Fairphone 1 maintenance comes to an end

Not quite.

Does anybody know the details of Fairphone’s deal with Mediatek?

Did the developers have to sign some sort of non-disclosure agreement?

Are only Fairphone employees licensed to work with the code?

Or could Fairphone out-source the development?


In the FP1 just two of over 70 minerals are certified conflict-free, they pay no living wages to the workers in China, since 2015, the allowed maximum work time is 60 work hours per week (the allowed maximum in China anyway, and prior to 2015 they apparently didn’t even bother to comply with it) and what really annoyed me was their rejection of a binding regulation of supply chain responsibility at EU levels

I sincerely doubt that this was already the best that was possible.

I can’t think of any realistic excuse for not having spare parts (and especially batteries). If there’s one subject one doesn’t need any knowledge of building smartphones: if you want them to last you do need spares. So they should have been in the same order as the very first batch phones.

And thanks for the encouraging remark about having learned lessons (meaning I paid for the FP2 :frowning: ).
But given the lack of FP2 spare parts, I doubt if the lessons were fully understood…

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It doesn’t work like that. You can’t just produce a number of batteries that will be sufficient to supply all customers for a long time. Once a battery has been laying around for a few months it’s pretty much worthless.


So it’s worse - they didn’t have plan for a long term production of batteries. With other words: They decided a long time ago to let die FP1.

That is really nice, indeed. Thank you.


I think they planned to order batteries when they needed them, but they did not expect that nobody would want to manufacture them in those low quantities.

That’s not correct.
1- Li-Ion batteries can be stored for years without any (noticable) degression.
2- At least one second batch of batteries (the version 2/2100mAh) has been produced. By than FP should have known the demand was high (especially as the original (version 1/2000mAh) batteries were of a fairly low quality: I used 3 of them, and my 2 version 2 batteries have no issues whatsoever.


This excuse is funny. As you see now - the batteries are out of stock before all FP1 are dead. With other words: They have ordered far too little.

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You might also have to consider that stock space actually costs money.

If you buy ten years worth of toilet paper because there is a discount, you’ll have to rent an extra storage space and that will eventually eat up all the money you have saved. :wink:


It is impossible to forsee exactly 1) how many of which parts will be needed so in the end all parts die at the same time 2) at what time the demand for what part will drop below the ammount needed so an external producer will produce it for a reasonable price.

I really see no point in this discussion, especially since I’m sure the people at Fairphone who discussed this extensively have 1) more knowledge of the matter 2) more data available about what quantity of which part is needed and 3) at least as much interest to keep the FP1 alive as we all do.
They did all they could, lost time and resources trying to provide us with something that they couldn’t in the and and I’m sure they feel misrable even without you blaming them for things they had no real power over.


As one of the first F1 users I’m glad I’ve never needed maintenance on my phone, but it’s a pity that there will be no Android 4.4 for the F1 since I can not download some apps I really like to use.


The original battery is still working after 3 years? You are lucky, you got a super battery then. :wink:


Yes, it is!! Never had a problem with it. The only thing that I had to replace a few times was the case, but since I can print them myself on my Ultimaker 3D printer it was fun to do.:slight_smile:

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One question that I would like to ask (have not been using the forum in a long time): does any of this feedback actually reach the Fairphone team, maybe Bas? I would like them to know what the general opinion about this step is (they probably can guess). Again, not to blame, but to improve future development and I think some direct responses to the feedback here might be helpful or just a sign of good faith.


It seems that community manager @Douwe reads along so the concerns in this topic are not entirely unnoticed by the Fairphone team.


I can say that most of the team reads along as this topic is very important to us. Many of the feelings of disappointment are shared by the people working at Fairphone. Many of us joined the movement in the crowdfunding phase and brought their Fairphone 1 to their job interview. Some of us still use it, even if they can get a FP2 for free as a company perk.

No one at Fairphone is happy with this. But we are proud of what, with all limitations and the optimistic naivety that is part of a startup, we were able to achieve and will continue achieving.

Rome wasn’t build in a day and neither is the perfect Fairphone. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying.

Also, I want to thank everyone for taking time to share your views, opinions and experiences. It shows that the Fairphone is more then just a device. It stands for something bigger that matters. You are heard and we take it very serious.


Why isn’t Fairphone looking into alternative batteries like this? - to support all those people who made the business happen in the first place by buying the FP1.

I am very angry that there is now no support or spares for FP1 now - I would never buy anything from you again: you have betrayed us.

Fairphone as a company can’t recommend 3rd party batteries because then they could be held liable for damages caused by those batteries. And using batteries that were not specifically produced for the device or at least extensively tested to work with it can be very very dangerous.
So this can only be a community - do at your own risk - effort.


After receiving the mail announcing the end of FP1 support, I’ve needed some time to compose my thoughts about it.

I just spent almost an hour reading about 90 posts and responses. Would I have for any other electronics product I own? No, I did so because this is Fairphone.
Almost four years ago my HTC smartphone died, and I had the choice of buying a new phone straightaway, or waiting for 3 months until the FP1 became available. After hesitating for 6 weeks, I realised that if I waited longer, the FP might sell out. So I bought one, and yes, there have been bumps along the way.

However, one promise has always been kept: that this was a project that wanted to show the world what it takes to make a fairer phone. Over the past 4 years, it definitely has done so for me. I feel that this is a new step in this process. The insight gained is that in order to really produce a longer lasting phone, you need a critical mass of users so that spare parts and update development stay feasible for a good number of years. For FP1 that limit is reached sooner that I would have hoped, but I do understand that this is how it might work, especially after seeing last year’s Dutch Tegenlicht documentary.

The real challenge as I see it, is whether Fairphone is big enough to do better in future. I’m worried that FP2 has specs which are already pretty much out of date. Because of that I wouldn’t buy it if I had to replace my FP1 - my strategy with electronic devices is to buy something as up to date as possible, to reduce the chances that the software will go obsolete before the device breaks down.
Yet, as far as I know, there’s no FP3 any time soon. I can see how it’s hard as a small company to have different products in different segments of life cycle, yet at the same time, it’s important for the future of an electronics company.

I can imagine this is a really hard thing to communicate about. You don’t want to tell the world too loudly if you are struggling to cope, because in the end Fairphone depends on consumer confidence as much as any other company. Yet, openness is a cornerstone of the Fairphone philosophy, and I think here the limits of this openness were reached. I’m fairly sure this decision took quite a while to make, I’m absolutely sure it must have been incredibly hard.

I still support the Fairphone ideal, and I will continue to use my FP1 as long as it will survive, but it will be interesting to see how things will develop. Fairphone has definitely changed the way I view fair production. Sadly, this seems to have been a reality check of its limits.


Thank you for your reply (if it was a response to my post)!

I did not doubt that - even though I am disappointed by the decision I still very much hope that the Fairphone will continue successfully on its path.