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Fairphone 2 - list of news coverage and specifications

Hello,

at an other closed Topic I asked if Fairphone 2 is rooted again. I also asked the support about this. The answer was, that they can’t answer the question, because it in not decided until now.

regards,
Shiny

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The main thing here is: Fairphone 2 is getting more expensive in comparison to the first model. However this is exactly due to the fact that manufacturing costs are actually higher.

And they are higher for a reason: Because Fairphone is trying to make it fairer.

One of the above mentioned points where Fairphone is trying to be fairer is the goal to make the phone last longer. Ultimately the fairest phone is the one you don’t need to buy after all. Restricting to core functionality is not the same as getting the cheapest parts available. That would not be fair at all.

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you do not get my main point:

i would rather see fair phones for the masses, than fair phones for a few rich people.

you do not know the manufacturing costs of the new model as I do not know as well. i admit that comparing them to apple was a bad argument, but that was born out of frustration at the route they are taking.

i think it is the wrong direction. when other companies like Wiko can produce a very competitive android phone for 200 Euro, why can’t fairphone produce one for 300-400 Euro, that would be 150 more than the other phone, which is completely ok considering its specs and benchmarks. i think the fairphone should focus on building affordable + fair phones.

You have a fair point: Fairness should be inclusive. I totally agree. Unfortunately compromises have to be made in a real world scenario. Fairphone 2 is not 100% fair as is. Maybe compromising fairness even more in favour of a cheaper product would be a good compromise. However I don’t think so: In order to have some impact in terms of showing that a fairer smartphone is possible, Fairphone has to deliver a smartphone meeting certain standards. Saving costs will necessary compromise this (for details read some of the posts in this thread above).

Funny that you would say this. How do you define masses? I’d say “many people”. The most sold smartphones are Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Both are very expensive (siginificantly more expensive than Fairphones). So why should this price be too high to appeal to the masses?

Please don’t get me wrong: I totally agree that inclusiveness is important. I’m also not super-rich myself. When I bought my FP1, I would have much rather bought a Motorola Moto G. It is a much better phone for half the price. However I believe in the cause and mission and fortunately was able to save a little in order to afford the higher price tag of a Fairphone 1. Of course not everyone is able to do that and most importantly not everyone is dedicated enough to pay more for virtually the same product just because it is fair. But this is nothing Fairphone can do anything about. Building a fairer phone necessarily incurs higher costs (think of working conditions, etc). Part of the mission of Fairphone is to stop exploiting miners and workers involved in the supply chain. In the end someone has to bridge that gap. And who else would be better to ask than (relatively rich on a global scale) Europeans?

And, last but not least, if Fairphone’s plan works out and Fairphone 2 really lasts twice as long as normal smartphones (5 years compared to the average time of 1.8 years after which users get a new phone), then you will actually save money in the long term by investing in Fairphone 2 because you don’t need to buy a new phone as early.

The most sold smartphones are Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy
smartphones. Both are very expensive (siginificantly more expensive than
Fairphones). So why should this price be too high to appeal to the
masses?

Smartphones are a luxury product right now, which is simply not affordable to people in countries with lower average incomes. Of course most people in the richer countries can afford 500 Euro, but this is not what Fairphone should focus on in my opinion. Fairphone should focus on creating phones that are affordable for almost everybody. It is possible to produce the phone cheaper and that should be the focus. A fellow Fairphone backer here wrote that he is from Romania and can simply not afford this phone anymore at this price, even though he would like to. I would rather see a slimmed down version (smaller screen size, less processing power) to cut down 100 Euro of the price instead of the price they have now. I maintain my point: 300-400 Euro should be the price that fairphone is at the most aimed at. The only way to maintain a fair model would be to offer one very core cheap model for the masses that is 200-300 Euro with the most important functionality and maybe even more, like the ability to charge this via built in solar panels or by manual power and one model aimed at the more affluent customers, which can be at the pricepoint of iPhones. But if Fairphone continues its 1 model strategy, I would rather see the phone designed for the masses of the world. This is a strategic model and a step back, that is actually a step forward in my opinion, as the “features” the phones offer today like 20 megapixel cameras are just plain advertising, since more megapixels do not ensure better quality.

  1. Production cost: The wage of the company fairphone produces its phone is lower than at the iPhone factory. I acknowledge they try to make working conditions better there, but this is no reason for the high price.
  2. Sustainability: The phone will not last 5 years while maintaining its functionality due to the fact that Android is used, which is artificially more hardware hungry, so consumers are pressed to buy a new phone, with every second version. Also you can use most phones for 5 years as well right now, the problem is just that the users buy a new phone as they would buy a new car, when they have the urge and do not think about the consequences. A car uses much more minerals and electronics, but nobody would like to talk about that.
  3. Mining: The price of the minerals is not at all the problem. Fairphone does not pay extra so workers are paid more. The mineral companies if not operated by criminals have more than enough money to pay their workers a fair wage. The problem is that companies do not use their financial power to make sure that working conditions are good and minerals do not fuel wars and criminal organizations. A lot of the big electronic companies simple do not care where their minerals come from, which has very severe repercussions.

