It’s no secret: we’re out to change the world. 10 years ago, we started with a dream of a fairer electronics industry. With every phone we made, we got closer to that vision. As with everything else we’re pursuing, the end result is better when we do it together. Our goal of a fairer future is a work in progress, and we’re constantly assessing how far we’ve come and where we want to go. An open dialogue with our community is a big part of this vision.
So now, we’d like to invite you, our community, to help us dream up the next 10 years. Let’s crowdsource ideas for a fairer future:
How would you envision the year 2030 and what are your ideas for a fairer future?
We would love for you to really challenge us here. From pragmatic, to out of the box, to completely utopian, we’re open to all concepts, so let your imagination run wild.
Your ideas will inspire the final chapter of our upcoming impact report - and who knows, maybe even the next milestone in our mission to change this industry.
I have a question. Are your marketing and all the discounts you give necessary? Must some products be sold 19,99€ and not just simply 20€. I love Fairphone ethics, and this is the reason I wanted the Fairphone 2. I have been a bit disappointed by your marketing lastly, the new Fairphone Discountology science (to use @urs_lesse’s expression). You want to change the industry, but you partly use the same marketing than the rest of it. This subject has already been discussed on the forum somewhere, and I understand that you need to get known, and I wish you to get known. I understand you are a company that needs profit. But again, is this really necessary? I’m asking the question, it’s not only rhetoric, because I would like to understand what it brings really. And so to formulate it as a suggestion for the future, I think you could do less discounts and this sort of marketing to change the way of selling of the industry
And what I find wonderful with Fairphone, is the ethics and the fair materials. This, no other phone has and you must go on with it. This is why I have a Fairphone!
Advertising and selling products is something, that has developed over decades with ever more refined methods. There have been extensive test regarding psychological factors, eye movement, behaviour etc.
As a result almost all shops/groceries are designed to guide the customer, they are especially illuminated e.g. the fruit and veg area and they use fragrances and the goods are systematically located. And those methods are existing and working no matter the product (with additional special methods for certain products of course).
All this is “talking” to our subconcious.
E.g. the “x.99” prices:
when refuelling the car, the prices per liter (maybe gallon as well?) are like 1.499 Euro
but when someone tells, what the price was, it usually comes up as 1.49 and not as 1.50 (so it seems cheaper, even if everyone knows, that the price will be .9 cents higher).
And - pricewise - there are some thresholds, that make people less prone to buy and the first digit usually is quite important (is it still 1 or is it 2; like 1,999 to 2,000);
in addition, a price ending on “.99” gives the impression of being really good calculated and offering a bargain.
Ignoring and not using those kinds of marketing knowledge can be done obviously; but a company then usually points this out specifically; like “honest prices, no tricks …”. And that’s a kind of marketing trick as well.
My guess would be, that Fairphone has enoug unique selling points already, so they should focus on selling as many phones as possible, i.e. making as many people as possible switch from one of the global brands to Fairphone.
Once, they are established and got a certain share at least on local markets, they maybe can take on the fight against marketing tricks.
Though to me more important is the fact, that Fairphone is not using a kind of advertising, that is directed at creating a “need” and desire in people, that not really exists, but is just meant to sell, sell, sell. That’s why I really love their slogan “_ The most sustainable phone is the one you already own_”
By the year 2030, I really hope that we and Fairphone have made much progress on the transition from sourcing the materials that go into the device (whatever it looks like and whatever it is called by then ) from mining to retrieving them from old devices. In other words: Far more recycling to regain precious materials, much less mining.
However, that clearly poses a big challenge with regard to Fairphone’s original motivation: Strengthening the wellbeing of artisanal and small scale miners (ASM). In other words: The more successful recycling will become, the less work and income for the people Fairphone was originally founded for.
Fairphone will need to address this dilemma – what future for the miners and their communities when Fairphone no longer needs their work and their “product”?
A fairer futur for me will include a “low tech” phone, like a phone that can just…phone. It still includes rare earth and metal, so fair mining is also important for such phones(AND fair production, and fair…). I still remember my tireless Nokia 3310 phone which could last decades, I would love to have in my hands full of earth from my vegetable garden a small functional durable fully recycable and low-tech phone to just receive calls and sms from everywhere [without small games like snake plz], and built fairly as you already know how to do and as you will improve by 2030.
A choice I am actually making is chosing between a FP3 and a second-hand “low-tech” phone, with less rare materials, with smaller footprint for earth. Please, help me in my choice while my FP2 is still working
I would add that it should then be modular and repairable (at a point where it doesn’t affect performance and design too much like it did for the FP2), even though it is a feature phone. But I suppose that comes with the idea of it being a Fairphone.
Are we so used to Fairphone that we forget that some phone aren’t repairable?
I think there are more sensitive issues to take care of than marketing tactics. In all honesty, they are mostly harmless and I don’t expect anyone to handle my finances for me.
Fairphone is set to change the industry, not the world (that would be way too ambitious and naive). But whether we like it or not it needs money which ultimately serves a good purpose. So, in the worst case scenario, “unethical” marketing tactics are a necessary evil, at least for now, to compete in a world over saturated with information and numbed down to environmental and sociological causes.
Staying on topic, I also like the idea of perfectioning modularity and make it even easier to repair/upgrade parts of your phone, and tablets too. Fairphone as a company would also have more revenue streams this way so it’s a win-win.
