Fairphone 1 maintenance comes to an end

Seems you don’t know me well enough. :smirk:

I don’t want to sound snarky, but did you read my posts?

Yes I did. :slight_smile: But I also know that Fairphone won’t dedicate any more (wo)man power in trying to have FP1 batteries manufactured.

I’m pretty sure that the third-party-batteries that are out there aren’t produced in cooperation with Samsung, HTC, etc. The third-party-companies simply copy the existing battery and manufacture them. What I’m saying is that one of these third-party-companies has to be convinced to produce after-market FP1 batteries.


Everyone knows, that that’s not going to happen, as there are not enough FP1 in the world to come to the attention of any such supplier.
And that is quite obvious to fairphone as to all of us wondering about a crowdfunding-campaign.
Nobody wants fairphone to waste any power, but just to be more open and responsive.

It is quite a change from the start as an open project, giving a cost breakdown and background information on all those business topics to "hey, you have to believe us, but we can’t tell more ".
And of course we don’t want you to feel bad, but we ain’t gonna change the way we treat you; face it.

By now I really have met and read quite a few people, that are not angry or annoyed because of the message, but because of the way it is presented and because of the lack of information that is given.


I haven’t asked for a FP-led crowdfunding. You apparently didn’t understand
that I expect the community to organise the production of an unofficial
battery replacement

This would be much easier if FP would provide information. Which
manufacturers were approached, what are the tech specs you need to
communicate, etc. FP COULD just dump all necessary info on the forum, but
just expressing willingness to help at this early point would be already
something. Sharing all available info under a NDA with a yet to establish
group of people could be a way forward.

Also, FP alone has the mail addresses of potential crowdfunders, and could
support a battery crowdfunding with a shout-out.

They also have the experience of two successful campaigns, which they could
share. I am not talking about many, many person-hours spent here - I talk
about a limited and probably personal engagement, which FP as a company
could at least promote and support morally. Sharing information about the
industry, after all, is one of the goals of FP as a company.

That, after all, is why I asked what Bas, the public face of FP, thinks
about such a crowdfunding idea.


I opened a thread about the two different possibilities to install Kitkat on the FP1:

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I have also at least one battery that is just laying around in my fridge currently (I’ve been told that increases longevity) and an FP1 with a loose contact when charging which I am not using anymore either.

Go and offer that in our marketplace. You will make two FP1 owners lucky: One with a broken battery and one with a broken screen.


We all know that Fairphone is not charity, we paid lot of money for our Fairphone one, which now or in some future will not work any more due to something which a user descriped correctly as consumables (batteries “you can always replave it” is says), and for its replacement we of course will also pay.
But what is recommended is to buy a new one, which execpt for some high end users will do the same as the Fairphone one does.


Maybe you received a different email, but in mine they don’t recommend you to buy a new phone. I vaguely remember that they encourage you to stick to your FP1 as long as possible.

  1. A recommendation for Future Fairphones:
    Battery technical requirements for the next FP are known, voltage, monitoring etc.
    There are common phones in the market place that use these same technical criterea.
    Choose an existing format, and design the FP battery compartment and contacts to match its physical charateristics.
    Then get your manufacturer to produce with the ethical/approriate manfacturing processes.
    This would also allow the manufacturer to make more batteries following ethical production methods and ensure FP users with longer battery availability.
  2. It would be good that FP in their next notice to users, to highlight how/where they can recycle their old FP1 phones so that parts, batteries whatever can be salvaged as best as possible.
  3. It would be nice to understand how FP counts the number of active users from original 60000 where a estimate was about 20000. The same for FP2, where the latest info that I could see was 41000 from May 2016. (and to see an active user count)
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I do not agree with this kind of ommunications. We all know which Mails were sent. We can argue about how it is to be understood and interpreted but “Maybe you recieved a different mail” and “I vaguely remember…” is just not it.

For those wondering what the actual text is:

First end-of-support e-mail to FP1 owners

Hello Fairphoner,

We’re proud of everything we achieved with our first Fairphone 1 owners. Together we sourced conflict-free tin and tantalum from Congo, set up a Worker Welfare Fund with the Fairphone 1 manufacturer and showed a concrete market demand of over 60,000 people who wanted a fairer phone.

Now after supporting our Fairphone 1 for three and a half years and the Fairphone 1U for nearly two and a half years, we regret that we are ending maintenance for our first phone. This very difficult decision is primarily financial. Since the launch of the Fairphone 1, most of the original spare parts have been retired by our suppliers. While we’ve worked continuously to find new suppliers, we simply did not have enough capital to invest in the volumes required to meet demand in the year ahead. After exploring every option within our financial means, we have now reached the point where it’s impossible to support the Fairphone 1 and maintain the financial stability of the company at the same time.

For similar reasons, we’ve also decided to stop developing the upgrade to Android 4.4 for the Fairphone 1. This project has been an ongoing effort from our internal team as well as key members of the community, and we’re disappointed that we are not able to see it through to the end.

We want to be transparent about these challenging issues, but we also want to help you as best as we can. To help you keep using your phone as long as possible, we’ve collected some tips and resources on maintenance, repair and recycling on a special page for Fairphone 1 owners.

Again, thank you for your support of Fairphone and fair electronics.

Learn more about Fairphone 1 support

All the best,

The Fairphone Team

End-of-support for FP1 e-mail to FP1 and FP2 owners

Hello Fairphoner,

At the beginning of last week, we announced to Fairphone 1 owners that we have stopped supporting our first phone. Now, our Founder and CEO Bas van Abel explains to our community how we came to this difficult decision.

Read more

The Fairphone 1 and the pioneering owners who started it all will always have a special place in our hearts. Whether you own a Fairphone 1, a Fairphone 2 or are part of our Fairphone community, we know together we can continue showing a demand for fairer products.

All the best,

The Fairphone Team

Any feeling about being pressured to buy another Fairphone could come from the sites linked in the emails (I personally don’t read the e-mails as a sales pitch for a newer product at all).
The site linked to in the first e-mail does indeed provide an option to get a refurbished Fairphone, after you’ve scrolled past the tips on how to keep the FP1 going longer, and suggestions on how to responsibly get rid of your phone if that fails.
Bas’ story attempts to explain how the FP1 fit into the mission, what it’s shortcomings were, and how those are being addressed. It provides a wider perspective, and appears to also be aimed at FP2 users who are wondering what these developments mean for the FP2. As a FP1 owner, you could be tempted to read this as ‘we’ve moved on, so should you’, but I don’t think this is what they were aiming for.


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