As I said already: You have a fair point.

However I still think that Fairphone had to face many choices and – to the extent we know – made the right decisions. I won’t go into details anymore because I’ve addressed exactly the same complaints and suggestions in previous posts already.

I am not saying the way Fairphone has done this is 100% wrong, I just do not think it is the best way. I can understand the want to show they can produce a better top model than iPhone with their glued batteries and the likes, which I 100% support. I just think that iPhone is not that good and people should understand that they do not need the fastest chip available to run the applications on their smartphone that are actually important.

More finetuning on the phone to ensure a fast OS would in a lot of cases help more than just putting a fast chip in the phone. I am running my Fairphone still at a good speed (after improving the start screen and turning off unnecessary options it runs very fast) and in my opinion this phone is still very good and can do anything the average user needs right now. I would not have minded the upgrade to the next version to have used a processor that is cheaper, so more people can use the phone instead of being able to play some 3D game on the phone.

I would like to see an actual rundown of the costs involved in creating the new fairphone so the customers and supporters can see where the price originates and can discuss if some features could be dropped to keep the price lower.

If they would only be looking onlky at sourcing material fairer and pay workers better, that might be possible. But they also want the phone to be sustainable. Means to to get there are better longvity through high class components and repairability. This is also important for long time software updates as well as third party OS support, things that are very important for many users.

A more expensive device makes it also easier to maintain a healty profit required to keep independent and sustainable: Fairphone cannot affort to sell a phone at loss and at higher prices, there obviously are higher margins.

Finally, it has been often said, a unique design simply costs money. They were only able to sell the FP1 for 330€ because thei bought a ready made phone design.

I do to. But lest not forget there will be a market for second hand Fairphone 1s and second hand Fairphone 2s at some point in the future. It is much more sustainable to produce and sell a long-living device for 550€ that is used by two people (first hand/second hand market) the two produce two phones that are cheaper but not so long-lasting.

Each and every model has to be designed, produced, maintained in software and hardware. Spare parts have to be bought. There is certification etc. In volumes Fairphone currently targets, it is simple not possible to develop and sell more then one model.

I am looking forward to that, too. But i am 100% sure there will be no more changes in features and price for the FP2.

Yes, but the current model is only a little bit older then 1 1/2 years! Fairphone aims for roughly 5 years. And you cannot do that without enough processing power!

I think this exactly the way to go. I think to think fair devices should also be financally accessible, but as i said above, this could be improved by a second hand market, possible with refurbished devices. And there simply is a price that cannot be undercut when trying to fullfil all the goals Fairphone has rightly set for itself. And i doubt this at below 500€ currently.

That might change in the future, but still, a Fairphone will never be as cheap as a Wiko, Huwaei or OnePlus. Simply not possible in a sustainable business.

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Matching this discussion: A monumental video urging against the world’s addiction to always have the latest smartphone.

PS.:

Look at the logo above, I think they abandoned the star… :star:

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Could be because it is so similar to Congstar…

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i would still use my iphone 2g if it had not broken down today. the quality of the devices is just bad in a lot of manufacturers (planned obsolescence). of course the price of the fp2 will not change, they made their decision and gone the way to make a high tech device that is as fair as possible to compete with iphone and state of the art android devices.

in my opinion it is the wrong decision. refurbished devices with fairphones do not amount for a lot of customers - there is probably a few thousand a year on the market right now. also the goal to sell 100.000 units is not very high, as there is more than 100 million iphones sold a year. overall fairphone needs to sell much more, produce much more to have an impact.

i never said fairphone should be as cheap as wiko, i said if they use the same components (processor) and add 100-150 to make it fair with fairly sourced ressources and a better modular design, they can make a very good phone for 300-350 Euro.

in my opinion a fairphone should be both fairly priced and fairly produced.

Each and every model has to be designed, produced, maintained in
software and hardware. Spare parts have to be bought. There is
certification etc. In volumes Fairphone currently targets, it is simple
not possible to develop and sell more then one model.

you simply cannot say this for sure. your problem is that you make an assumption and sell this as the ultimate truth. unless you can foresee the future this is just not true.

i think it would be possible to produce two similar units, one cheaper fairphone and one more expensive one.

dear nils,

sure this is an assumption, but its is an educated one. I have been following Fairphone since mid 2013. I bought one of the first 11.000 devices and i have been very active here in the forums as well as reading the blogs carefully. I am generally interested in technology and read a lot smartphone news and reviews. i still think it is pretty clear that this is only my personal assumptions, but i’ll add on “i think” preamble next time.

