Fairphone 2 - list of news coverage and specifications

Wikipedia claims the fastest models does 2.45 max, so maybe they simple rounded.

Edit: All in all, i would not trust that article at all, claiming NFC and wireless charging would be coming when Fairphone only said this is a possibility using the extension port. Also that “key parts” of the OS would already be public on Github. Not very So i would not trust their 500$ mark either. And please remeber prices in US are often given without the tax, so it would be 500$ plus 10 to 20%. However, nice that they are reporting on the FP2!

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@jmagica, you may be in the wrong forum :wink:

OK, here it goes. Please bear with me, long story

One of the discussion lines in this forum is that the device is underspecced, and that it should have an even faster processor, ability to replace the operating system and other improvements that better support the sustainability and “fair” (transparency) vision of FP.
Others argue (and so do you) is that, although the price/quality ratio may be good, the device has just to many features for you (as consumer) to warrant this price. You, on the other hand, are looking for a good price/(what do I need) ratio, and the the 525€ is to high.

I largely agree with you; in earlier posts I suggested to downgrade the device to get a lower sales price (target would 375€-425€ range). This would address the “I don’t need all that” issue; the consumer is looking for a good price/(what I need) ratio. Samsung and others (not Apple!) address the consumer segmentation by having a product range; each consumer segment it’s own device.
This is obviously not achievable for FP. However, the legitimacy of the FP device is their mission; design based on social values vs. stockholder value. One of their social values is sustainability through easy-to-repair. This is realized by a highly modular design.
The beauty of this is that it is also possible to replace expensive parts by cheaper, good enough for me, elements. I personally do not need Gorilla 3 or the latest chipset. If I do need them I can always upgrade by ordering the needed part. Different market segments (you and I vs. more technology driven people) can be served with nearly the same design; same form factor, same frame, same whatever. Just a car with a different engine = speed.
Tessa describes (blog entry June 11) several “Fairphone persona” that may very well be happy with a lower-specced device for years to come (eg, ethical supporter, thoughtful critic).

The “sustainability by good enough” design in itself is nothing new; the Club of Rome defined the concept in as far back as 1968. The lower-specced device would do just that: sustainability by “not buying more than I need”. This person pursues sustainability through a good price/(what do I need) ratio. And in case requirements change I can always do an upgrade.

So that’s in summary my thinking: design with “good enough specs” for sustainability. Replace some of the current top-of-the-line parts with medium-range parts. Doing so will result in a lower price point and make the device more affordable for people like you and me

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Thank you for the link even if I cannot speak German.

Hi,
is it available the cost of materials and operations (something like this https://www.fairphone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/FAIRPHONE_CostBreakdown_150dpi_130913.jpg) for Fairphone 2? It is very interesting to see how much are the fixed and variable costs. In particular, I’m interesting on knowing how much the final cost can be reduced by changing the production volume from 100,000 to 10,000,000 which is a factor 100 higher. The fixed cost should be reduced by the same factor.
Thank you

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But wouldn’t that medium specced parts hurt sustainability? Thinking of how fast processing power evolves currently in the mobile space, a cheaper processor might get to slow to soon. I would still like to see hard numbers on how much could be saved by a cheaper SoC model. Sadly, SoC prices are very much kept in private.

Reducing the price for single components does not change the cost in a lot of areas, like support, repairs, worker and miner living conditions assessments, recycling, quality assurance, software development, hardware development, costs for shop and support infrastructure and research. Typically, this is no big deal, since smartphones are sold in very big numbers, so that relative contribution of these fixed costs like software and hardware development and research to a devices final cost can be reduced. But that requires scale. Which Fairphone has to achieve first. Other costs like these for support and repairs to raise with the number of devices sold.

The question for me is, if the costs for SoC and Display could be reduced by say 50% (which is high i think), how much of that could reduction could be applied to the price customers pay? I think it will be much lower. And then we have to ask if a fairly small drop in price is worth the possible loss in sustainability by reducing processing power.