I would like to see the Fairphone model incorporate the Raspberry Pi model, i.e. hardware with open APIs, industry standard interfaces and more competition in the peripheral selection.
For instance - about every review of the FP3 complained about the camera. What if the FP<n> came with a standardized camera interface like the RasPi does, and Fairphone the company offered a low end camera or some selection? I understand that this would pose some challenges for the case design, but don’t we all love challenges?
Step 1: Make fair phone and show other brands it’s possible. Check.
Step 2: Make other brands use FP’s knowledge so they can add a line of fair phones to their own collection.
Step 3: Make countries and societies ban phones that are unfair.
Step 4: (fill this one in later)
Step 5: World Domination
I remember having this discussion on this forum about Fairphone’s future. I was interested in Fairphone in the first place because of the fairness dimension. I then discovered the modularity of the phone and its openness (easy to install other OSes, updates long after other phones). These last two are very important to me too, but they are not directly related to fairness. It’s excellent that Fairphone manages to embrace fairness, ecology and openness, but it makes their task even harder. So: kudos for what you have been achieving.
That being said, I have always thought that Fairphone should be a label and not a phone company. I would rather see Fairphone’s standards regarding mining and production used by other companies, than Fairphone selling 1 million phones (which is still quite few in the phone market). Some people would pay more for a fairer iPhone or a fairer Samsung, but they wouldn’t buy a Fairphone. Modularity and openness are important to me (and many of us on this forum), but most people just want another phone.
It reminds me of the Hybrid cars industry. In the beginning one of the few models was the Prius and you could tell directly that it was a Hybrid car, because it was impossible to have the same car working with fuel. Nowadays, you can find a lot of different models with either a combustion engine or an electrical and a combustion engine. I guess it’s easier to sell a car and then discuss its motorisation.
It could be the same with phone: you choose the type of phone you like and then you choose if you want to pay extra for the “fairphone” label.
In the end, what’s important to me is that the phone industry gets fairer. Fairphone has led the way, we can see that it can be done. The fairness should be a new standard shared with other companies and Fairphone (as a phone company) could focus on the modularity!
… the target should be, that there are no other options left but fair electronics (it obviously should not stop at phones) and clothes and coffee and fruits and …
Otherwise it’s a bit like buying green energy from someone like Vattenfall or RWE, that are heavily invested in coal and nuclear power. That’s kind of OK for a transition phase, but it has to be a limited time only.
And I guess, it’s the example of companies like Fairphone, Greenpeace Energy, Enercoop etc., that prove the demand for fair solutions, thus making more people and other, bigger companies to reconsider. It might start as a marketing tool and still turn into something bigger.
Off topic: Be careful. There are quite some people here in this forum, that do consider openness softwarewise as the one (if not the most) important “fairness-feature”, as it’s fairness to the customer. There has been more than one discussion round this topic.
Absolutely: what you describe is the target. But like @Jo8ost, I think that it will come in several steps. Offering a choice is the first one, then some countries/companies will ban unfair phones. It worked with bananas, with some supermarkets only selling fairtrade ones nowadays.
You are also right with your off-topic comment, and you could also add modularity as a fair-feature. It depends on the way you define “fair”. I was thinking about production, as in the fairtrade label. But for the consumer, other features are considered as fair.
It will be delightful to have FairPhone source and sell in the States!
I’ve followed FP since the company first began in the wake of the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act. Since then politics have worsened, but FairPhone’s unwavering commitment to ethical sourcing reminds me of the good causes in our social world.
Which is why I deeply want one! But as an American, it’s nigh impossible to obtain
In the U.S, we have a Miners’ Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) which protects mine workers in every state, especially western ones. Sites like Utah mine profusely, yet sadly pollute recklessly too often.
I believe FairPhone will be wise to begin an ethical sourcing operation in America–the mining pollution extends south of the Mexican border to poor, afflicted peoples in Central & South America as well.
If FP can demonstrate a clear, humane supply chain on the American continent, I believe real healthy change in my land’s mines will result.
2030 is a long way and a lot will have happened that we can’t imagine.
I think smartphones will become less and less relevant, technology is moving so fast and there are so many different options that are becoming available (smartwatches, those glasses, alternate reality VR stuff is just the beginning probably).
So it is good to look forward. Exciting things ahead if we can manage the devastating certainties like climate change.
From the point of technology I think people have always needed things that make their life easier and this is gravitating more and more towards less noticeable and ergonomic gadgets like the smart watch that can do payments (and so much more).
Fairphone’s job is so important: you are providing a base line against which all other companies should be measuring themselves.
I would hope to see collaboration with other similar brands as @chrisse has said, or any way to make fairness more widespread and normal. I really hope that other businesses start to see the ethics in business and I would love a future where it’s less about competing and more about being together.
What I currently miss most is fair (in terms of working conditions, wages and sourcing of materials) options for other types of electronics (for me currently especially laptop and desktop computers, but it has been suggested before that in 2030 other types of electronics may be more important).
I also like the idea that not all of this is necessarily produced by the Fairphone company as it is now, and indeed it would be nice if there would be a spin-off that labels/rates other brands/products based on the thorough knowledge of the whole production chain that Fairphone currently has.