Fairphone 3 -- Hardware and obsolecence discussion

I think it’s time for people to calm down… again!

At this point I don’t believe there is much point in a discussion about a FP3 other than a hypothetical one. If you all can’t control yourselves then we will close this thread too as it is adding no value whatsoever to the community in its current form. I suggest that if we want to discuss the potential of a FP3 then we start up a wishlist specifically for this, but not to have useless debate with one another.

I’d also just like to draw attention to this comment by Joe


It is not. Sales are required for Fairphone to make an impact. And while it would be nice, it is extremely unrealistic to sell the same phone for 10 years.

I do would like to remind you to stay friendly and not get unfair in the forum

I think we as a community can discuss what we want, without Fairphone losing anything, but it is sad the moderators are required to step in so often,

I fact, it is realistic for parts of the Fairphone team to already think of the next model and plan this. 18months development is realistic and some goals might need to be set forth beforehand.

FP releasing a model 3 in roughly 2017 sounds like a terrific idea to me. That does not mean support for the FP2 would need to be dropped. But it means they certainly need starting to think about it now.


Ben, I would like to highlight that in your haste to play moderator-referee you have missed the beginning of the exchange, where the other person started it by saying I was talking nonsense. At least kevr1990 thought it was fair play since contrary to you, he did not pick up that comment. I fail to see how it was unfair or unfriendly although being originally a linguist. My guess is that your interpretation did not match my meaning. :wink:

In your meticulous, point-by-point review of my post, you are developing on them more than opposing them, showing your admittance that they do make sense, although they are arguable. Any statement is arguable and discussing one another’s comments is the idea of the forum, so everything appears fine in our exchange :wink: . Banter aside, my point, really, was that I am worried that by the end of 2017, Fairphone will be not a solid, experienced or rich enough company yet to be able to provide customer support, software updates, oversee the building and distribution of spare parts for 2 devices whilst also developing then building and distributing a 3rd one.
I totally agree on your comment on the fact that the FP2 is already outdated and would not be sellable in 3 or 4 years - which makes me wonder why not come up with a fairly up-to-date spec’d phone in the first place?..
And again this is positive criticism only aimed at getting everyone thinking and talking, including the Fairphone team - I did put my 525€ in it, which should be proof enough that I support the whole concept… :smile:

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I think the whole point is, many people see the next part of your sentence as the solution to your fear, whilst you see it as a threat:

I agree developing, building and distributing a 3th FP will require additional workforce. But they will only be able to pay those people and the people currently working there *, if they generate additional income… with an FP3, for example.

*AKA the people who will be able to provide customer support, software updates, oversee the building and distribution of spare parts for 2 devices

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Funny that you would say that. Many people would rather have a cheaper system with less up-to-date hardware. I’m glad at least some people like you talk sense and see that this is an investment into the future and will pay off in the long run.

In any case, the hardware is rather up-to-date. Given, it is not the newest chipset, but it is a compromise between capabilities and cost. Additionally it is proven technology. What happens to some manufactureres that use the bleeding edge is examplified with the heat issues of Snapdragon 810 phones.

But yes, I agree, the SoC could be newer.

Phones with a five-year lifespan? During the 2 decades I lived in my parents’ house they had just 2 telephones. My wishlist for FP3 is that I hope it never exists. Why should Fairphone produce new models every 3 years? There are more than enough crappy Nokias in the world - all of which last way longer than 5 years and they don’t need to be modular because they never go wrong. Couldn’t we be a little more ambitious here? How about a phone for which any part can be replaced - a phone that could be kept going for 20 years?


Have you ever considered that people who don’t own a Fairphone would like to buy a phone that is not 5 years old but a bit ore modern? If you look at the development of the last 5 years - Would you today buy a smartphone from the year 2010 if it was fair?


I’ve moved two posts here from the module wishlist topic, as they concern the hardware of the entire phone, and the philosophy behind it. The moved posts are similar in content to others in this thread.


If the project is not about changing insane consumer habits, then I’m not interested in the project.

I think you are missing the point Vinni is making

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I think you misunderstood Vinni. It’s not insane to buy a state of the art phone if you don’t currently have a phone. It’s just insane when you have functioning phone from two seconds ago.