What (realistic) price would you think of as affordable?

Not yet, but it probably will be before the device goes on sale. We here in the forum look forward it as much as you do!

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It’s probably possible to replace only parts of one module if you disassemble the module (look at the animation at http://www.fairphone.com/phone). However, as you say, the module includes many more parts. Additionally, we are speaking about a System on a Chip (SoC) which tightly integrates processor, GPU, RAM, etc. Maybe it will be possible to replace the entire SoC, but hardly only the processor.

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I agree with all of you who say that 525€ is too much. I don’t think this price is adequate with the Fairphone’s target user. People that can afford a 500+ phone don’t usually care about product manufacturing and mining of raw materials. These people are interested in technical specs and product design, which are the main features of Apple phones. But I don’t care about these things. I care about longevity, modularity and social-ecological fairness.

Hi-tech geeks are not potential buyers. The instant obsolescence of hi-tech products is totally opposed to the Fairphone core values, and this must be noted by the company and developers.

I understand the Fairphone should be more expensive that an average phone. If everyone in the supply chain gets paid a fair minimum for his work, this surely will affect the final price. But 525€ it’s not just a fair price, it’s a luxury price.

What about releasing two versions of the Fairphone? If it is truly modular, this shouldn’t be very difficult. Memory, camera and screen could be easily replaced by cheaper ones in order to produce an affordable version of the phone.

This is a big error in my opinion, since the goal of Fairphone should be to reach a wide audience and to keep spreading the word of fair trade and transparency in the obscure world of electronics.

Dear @Naca,

i understand you frustration and i look forward to Fairphone releasing a cost breakdown. I hope for a cheaper model in the future (or the same model for a lower price), but i am afraid, even with modularity, it is not that easy to replace parts. Even more so, i assume, but might be completely wrong, that the only part of the three you mentioned having a real impact is the screen. I doubt smaller memory and worse camera would allow a significant price drop. Let’s see what the future brings.

I am sorry, that is an allegation. You can very much care for both. And you can also care about social and sustainable aspects and still afford a 500€ phone. Sadly, smartphones, get old a lot faster then “dumbphones”: Processing power gets greater every year and software very soon starts to demand such power to be usable: A powerful processor should help to make the FP2 a really long living device.

After all, nobody would win if the next FP was is 300€ again, but similar left unsupported by the chipset manufacturor, as the FP1, very soon. In my opinion, a 500€ device that lasts 5years is better then a 300€ device that lasts 3years.

I hope that Fairphone will be able to make considerably cheaper models in the future. But for the current model, i understand the reasoning behing this price.

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Hello Naca, and welcome to Fairphone forum.

You raise many interesting issues. Many other people have complained already that the price is too high and that it makes it impossible for many people who would like to buy a Fairphone to have one. This is a valid concern: Fairness should not be exclusively available to the rich. But I disagree with some of the points you mention in your post.

Do you know which users Fairphone is targeting? I don’t. It is true: Obviously many people that have bought a Fairphone from the first edition are not in the target group for the second edition. But don’t you agree that this is actually a good thing? One of the main ideas of Fairphone is to have less electronic waste by using devices for a longer time. Also many of the current Fairphone owners share these values and want to keep their Fairphone 1 for a long time (for instance me). If Fairphone would focus on the same user group again, they would not have a large market because those people who are in that target group and want to buy a fair smartphone have already done so. In that light it actually makes sense for Fairphone to target a different user group with the second edition.

Why would you say that? Why would richer people care less about these issues? You could also say that poor people don’t care about the environment because they only buy cheap stuff that wastes the environment. Is that true? I don’t think so. In my opinion it doesn’t matter how much money a person has: There are people with little money and people with a lot money that care for fairness, the environment, etc.

