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Fairphone 2 Android 9

The last message in a topic about Android 7 was indeed posted on the 15th of April. There’s two topics above it: about Android 9 and a sticky informational topic. I’ll PM you the link. If you still can’t access that, forum admins will need to have a look.

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It’s cool that Android 9 becomes available for the FP2! But I just had a question.
I thought I had understood, that you have to adapt AOSP to the CPU, (and so Qualcomm did it for Lollipop and Marshmallow for the Snapdragon 801, but not for Nougat, and so Fairphone had to do it itself for Android 7 and it was incredible etc). That means that Fairphone had to do it for Android 9 this time as well, didn’t they?
But what I fail to understand, is that other OSes like LineageOS already had adapted Android 9 to the FP2. So this is not so much incredible…
Or am I missing an important fact about Lineage or Fairphone, or anything else?
And in this case, technical question, did they reuse the work of Lineage? (it’s just a question, no criticism)

(if it’s off topic feel free to move it)

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Depends. Custom ROMs use a different approach to adopt new Android versions, explained here …

That’s what got e.g. LineageOS up to Android 10 (currently) on the Fairphone 2.

Whether Fairphone did it similarly or used the work of LineageOS or the cooperation with /e/ now to get to Android 9, and whether this might get in the way of Google certification for the official Android 9 … we’ll just have to see.

Custom ROMs naturally don’t have to bother with Google certification, but it is very important for phone vendors to be able to sell and support their phones with all the Google Apps and services installed, as most people still want to have them.

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A nice comment from “ElReg” today can be found at

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I’ll add one important point here. If you observe most of the custom OS their SELinux status will be permissive which means they are not safe and prone to threats. The other thing is they will be userdebug builds. These two will not be the case with respect to official releases.
The manufacturers need to work a lot more beyond the functionality(which is the primary focus of Custom ROMs).

Perfect. This gives an exact explanation.

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Question. If there is Android 9 on FP2, does this mean, an UBports port using GSI could be made?

No, because of

The FP2 does not have a vendor partition.

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10 posts were split to a new topic: FP2 heat dissipation ideas

A post was merged into an existing topic: FP2 heat dissipation ideas

A post was merged into an existing topic: :pencil2: FP Open / Sibon download link archive

At the moment I guess the best available details are the open issues in the bug tracker: https://bugtracker.fairphone.com/project/fp2-android9/issues

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Hello!

I’m excited about this update to Android 9.0 and I can’t wait for it to release to all users!

I’m wondering: what makes possible is this massive and unusual update to a new Android version?
Of course there are values: it’s fairer, but I mean, what about finances?
I suppose that past FP2 sales and FP2 spare parts sales provide enough money for this new update. Is that really so?

Could we imagine that FP2 spare parts sales alone provide enough money for perpetual Android updates for the FP2?
(I guess not, but when would it need to stop?)

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I think you should consider to #contactsupport, you very likely won’t have an official answer from FP directly on the Forum.

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Okay! but isn’t the support for actual technical needs?
I mean, I mostly ask out of curiosity, if the support helps people with actual technical issues I wouldn’t want to waste their time.

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Well… FP Support is to have any official answer, be it for technical needs or asking them questions, it’s their job.

It’s just the way to contact the company.
We are a community forum, not the company, concerning your question we can only guess and speculate.

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Right, I was hoping to get guesses and speculations mainly! but I’ll contact the support to see if they can provide more definitive answers. If so I’ll post those here.

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Well, honestly, although everyone here is right and support is the official channel to ask I wouldn’t currently bother support with that question. Especially as support currently seems overwhelmed.

As you ask for guesses and speculations:
I wouldn’t expect FP2 spare part sales provide enough money for perpetual Android updates.
My guessing is that it’s more Fairphones mission driving that development. The mission is to support HW as long as possible and as Android 7 is no longer supported (by Google, i.e. no more security updates) you have to change to at least Android 9 to provider longer support. Bringing out Android 9 for FP2 could show the industry that it’s really possible to provide a long supported device!
As you were asking for ROI: I’d say the invest could pay back from a marketing point of view. Marketing is always cost and pays back via reputation. And it would imho be an amazing marketing and press event to really show that device receives supported software for more than 5 years!
Also keep in mind that (more guessing!) “only” about two developers are working on the update (so the costs are reasonable). This is a lot for this small company, but little in the context of the smartphone industry.

If you’re still interested in some feedback from Fairphone itself you might also consider to summon Rae here. She might pass by and comment on your question.

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I totally agree with @Volker here.
Besides those considerations, you can find some info in the Impact Report under “Bigger market, greater impact

Our sales goals

… We also started selling more smartphone accessories in 2019. Accessories and spare parts made up 7% of our total revenue.

According to the *Cost Breakdown on the same page, 16% of the price of a phone are for

Product development and Impact Research

We invest in research and development of fairer material supply chains and working conditions, modular and long lasting smartphones, as well as long term software support.

So, the long term software support obviously is already calculated and included in the price of the phone you buy. The additional returns from the spare parts will help for sure; but in general, they should not be needed for providing software updates.

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And the other way round should also be considered: I wouldn’t expect FP to sell many spare parts more just because they offer an update to Android 9 (so I don’t think there’s much ROI seen from that point of view)…