If Fairphone turn out a new model every three years - i.e. if they perpetuate the idea that people need and should pursue technology that is ‘up to date’, ‘modern’, full of the latest features, etc. - it is failing to counter current consumer habits - which are insane. That’s my point, regardless of what Vinni’s point was.

Yeah well then why do you answer Vinnies post if you disregard his point?

We all got your point and wanted to tell you that your assumption about Fairphone’s motives is wrong. They intend to reach new customers that don’t have a functioning fair-smartphone yet with the new model and actually hope that not to many FP1 owners will buy the new phone if the old one still works.


I wan’t to have Virtual Reality Support in the Fairphone 3.
This would be awsome :smiley: .

I think it’s important to remember that this Fairphone initiative means different things to different people.

I, for one, am far more concerned about the labor conditions of those who make the phone and source it’s materials than I am about the environmental impact of buying a new phone every two years. I understand others are far more interested in the repair-ability and recycle-ability of the phone, and I don’t begrudge them their opinion. I am interested in one particular axis of fairness, you are interested in another. Even others might get very passionate about the openness of the software, for example…

In any case, if the good folks at Fairphone envision a world where everyone’s phone lasts 5 years, I don’t think releasing a new phone every 2 to 2.5 years is incompatible with these goals of fairness. They need to sell new phones to stay alive and relevant, and while I would love to keep my phone as long as possible, I’m not buying a 4 year old model either. New customers (correctly) expect new-ish hardware. It’s just business.



Exactly! I hope to be able to use my Fairphone 1 until the latest Fairphone is not older than a few months at the most. E.g. if it breaks now I would get a FP2, but if it breaks in one year, I wouldn’t get a one-year-old FP2, but wait for a next generation Fairphone model and use my dumb fallback phone until then.


The FP2 already has a fairly high res screen. With 5", it is the perfect size for many cheap cardboard-like devices. And I personally believe the USB extension port could be quite useful in this regard – to attach controllers or better sensors for VR applications.

If the FP3 can be ready for some VR use cases depends a bit on the pace the industry is currently going. I think it will be great for some experiments, but no comparison to Occulus and the like. The reason for that is, that for VR to work good, you need very low latency (all the time introduced for processing – from dealing with sensor and input data to finally rendering and displaying the picture on the screen) and very fast screens (currently more than 120fps are a good target). This requires a lot of computing power and very short display response times which are of no use in other use cases. So it makes not that much sense to integrate that in the FP3.

In short: Depends on you VR use case: Occulus/Vive like gaming: Not realistic. 360 degree videos and pictures and similar apps: Absolutely, this is will be great on the FP2 already.

Could not agree more.


I also don’t see a problem with the sustainability goals and a FP3 after say 12 or 18 months - be it a completely new design or just a mainboard replacement. The stuff that really matters about sustainability is: if you were not willing to upgrade, could you still stay with what you have now? And if you upgraded, would the device still be useful to a 2nd or 3rd hand owner? Or will it only be good for recycling?

Regarding a FP3 platform I would highly opt for going towards an open source platform with focus on free software and as least blobs as possible. Actually, if you look at the reasons for the FP1 failure then this is exactly what it’s all about: Relying on a vendor to provide closed source software and “begging” for the right to distribute it. This is just the wrong approach if you ask me.

The current FP2 platform vendor provides much better support and also for much longer, but still the FP team is more or less completely dependent on the willingness of the vendor to provide the necessary closed source blobs. In other words: if the vendor will not provide updates for Android 7, FP will face the same situation as with the FP1.

Therefore, dear FP-team: If you decide for any new platform for the FP3/FP2.x, please choose a truly open platform and not again a closed one!

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Current consumer habits don’t need to be tweaked slightly - e.g. by getting people to keep their phones for 5 years instead of 3. Something much more radical has to happen. Waste production worldwide will double between 2012 and 2025. The Swiss (for example) throw away 26.3 kg of electrowaste per person / year (131,000 tonnes in 2013). We have become addicted to technology and used to binning it the minute a new development is on the market. And it is clear from reading the posts here that many fairphoners want to keep the attitude while being environmentally/politically/socially responsible at the same time. My tiny point is that that isn’t going to be enough. Attitudes to technology and consumerism will have to be turned upside down. Kicks will have to be obtained in other ways.

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