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
Step 1: Make fair phone and show other brands it’s possible. Check.
Let’s not overcomplicate such an easy task.
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!
Agreeing in general, though …
… 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.
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.
And the product can finally be sold in the U.S
I also wish that Fairphone wouldn’t do business with countries that
- force sterilize women of ethnic minorities
- have hundred of thousands people in so called re-education camps
- where simply criticizing the ruling elite can render a life sentence in prison
Besides the other previous mentioned ideas it would be nice to have a larger product range.
- FP 2030 generation of course, if possible, more variants, with hardware keyboard, as previously mentioned open source hardware, own OS
- FP Tablet
- FP Notebook
- or other technical things that are relevant to this time
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.
Frankly, these days a so called “feature phone” is going to cost more to develop than a so called “smart” phone.
I’m coming back to this thread to voice an opinion I have already seen on the forum.
Seeing the recent discussion about security patches, I think Fairphone should use the Fairphone Forum as a more official way of communicating. The fact that only you, @rae (and perhaps @lorahaspels, I don’t know), are following the things happening on the forum is a bit strange. Things voiced here are pretty important. I’m not saying it should replace the support team, certainly not, but that it should be nearly equivalent.
As a regular forum member, I sometimes don’t know whether pointing the user to the Fairphone support is better than mentioning @rae in the thread (well I suppose one, and then the other).
Fairphone support would be the official way to get things repaired, but FP could answer pending questions on the forum more quickly and more easily, the security patches for instance.
I would also obviously ask this way a bit more transparency, and easier way of telling things. I know the articles on the blog are copied here for a discussion, but apart if someone mentions you, the discussion doesn’t bring much, and for an official way of communication we are told to contact support. This is what I would ask about transparency.
To sum it up because I’m not very clear :
I think it should be defined whether the forum is a official way of communication for FP, as you sometimes do to answer redundant questions (which I would think is a good idea), or not (which in my opinion brings FP farther away from the consumers, and not a good idea), as in the moment, the forum is half official.
Nice topic! Time for some blue sky thinking
By 2030 I’d like to be able to buy all sorts of electronic items and know that they are fairly made:
- Fairly sourced materials
- Fairly treated employees thoughout the supply chain
- Fairly treating the environment at all stages of the product lifecycle
All of the above to Fairphone’s standards or other standards which Fairphone consider to be suitable.
Here’s how I’d like Fairphone to achieve this:
- Influence governments to implement laws to ensure that fairness as defined above is mandatory - for this Fairphone must show that people care about this either by selling enough products or by other less tangible means
- Certify other manufacturer’s products meet Fairphone’s standards by auditing their supply chain - for this Fairphone must show that there is sufficient value for other manufacturer’s to want to do this
- Provide consumers (us) with alternative ways to buy electronic items which aren’t available to meet Fairphone’s standards - for this Fairphone either have to sell items in these other market sectors (laptops, desktops, monitors/TVs, smartwatches, tablets, single-board computers, microcontroller boards, kitchen appliances, even cars!) or provide a way for consumers to pay a premium to mass-balance and otherwise provide support to the supply chain to compensate for the fact that the original manufacturer of the item didn’t do this (I know this is a controversial topic, some people say this is just paying to remove guilt and doesn’t actually improve the situation (like carbon offsetting), but this would be another way to support point 2).
To do all this, Fairphone need to:
- Promote the Fairphone message better to governments and consumers
- Sell more phones!
- Sell other things too!
- Provide a supply-chain auditing service to other companies
- Provide a mass-balancing scheme and other means of improving supply chain working conditions and environmental impact directly to consumers.
To provide a practical example of the point about mass-balancing etc, take something small, which is already pretty ethical, but could be made even better: the Raspberry Pi. The supply chain already meets various requirements because it is made by Sony in their factory in Wales, however, things can still be improved. Fairphone could work with Sony on the supply chain for the Raspberry Pi to improve it and then certify it (unlike Sony would cooperate unless Raspberry Pi Foundation insisted) or there needs to be a way for consumers (like me) to be sure it is already fair by other means (e.g. laws) or by doing it ourselves, such as mass-balancing and paying into schemes to improve working conditions and environmental impact.
My wish for the future: Timely Rollout of Google Security Patches
I hope “human” population will stop at 9 billion, most people in the world are unconscious organic assembly/collection machines, hardly alive, we need more consciousness. The coming of AI is inevitable, silicon machines will replace carbon machines which will recede into virtual realities.
The phones in all probability will become implants.
Ecology will become a vain cult as the real conflict is still not addressed.
I don’t want to spook anyone, I got a Fairphone so I must be hopeful, but probably simply an absurdist.
Maybe the phone as we know it is already dead.
Fairphone staying fair is all that they can do and should do.
Hi!, While I don’t own a Fairphone at this time I’ve been keeping an eye on it, I would like to suggest an expansion of your product line, multiple main modules (a higher end, mid -level, economy and a feature phone model) 2 screen options(HD+, 1080p ?), a headphone jack, various camera options, etc… , so people could build their own Fairphone to fit their budget and requirements, I might add I live in the U.S. so working with the major U.S. cell networks would be great.
Of course this would have to be done within your company’s structure and philosophy.
I have been VERY resistant to buying a new phone since my last (an LG V20, the last good somewhat accessible top level phone from LG).
I hope to join your movement soon.
I really hope that there will be an active Fairphone users’ community in the UK by 2030.
More 3rd party modules:
I have been following Fairphone for some time now and there is one thing still surprises me. I have not seen any 3rd party modules. If you have seen any, please let me know.
3D print cases, holders, etc:
I thought why not at least 3D print a backplate for the phone and add QA charging, even with the sacrifice of a 2 mm thickness? Maybe someone would add an extra battery for a long trip or something.
Inter-compatibility between phone generations
The beaten up question about the camera (this might apply to the speakers, battery, maybe even screen). Why aren’t they backward compatible? Like why not someone with FP2 buy a camera from FP3 and use it? For me, being able to exchange parts is a part of the modularity concept. It is good that they are easy repairable sure, but phones are not upgradable (well, ok, there aren’t any upgradable phones at all, but has anyone tried?). The only thing that I can see is that there are 8 and 12 megapixel cameras for FP2 but that is about it.
I wish there was an option to ditch Android for Linux or something. However there are apps that are used for identification and banking that will not work on Linux. I tried SailfishOS with their Android layer but apps like Swedish BankID do not work there. So if double boot were possible, that would be awesome!
A phone with a smaller screen
I would really like to get a smaller phone with 4" screen. For the tasks that I do, that would be great.
The production is environmentally friendly, because as far as I know it is Fairtrade, can be repaired and they last a long time, but not produced CO2 free. Also an affordable + premium version of Fairphone for people with different needs to reach wider groups
The thing is that if the forum would be an official communications platform for Fairphone,
- they would have to read each and every post because people would expect them to do.
- Also community participation would be less because why answer a question when support officials will do so anyway (and get paid for it).
- People would forget that this forum is public and post all kinds of sensitive information about themselves, like they would do in an official support ticket.
- The forum would change for the requirements of the support staff, instead of fulfilling the requirements of the community.
My idea for the future
Official funding for community booths at ecological fairs, with guidelines as to what can be funded and what the community members would have to do in return (e.g. social media material, report, etc.)