I understand and agree that many people don’t care about the best specifications. But in your next sentence you already say why those high specifications are important: They are what make longevity and thus socioal-ecological fairness possible. If you use cheap parts for Fairphone the parts will break soon, and if they don’t break, they won’t be able to handle next year’s or later apps. Imagine you buy a Fairphone in 2015 and then your favorite app is updated in 2017 but your Fairphone is too weak to run that app. What will you do? You can either choose not to use your favorite app anymore or you buy a new smartphone. That means Fairphone would not be longlived. For longevity you need specifications that are very good now to be barely good enough in three, four, or five years time.

First, why not? And second, hi-tech in Fairphone 2 is not a value by itself. It is “hi-tech” to make longevity (which you care about) possible in the first place.

I don’t know how much the difference is when all workers are paid a fair salary. Why do you think so? I rather wait for the cost break-down. Then we will learn more about this topic. Or do you have other sources? That would be very interesting.

This is a very good idea. I like it a lot. We’ve discussed this earlier already. My argument is that for reasons of economy of scale this would make the phone more expensive instead of cheaper. Hopefully Fairphone will make that possible in the future.

I can see your point. However I don’t know whether a cheaper phone necessarily means a larger audience. If you look at the smartphone that are sold most, you will find iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S, and other very expensive phones with the best specifications. Of course there are also other reasons why those sell so well (e.g. large marketing budgets, well known brands, etc.) but to make the largest impact, get the most press coverage, and the most costumers interested, it apparently is a good idea to have a reasonably good phone. And – of course – the main reason is that the phone will be able to last longer with better features.

Overall the price is still an obstacle for many people. I’m a student myself and can’t just chip in half a grand on a whim. But when I buy electronic devices (or clothes, or many other products) I usually don’t go for the cheapest products but for things with a good quality-to-price ratio. That way I might have to save money before I buy a new product but that product will live longer and I will save money in the long run. The promise for Fairphone 2 is that it will live 5 years. If that will really be the case, than it is much cheaper than getting a new phone for 300 Euros every two years. At the moment the average age at which smartphones are replaced is 18 months. To overcome that we need a reasonably good Fairphone.

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Hi people,

This may be a bit off topic, but I’d like to make some clarification.

I recognize that I’ve generalized a lot in the previous post. Of course there are many rich people with great social consciousness. But we have to look at the overall percentage: most of people involved in social movements that work for similar issues to those we talk here cannot be depicted as “rich”. How many people you see at demonstrations, solidarity programs or claiming for human rights while wearing Tommy Hilfiger, driving Mercedes or using an iPhone 6? Really few, at least in my country, man. Coincidence? Don’t think so. There’s a reason for this. @jftr says that doesn’t matter how much money a person has. I’m afraid it does. We live in a hierarchically organized class society, and what determines the social class that we belong to is (not only, but essentially) money. Why there are more “social-concerned” poor people than rich people? It’s simple: poor people’s rights are threatened, and rich people’s are not. Easy to understand. Again, not saying that absolutely every rich person is bad an evil, just talking in general about social consciousness.

Another important thing is the fact that the FP price is not the same high in all European countries. 525€ is much higher in Greece than in Norway. That might affect my point of view.

Next, @jftr may be right about the two-versions issue. I made that proposal but I don’t really know how would affect the final price, so we’d better wait until the cost-breakdown is published.

Finally, I’d like to reply to all of you saying that high quality hardware will contribute to greater longevity. This is true, but we must note one important thing: today’s software “giants” are operating strictly for the welfare of hardware “giants”. We all know what nasty tricks are done with OS updates and similar stuff. That is the bleeding case of Windows OS, Mac OS and iOS. They don’t allow you to update at a certain point, forcing you to buy the next phone or computer. Moreover, they don’t allow big software companies to publish in their platform unless they release new versions that can only be run in the latest hardware. The same happens in the console videogame world, where excellent hardware products are soon discontinued in the name of “next-gen quality games”, while many of them could perfectly run on the previous platform.