However, don’t you think it is a bit ironic that you say “my problem”, when in the very same post you write the following:

Which is also nothing more than an assumption. And let me tell you that this is similar to what they have done in the first model. It was a good first step, but it has several flaws: One is that customers of a 350€ more expensive phone have higher expectations compared to a 200€ device. Just look around in the forum or any tech website and see the outcry regarding no software updates for example and several minor issues like the camera that gets dusty, like no bluetooth 4.0 support, like the less then optimal GPS reception. Customer also demanded a very good camera, LTE reception and support for alternative reception.
Most Wiko devices for example use a Mediatek Chipset. If Fairphone, after the let down on the first model, would have chosen this supplier again, there would have been an outcry here – rightfully so. It turned out the buyers of the FP2 have high demands. At that is fine, regarding the aim for a 5 year lifetime.

Anyways. i think the strategy Fairphone is following with the second model is exactly right. I would have like a smaller price as well, obviously, but anyways, i think the price for FP2 is absolutely fair.

On a personal note: I do not like it when because of different opinions if get accused of being ignorant and having a problem. Please keep a respectful and friendly tone around here.

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simply not true. other android phone companies are making profits as well, though of course not as much as apple with its vastly overpriced iphone. apple and samsung are making insane profits the rest of the business makes normal profits, which are not bad at all.

e.g.


I think if a smartphone produces makes profit out of a 200€-phone, they must use low-quality components, which are to be avoided because they break more easily than higher-quality components.

(Also most probably workers are exploited, but that’s not an argument against cheaper components.)

Don’t forget the volume issue. When you sell millions of phones per month, the net profit per phone can be much lower than when 150.000 phones per year is a stretch goal.

If Fairphone would suddenly increase production and sales by 10x, then overhead costs would not go up by 10x and thus the overhead costs per phone would be lower than they are now. Drastically increasing production also means you get to buy your materials and components at a cheaper price.

You also have to take volume into account when comparing prices of different manufacturers.

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why do you think it is a personal attack on you, if i identify a problem in your argumentation, which you yourself admit to? i do not know you, i do not care about insulting you, i am in no way saying you have a problem - your argumentation has a problem, i am here to discuss my point: “the fairphone is too expensive in my opinion”. you said with 100% confidence: “it is not possible to have two fairphone models.” i say you can not say that 100%. i think it would be well possible, especially if both models use the same frame, you could have one with lower specs and one with a better processor.

you keep saying the price is fair, but for me i do not think this price is the right price for a phone that is supposed to be a rolemodel for the future. none of your arguments have actually made me reconsider my view. mediatek chips do not need to be used there is a lot of other cheap chip options that would work with other operating systems.

No, this is not merely an assumption, as fairphone has already proven that this is possible with the first Fairphone. And I for one do not think missing LTE, bluetooth 4.0 and the other things are making my fairphone worse. I am happy with the phone and think it will be good for the next few years for the most important things: calling, emails, browsing and some apps.

i am also sure that a phone that was good 10 years ago like my first iphone would still be good enough now for my needs, if manufactured without planned obsolence. that is all i want from fairphone: make a sustainable phone for a reasonable price to show apple and the competetion a fairly produced phone is possible for way less then they charge for a unfairly produced phone, that is going to break down because of planned obsolence, simply because their business model is based on greed. that is the only reason why the built in glued parts in their computers and phones. it is not to make the world “think different”, it is to make their insane profits, which are prioritized over ethical means as responsibility for the environment and their customers, by allowing them to use their devices for a longer time.

i have been using the fp1 for over a year now and the device is very stable and good for me. yes, gps is not the best, but other than that the device is rock solid. that said, i do not see the need for almost doubling up the price. people always use the forums here to complain a lot, i have also followed them a bit, and there are always people that are not satisfied and they will be the loudest as people like me who are satisfied with their product will not complain. a lot of times people expected a phone for 330 euro that would have the features like an iphone or similar product. i did not have those expectations as i rather have a rooted phone, instead of a closed down iphone that i can not even backup right, because of the bootlock.

nokia produced much cheaper phones and they were lasting very long.

them main problem is planned obsolence. if the hardware does not break, the battery will not be exchangeable nowadays, or simply the newest OS version can not be installed on a 1,5 year old phone with a processor that is good enough to easily beat every chess grandmaster but artificially not able to run the latest edition of android / iOS.

i stand by my point: a fairly produced phone with high enough specs for 95% of all users should be possible for 300-400 Euro. it is useless to discuss this anymore, i will still support fairphone and maybe they can offer the new fp2 with the same specs for 300-400 euro in like 1-2 years, that would be a good turn out of the process.

on the positive: i think the modular design is very clever and might be a big incentive for other companies to follow fairphones footsteps into a more sustainable future.

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I think we should probably draw this to a close, unless anyone has anything new to bring to this discussion that hasn’t already been thrown in. We can argue all day about the price and whether we agree with it, however it is what it is. This topic was a general discussion about the FP2 specs, not just the price.

I’m therefore going to close off the topic to new responses - the initial post is a wiki so anything new that comes to light in terms of the specs can be adjusted there. If anything significant changes we can reopen this topic to further responses.

PS if there is something you think that needs to be added to this debate, you can PM any of the moderators to look at this.

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