Fairphone 3 - Interview of Bas from FrAndroid

I bet there’s different schools of “sustainability” to this claim. On the one hand there’s the people claiming that if you want to be truly sustainable, you need to aim for minimalism. Pulling that to extremes you might argue that a full smartphone wastes more resources than say a candybar shaped dumb-phone (not to mention the increased power consumption), so perhaps we should all live a bit more modestly. If people are willing to drastically restructure their diets to give up say animal products, giving up facebook and whatsapp on-the-go sounds to me like a relatively insignificant sacrifice.

On the other side (for those that question my objectivity,I’m not :wink: this is the side I’m on as well) there are a lot of people who feel sustainability does not have to come at the cost of functionality. This brings us to a different “trade-off” space where we aim for ethical production and longevity on the one hand, and finding a feature and performance point sufficient for the masses on the other hand. When navigating this design space we need to cleverly think about the “high-end” features that we discuss. Adding a high end SoC with fat cores and an even fatter GPU might make the phone more attractive for some gamers, but judging by the size of the market for OnePlus, Wileyfox and the likes this is not a deal-breaker for the majority of the people while burning through batteries and energy quicker. A high-end feature like 5G over a broad range of bands however makes the phone more feature-proof as there will inevitably be a point where provides choose to drop backward-compatibility with older standards. A low-end SoC from a cheaper manufacturer is less likely to obtain (security- or full Android) updates two years from launch when compared to the established mid-range SoCs, meaning again that the lifespan of the phone is increased by going more high-end. Not to mention it’s hard to judge what app requirements will be in three years, other than that we know they’ll be higher than they are now.

All things considered, as much as I sympathise with your call for realistic specs rather than aiming for the shiniest of shiny, we might still need to have a serious discussion about how high we really need to set the bar! :slight_smile:


Thanks for your critique - fair points. I think that much for the reasons you suggest a mid range spec might be a good idea rather than low end.

The range of desires within this thread suggest that there is a number of clear market segments here - if I’m not target market then I’ll take my hairshirt away with me :slight_smile: A key thing in my mind is based on the experience so far, there is one model at a time, not a range to suit every users needs (this isn’t Samsung) - so aiming the model to reach as many as possible seems sensible, rather than putting out of reach or interest of people in the early stages of its release cycle…

FP is not mainstream, and realistically can’t compete for people who don’t ‘buy-in’ to the ethos. For some sustainability means as you suggest that they would be talking face to face rather than use a gadget, but for many I suspect it is being able to make a choice to feel better about something that they might buy anyway.

By pushing that envelope of what will the future look like it does put FP into an even tighter niche - early adopters with high disposable income that want the best technology (I’m slightly exaggerating, so please don’t take that as a personal description!). But it does become a self-fulfilling prophecy perhaps like some fruit-based brands that push the envelope of what can be done and thereby stimulate demand…

If FP is about giving people a choice of fairly sourced components, perhaps having a model that is attainable (with a premium) for everyday use, would be a reasonable aspiration, and hopefully a good business model. I’m not opposed to a high end version, but I think that it is slightly at odds with ‘fair’ if that is the only option (I don’t know if it will be!).

I might be badly mistaken but I think that one of the reasons that technology is changing so rapidly, and therefore becomes obsolete, is because is it unsustainable - the resources used to feed the rate of change can’t be sustained indefinitely. So, in my opinion, FP can’t compete with that so would be good to step off the front edge of technology, go with long life components and put the challenge out to the software developers to design more efficient apps and keep things running for as long as possible. But that’s a whole other argument.

I have an equal lack of objectivity. I know there is a conundrum of ‘perfect solution’ - I want to see the trade-offs rather than aim low. The ideas I put forward would match my needs, and I accept that they might not be a priority for everyone.

Good to look for a solution by discussion! I hope we get something that is useful to lots of us.

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Since Spring 2017 we haven’t heard any news about the development and design of a fairphone 3. Is there any update, does fairphone have a roadmap with a date for its release ? I am curious to know, particularly since I own a FP1 which is now 4.5 years old, and might collapse in a few days or few months (who knows? ).
Thanks for answering this question.