What I’m trying to say is that much of the software that is produced is not designed to last. It’s designed to generate the maximum profit in the minimum time interval. I do not mean that the majority of software products are like this, that would be crazy. But a great part of “massive” software products are actually like this, meaning “massive” that most of people use them. It is up to us to decide what kind of software we want. And it’s not impossible to produce long-living software, although it may not be easy.

So, longevity is not only a hardware thing. It is undoubtful that better hardware makes better software possible. But we can’t forget that better software also makes better software possible :wink:

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The Fairphone 2 is 525€, yes. The iPhone 6 with a decent 64GB (many tech website argue 16GB is not enough storage) is 800€. And: Going to demostrations might be important, but it is not a metric for your social responsibility.

What’s you definition of rich?

Nope, sorry i don’t see it that way:
Software companies work for their own benefit (arguably their shareholders benefit).
Some might be both, so it is not easy to draw a clear line here.

And “nasty” tricks might be exagerated: Windows 8.1 still runs on very old hardware, and as far as i know, the requirements have not been realy changed for Windows 10. That means a decent computer that was sold Windows 7 years for example, will probably be fine with Windows 10 for the next years. Similar with Mac OS: I run OS X Yosemite and will be able to run the version (OS X El Capitan) on my 5 year old MacBook. And even when there won’t be new updates for my model after that (and i don’t expect that yet), that does not mean my laptop will be useless then.

Yap, to that i agree.

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In Germany and the Netherlands (countries which I can speak about) it is not a strange sight to see these kind of people. And not all rich people have a bad taste and wear Tommy Hilfiger :wink:

Yes, money, networks, heritage, etc. But money is a very very big part.

I completely agree that poor people’s rights might be more threatened than rich people’s. However there are two things: First of all Fairphone is very little about making a difference in lives of us Europeans (where Fairphone is sold exclusively atm). It is mostly about making a difference in the lives of the people mining minerals and building phones. These are primarely outside Europe. That means that none of our rights are changed by buying a Fairphone. Therefore rights of poor Europeans are not affected anymore than lives of rich Europeans. So why should any of those groups care differently about these topics?

Second, I really really (really!) don’t agree that poor people are more “social-concerned” than rich people. I don’t know why you would think that.

Maybe when I speak of “rich people” I have other people in mind than when you use the term. We were talking about “rich” people that can afford to buy a phone for 525 Euro. And that is not the 1%. Where I live (Germany/Netherlands) this is the majority of people (judging by how many carry the newest iPhone or Samsung flagship).

And even if we would talk about the top 1%, I’m pretty sure there are (relatively speaking) just as many people with a social conscience as in other “classes”.

This is a valid point.

I don’t know that. I think software giants are mostly operating for themselves. I don’t think Google gives a sh** about how Samsung fares :wink:

Please don’t mix different issues. Yes, there is a huge issue with planned obsolescence. And yes, some updates are not offered for hardware which might still be capable of running it. But there are many other issues involved: For instance old hardware might be able to run a new version but user experience is horrible. Or (in case of consoles) it is just to much work for publishers to develop a game for old consoles (because it is additional work).

In any case we can say that Fairphone is tackling this issue as well: They have learned from their failure with FP1 in this regard. Back then a relatively cheap Mediatek platform was chosen which made it impossible to develop and deliver operating system updates. But this makes my point and not yours: This is one of the reasons why they went for a better but also more expensive Qualcomm SoC.

Maybe in the end it really boils down to what you said: In different regions of Europe this high a price is a much larger hurdle than in other regions. Unfortunately I don’t know how this could be solved.

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Wow, that really changed my point of view. You’ve hit in the target with that. Maybe Fairphone’s sales strategy is not that wrong. Maybe I’m just sad that after all this time waiting, finally I’ll have to pick one of these Samsung that comes for free with the telecom contract :’( And guess that there are many people like me.

