adam_hardy maik Martin4 Tim_Sparks
JochenK Cyclist paulakreuzer Rob_van_der_Does kgha urs_lesse
Martin_Anderseck rootboi Isabel_Urratia JochenK ReginaMoeve turuncay
Sam Micha2017 RobDoc Annette04 Anna_Schulze Dosc Koehlerde dtygel
sverris Thomas BirgitBiene EmanuilTolev Evelin Jonas tofra Roboe
uBkUN27v thib HannaSophia Evel NicoleFP1 Kari_littmarck-sahli
Todd_Parsons humorkritik


What’s the mood at Facebook and Twitter? Is there less negative criticism now?


From “Long-term software support for Fairphone 1”:

So what about Fairphone 1 and longevity? In the last year we have continued working on our key principles [emphasis mine]: longevity, transparency and ownership.

But maybe I’ve got a wrong understanding of the term “key principles”… :confused:


No you got them right. But I am afraid this discussion starts to go around in circles… Yes, we did tell the world we planned on longer support for the Fairphone 1. And then we worked on it for over a year. And then we decided we had to stop as there was no end in sight and the financial burdens became indefensible.

I do not think you’ve got a wrong understanding, but the question is how we call the growing understanding of what we can and what we can’t do. A (painful) lesson learned? Or a betrayal of our key principles?


I’m aware of this starting to go around in circles and will shut up now.

I called it “public learning” already some time ago, btw.

It was just daniel4’s (slightly sarcastic) comment that made me write a last reply here.

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