As soon as there is an update I’m sure someone will post it here.


Well I am afraid that the silence of Fairphone for more than one year now on this topic is not a good sign.

2018 will bring some surprises :wink:

Nice to hear… but some communication from Fairphone would be nice too :wink:

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11 posts were split to a new topic: Fairphone 3 should be an Android One device

It´s these kind of expressed suspicions being spread which may bring companies into serious trouble.

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Sorry it is not suspicion… it’s an observation and it is true that communication is a key element in companies success. My intention is not to put Fairphone in trouble (I have been part of the crowfunding at the early stage and purchased from the first batch of FP1 and have been happy with it, so why should I?), but to alert that some communication about FP3 would be helpful not only for the Fairphone community, but for the Fairphone Company itself too.

All I heard of from FP were some surprises for 2018. So I will wait for whatever surprises are coming. Too much information may spoil the surprise. Maybe a new FP3…but new add-ons or modules would be very nice as well.
At the end it´s also up to the company if, when and how it will launch a FP3 and also if it will ever launch it.
Strange expectations though. I hardly could read about enthiusiasts complaining about G**gle stopping their Ara project, but I regularly can read about people somehow pushing FP to reveal their ongoing actions although they often do not even make precise and clear promisses to the public. Hence there should not be to high expectations anyway.
For myself I rather stick to what I have which is a flawlessly operating FP2 for >2 years already.

Permanently looking out for the next product launch I should better stick to the big boys chasing eachother pushing new models through their pipelines.

But that is not my expectation on FP. Therefore I did not buy it. I am surprised there are users out there since V1 which imho still not fully stand behind the way FP is acting.
BTW, there are reliable FP2s out since quite some time (actually in stock again). No one can complaint about not having an option to get a successor of the FP1 (which could collapse sooner or later). Yes, buying every model also is not the most economic way for customers, but the time limited FP1 rebuy offer could had relieve the financial pain a bit. So it´s not like FP is out of business not offering anything atm therefore urgently needing to launch a FP3.


Or would it, really?
As we all can do no more than speculate, we have no idea if there already is something to announce.
Everything they might be telling now, they will be held accountable for later, even if the development process later shows, that not everything is feasible or something simply proves to be prone to failing.
And in my opinion all announcements now, besides raising expectations, are reducing the impact of the later presentation of the final product.
On that behalf, Apple really shows what marketing can do; their product-presentions being talk of the town all over the world.

My guess is, that anticipation and speculation about the next FP is rather a good thing, as it keeps interest high.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Keeping your phone longer with a refresh on the inside and out

I do not own a fairphone, but my current phone, an S5 mini on cyanogenmod, is giving me more and more trouble. I always intended to use my phone for much longer, but with the current performance not even being enough to support my keyboard app (SwiftKey) consistently, I’m starting to look for alternatives.
I don’t use my phone for gaming or anything, but I do expect a smooth experience for navigating the web, etc. and I certainly like the availability of almost all apps out there via the play store. I know that more low-end hardware could be used with a different OS, but just try to make e.g. your bank’s closed-source app for secure payments work with that and you see that there are certain drawbacks (in fact, in my case it doesn’t even allow rooted devices).

So I was quite saddened when I heard that FP is thinking of using a low-end SoC for the FP3, maybe in a release schedule alternating between low-end and high-end devices, because I very much doubt that my current phone will last until FP4 (whenever that may be).
This also means that FP has no offer for any customer looking for a mid- to high-end device for at least two years. I thought hard about getting an FP2, but while I’m completely fine with all peripheries, I don’t see the core module and battery as a good choice until 2022 - which is the lifetime I’d want when buying a new phone.

In my opinion, the best way right now would be transparency in communication. FP should state what their roadmap is, as well as which parts of it are safe and which parts aren’t. That way, potential customers, like me, would have at least [I]something[/I] to base their decision on. With other brands, it’s clear that they release a new phone every year, and while I’m glad that FP doesn’t, I’d still like to know what I’m supposed to expect. It would also fit well with the general strategy of transparency.