That said, I think there is no point in discussing the rich/poor thing in this context. The reality that you talk about is hugely different from mine. I’ve not seen an iPhone 6 yet, at least not outside stores. I suppose Europe is not as homogeneous as we may think.

@ben and @jftr: you didn’t understand what I was trying to say with this:

Obviously private companies’ only goal is their own profit. But the way that software companies make profit is by developing for the latest platform. We as consumers accept as normal the fact that developing for an old platform has no sense. So we see as normal that after a few years we MUST update our hardware in order to be able to run the latest software, even if it is in perfect physical state. And this is where hardware giants come in.

So, that’s life, but it wouldn’t necessarily be like that. Those into the GNU/Linux world can see that there exists a lot of old software that keeps being updated, and keeps running on really old machines. Because there are developers that not only think for the latest platform. They allow users to keep on their computers until the hardware dies, with all the security updates and bugfixes they need, but of course not with next-gen features that can only work well on a modern machine.

All this stuff is making me think… What if almost every person in the world had an smartphone? Would it be sustainable? Even if it was a Fairphone? If not… is it “fair” that we lucky people use smartphones made by other people that will never have a smartphone? Don’t care about the answers as much as about the questions.

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That is a very interesting point. I do no see a good solution. The only thing i can think of is deriving a formula that relates the price to the income per country (region? city?) and works in that all prices are balanced and still the Fairphone is not sold a loss by making sure the average price is still above 525€. That would probably make to phone more expensive in Sweden for example, and cheaper in Greece. It sounds very complicated and does not address that fact that some people in Greece will be much richer then some people in Sweden.

What about a personal price? Very complicated to calculate and would require the disclosure of your financial situation to Fairphone.

An interesting, but probably unrealistic Experiment: Something that is done sometimes at alternative restaurants, for example, is to not set a fixed price, but a price recommendation. Fairphone has the best pre-requisites for that since it discloses the constitution of the price in the cost breakdown.

It could work as follows: Fairphone would publish the recommended price of 525€ and explain its reasoning for that in the shop and to the press. Reviewers will probably relate to that recommendation as resonable or to expensive.
Fairphone then sets a fixed lower limit based on cost, for example, so that manufacturing costs are always paid for, or even slightly lower. It might also set an upper limit based on the difference from lowest to recommended price.
When you pay for the device, the price would then be flexible: Starting from the recommendation, you would be able to adjust the price within the limits explained above according on your financial situation. The adjustment would be completely in users hands, trusting them to make an assessment and a good decision. An example for the current model could be (completely made up by me!):
Recommended price: 525€
Minimum: 450€
Maximum: 620€
Average price paid: 530€ :slight_smile:

This could only work if people are honest, and, some people are willing to pay more for a device so that others with less money, can pay less. Hopefully, that would balance out, so that in average, the recommended price is payed.

Sounds complicated, but interesting, not? I do think thought, this experiment should be done with smaller investments first, but somehow i think of it as intriguing.

Obviously, the average price payed must stay around 525€ and it would be much harder for Fairphone do calculate. And, it would probably not be possible that people only pay 300€ for a 525€ device.

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Good morning to all of you.

Regarding the price in different countries - why not take the “big mac index” for the price-finding?
For all of you who don’t know that index, here are two sites, that explain how it works.
–> english article: http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index
–> german article: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big-Mac-Index

As we now have that index fixed - we could make different prices in different countries. Now for the dark side of the game - who can handle this? FP will need a lot of people, that juggle this price-finding and giving out the bills to the right person in the right index-price.

Oh - one more thought:
As you all know - we live in a connected world. And I’m damned sure, that there ARE customers who will buy more than one FP and sell them (still cheap) to countries with a little plus, where the original-price is much higher.

One last idea:
Does anyone know www.humblebundle.com ?
There is a minimum price you have to pay for software or comic books or audio files… Whatever… The big idea behind is, that you can pay MORE than the average price. If you do, you get an extra gift (e.g. more comics or a free extra game) AND you can choose what to do with the extra money. Like - give it to the red cross or other charity organisations.