Judging by the previous posts, it seems like the community is split on whether a cheap phone with low-end hardware or a high-end phone with corresponding prices is to be supported.
With similar overall goals, there’s already Shift phones for the low end market, while there’s only the FP2 in the (former) high end segment. Everybody looking for an ethically produced phone with a lower price tag already has at least one option.
So if it has to be one model only, I’d say it should most definitely be mid- or high-end hardware. Everything about better longevity of such hardware has already been said.

However, with the modular design and the OS sitting on the same module as the CPU and RAM, offering two SoCs sounds like the natural solution to me. Of course, maintaining support for both is pretty much double the cost, too…

I am actually against the restriction of making it compatible with FP2, because that was the first ever attempt at a modular smart phone. There were surely many lessons learned, and it should be allowed to apply those to the FP3. Cross-Generation compatibility might make for a good long-term goal though.

But I want to stress again that I think the most important part is that potential users have enough information to plan when or when not to buy a phone. Even if it is “We don’t know. Probably 2019, but we really don’t know yet.”


I don’t know by heart what is considered higher-than-low-end nowadays, but isn’t the new Shift 6m(q) rather high end? At least their price for the 6m is 555€ and the regular price of the 6mq will be 777€. Doesn’t sound too low end for me :wink:


Then my information might have been a bit outdated indeed. I was judging by the 5.x variants, which are what I think to be the more standard size (the leading number is the screen size in inches). They’re typically below 300€. I didn’t even know there were larger variants.
Anyway, I don’t think that changes anything for the necessity of better information on the FP roadmap.

Edit: Now I found the time to check it, and the Shift 6m(q) are not released yet. Given that Shiftphone also isn’t quite on par in terms of fairness and transparency (e.g. lists only Coltan as a focus, but not other minerals), there’s still a niche open for a high end fairphone.


This was in the latest isue of the newsletter that FP send to supporters which I received 2 days ago

"Psst…something big is happening

This month we’ve been incredibly busy, preparing for… well, it’s a bit of a secret, so we can’t tell you exactly what just yet, but we want you to be the first to know! Sit tight and keep an eye on our newsletter in the coming weeks. We will also be sharing the scoop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. "

Now, if it is the announcement of the FP3, I would like to know. My FP1’s battery is reaching the end of its life and I have decided to upgrade the phone. If an FP3 is available soon, I would not be happy to have bought an FP2 a day or two before the availability of the FP3 was made public.


My guess:

  • 60% it’s the release of Android 7 for the FP2 (‘incredibly busy’ fits best for this, ‘big’ fits, but ‘secret’ not so much since it was announced already, but without a fixed date).
  • 20% it’s a project involving the community that I heard rumors about.
  • 15% it’s something else that will surprise me.
  • 4% it’s not a big thing at all like back when I was still using Apple products they once had a countdown to something big on their homepage and then the big reveal was that Beatles albums could now be bought in iTunes (which nobody had known that they couldn’t before).
  • 1% it’s an announcement that the FP3 coming out in the next 3 years.

Hollow teasing is a common practice, but not very nice.
People waiting for something in particular (disregarding how realistic it may be at this point) will get their hopes up … Fairphone 3, a new core module, a bigger battery, Fairphone entering the US market … you name it.

Welcome to the disappointment lottery, there will be winners :slight_smile: .


I think it is still no easy decision to provide information about the FP 3 release but it also bugs me since i am using the experimental 4.4.2 version for FP1. It has a lot of minor and semi bugs and i don’t want to make a downgrade since i don’t know which apps will be broken after.

One of my thoughts is that if FP would say now or half a year ago “in mid/end 2019 there’ll be the FP 3” it could cause a huge drop of the FP 2. Tbh who would buy a FP 2 if you know the next generation is coming quite soon. We don’t know how the numbers are but i still hope FP is not in red numbers.

I stil want to believe.