However - the more I read your comments, the more I’m sure that FP did a good job with both - the phone-specs AND the price-finding. Both sides will be satisfied (sooner or later), because one party get’s a phone that is not a premium, but ahigh-class-smartphone for a reasonable price and the other party will be happy (in later months), that they still can use their phones in three or four years, while others have bought their second or even third phone, because they are too old or not repairable…

And with that - @FP: I’m pretty sure, that I’ll order the new one and get my first edition FP1 on an auction at ebay. And to all of you --> have a nice week!!! :smile:

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Hopefully they keep producing the FP1 at a more affordable cost.

But how do they earn a living? A solution would be a lease model (like e.g. Adobe does it, but not as restrictive): Pay 10€ a year for Android updates, and if you don’t want to pay anymore, you won’t be upgraded to a new version. Only security updates would be provided after you stop your lease. What do you guys think about this?

That’s what I was thinking. It’s not possible to do such a thing in the EU (then the different VATs irritate me even more…).

I like that approach. FP should offer a FP2 without any specials for e.g. 475€, and a supporter package with T-shirt, personally signed Thank You Card, special ringtone, etc. etc. for e.g. 575€. Probably 50€ wouldn’t make much difference though…

Be sure to read this:

And you too have a nice week! :slight_smile:

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That is true in case of app developers. However Google actually went large efforts in the last years to make newer versions of Android better adaptable for older phones. Google was lacking behind on newer markets (i.e. India, South America) because Android was not able to run on cheap phones (too slow, too much memory consumption, etc). However these are large markets where many many phones can be sold. So they improved Android to be able to run on cheaper hardware. That also means that newer versions of Android actually run better on older phones than previous versions. The same is true for Fairphone 1. Android 5 would definitely run on it if there were drivers available. It would probably run better than the currently available Android 4.2. (BTW: The same is true for Microsoft Windows. Windows 10 will run on hardware that is not able to run Windows 8).

Bottom line is, I think what you say really only counts for app developers that only develop for the latest operating systems to avoid duplicate work. In case of hardware that doesn’t get updates (like our Fairphone 1) it is the fault of the manufacturer (especially Mediatek, the vendor of the SoC) that doesn’t want to pour work into a platform they only sold few and cheap devices with. They rather spend their resources on developing new phones which they will be able to sell instead of wasting resources on already sold phones.

Maybe @Stefan’s idea of a subscription model could help avoiding this. However I’m optimistic Fairphone will already do that without a subscription fee.

Yes, when reading @ben’s post I also thought of it. However that is about immaterial goods (electronic games, e-comics, e-books, etc) which are mostly paid off already. And the price is much lower. So there is less incentive to go for the lower price than it would be the case with a 500 Euro smartphone.

As far as I remember, the Big-Mac-index is mostly used by political scientists and economists for comparative studies. It’s an interesting thought to apply it to a case like this. However – as both of you already mentioned, @Ro_Land_Pickl and @ben – one needs to make sure that Fairphone’s actual costs are covered in the end.

My guess is all these interesting schemes would incur more overhead than what people would safe.

These are very good and important questions. My hope is that with initiatives like Fairphone it will be possible one day.

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Oh, about that: Are you sure you are cheaper off with that strategy? Even if you don’t pay a huge amount up-front, the phone is not free. In the end you have to pay it with higher subscription costs.

For instance I have prepaid SIM-cards only. I pay 8 to 15 Euros each month for calling, texting, and internet on my phone. Of course I have to add the price of my Fairphone which was 325 Euros. Over three years (I hope it will last that long) that would be around 10 Euros per month. Getting a contract for 20 to 25 Euros a month with a relatively good phone is almost impossible. So I am (or hope I will be) better off without a subsisized phone.

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