Fairphone 3 operating system + warranty

There is a big misinformation about rooting a device. According to this FSFE answer, rooting your device (e.g. an Android phone) and replacing its operating system with something else does NOT void your statutory warranty at least in EU.

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That’s correct. Still, the article you have linked seems to have got a most important point wrong. Who has to prove what?
There it seems to me to be wrong; at least, I have learnt different.
Within the first six months the seller/manufacturer has to prove, that any defect has been caused by the consumer. After that 6 month period the consumer has to prove that he did nothing wrong and cause the defect himself.
Of course the article is right again regarding the examples. E.g. reflashing the original OS will prove, that something is not on the OS.

Who has to prove what?
There it seems to me to be wrong; at least, I have learnt different.
Within the first six months the seller/manufacturer has to prove, that any defect has been caused by the consumer. After that 6 month period the consumer has to prove that he did nothing wrong and cause the defect himself.

The article states: *if your device becomes defective in the first 6 months, it is presumed that the defect was there all along, so you should not need to prove anything.

The directive states: Article 5.3. Unless proved otherwise, any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within six months of delivery of the goods shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods or the nature of the lack of conformity.

The article stats: If your device becomes defective after the first 6 months, but before 2 years run out, you are still covered. The difference is only that if the defect arises now, the seller can claim that the defect was caused by some action that was triggered by non-normal use of the device. But in order to avoid needing to repair or replace your device, the seller has to prove that your action caused the defect

The directive states: Article 5.1. The seller shall be held liable under Article 3 where the lack of conformity becomes apparent within two years as from delivery of the goods. If, under national legislation, the rights laid down in Article 3(2) are subject to a limitation period, that period shall not expire within a period of two years from the time of delivery.

The directive states: Article 3.1-6
Rights of the consumer

  1. The seller shall be liable to the consumer for any lack of conformity which exists at the time the goods were delivered.
  2. In the case of a lack of conformity, the consumer shall be entitled to have the goods brought into conformity free of charge by repair or replacement, in accordance with paragraph 3, or to have an appropriate reduction made in the price or the contract rescinded with regard to those goods, in accordance with paragraphs 5 and 6.
  3. In the first place, the consumer may require the seller to repair the goods or he may require the seller to replace them, in either case free of charge, unless this is impossible or disproportionate.
    A remedy shall be deemed to be disproportionate if it imposes costs on the seller which, in comparison with the alternative remedy, are unreasonable, taking into account:
  • the value the goods would have if there were no lack of conformity,
  • the significance of the lack of conformity, and
  • whether the alternative remedy could be completed without significant inconvenience to the consumer.
    Any repair or replacement shall be completed within a reasonable time and without any significant inconvenience to the consumer, taking account of the nature of the goods and the purpose for which the consumer required the goods.
  1. The terms “free of charge” in paragraphs 2 and 3 refer to the necessary costs incurred to bring the goods into conformity, particularly the cost of postage, labour and materials.
  2. The consumer may require an appropriate reduction of the price or have the contract rescinded:
  • if the consumer is entitled to neither repair nor replacement, or
  • if the seller has not completed the remedy within a reasonable time, or
  • if the seller has not completed the remedy without significant inconvenience to the consumer.
  1. The consumer is not entitled to have the contract rescinded if the lack of conformity is minor.

So in EU we are protected and above all root does not void warranty.

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All correct.
The seller is liable if
a defect becomes apparent.

But that does not answer the core question: Is this a defect of the product, or is it a defect caused by the customer?
And - as the rule for the first 6 months clearly proves - it is only for this period of time, that the seller has to prove, that the fault is not with the product.
The generel rule of law is, that always the party clayming a right or wanting something has to provide reason and to prove the right does exist. And that is exactly, why the directive states, that for the first six months the consumer does not have to carry the burden of proof.

What difference would there be, if after the 6 months time, the seller still would have to prove, that he is not responsible?

So, YES the seller has to cover defects for 2 years time, but NO, he doesn’t have to prove he is not to blame for the whole time.

And that is wrong.
The seller can claim mishandling the device during the first 6 months as well and he will not have to cover defects, if he can prove that.
The directive nowhere states, that the seller has to cover defects for the first 6 months no matter what.

And the article states:

If your device becomes defective in the first 6 months, it is presumed that the defect was there all along, so you should not need to prove anything.

That makes it obvious, that you do need to prove something after the first 6 months.
And even if you only can prove, that you did not do anything wrong and that there is no sign that you did. In that case it is up to the seller to prove otherwise.

I am no hacker and have no idea, what bad can happen by rooting the device and tampering with the OS, but if a defect, that you experience, could have been caused this way, the consumer has to prove otherwise and it is not the seller having to prove it actually happened this way.

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TL;DR after 6 months, you’ll have to proof the device still has the fault with the latest official firmware.

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There was a time where you had to construct most (or the whole) XFree86 (X.org predecessor) config manually, including mode lines for monitor which specify the horizontal and vertical range of Hz. If you put too high values in it, you could literally blow up a CRT monitor. If you put it too low, you’d get a gigantic headache. You avoided either by consulting your monitor’s manual (which in the previous millennium you had in paper form somewhere), assigning the correct values.

The point being: it was possible to destroy your hardware with custom software. Another example is flashing bogus/buggy firmware. Some motherboards have two BIOS to avoid such. There are people who know much better than me how/if similar ways to destroy hardware, including smartphone specific hardware, are still possible.

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So, YES the seller has to cover defects for 2 years time, but NO , he doesn’t have to prove he is not to blame for the whole time.

And that is wrong.
The seller can claim mishandling the device during the first 6 months as well and he will not have to cover defects, if he can prove that.
The directive nowhere states, that the seller has to cover defects for the first 6 months no matter what.

The article is in line with the directive: if your device becomes defective after the first 6 months, but before 2 years run out, you are still covered. The difference is only that if the defect arises now, the seller can claim that the defect was caused by some action that was triggered by non-normal use of the device*. But in order to avoid needing to repair or replace your device, the seller has to prove that your action caused the defect.*

Please read it carefully.

I am no hacker and have no idea, what bad can happen by rooting the device and tampering with the OS, but if a defect, that you experience, could have been caused this way, the consumer has to prove otherwise and it is not the seller having to prove it actually happened this way.

You do not need to be an hacker in order to root a device. It is a quite simple procedure.

The article states: we finally come to the question of rooting, flashing and changing the software. Unless the seller can prove that modifying the software, rooting your device or flashing it with some other OS or firmware was the cause for the defect, you are still covered for defects during those 2 years . A good test to see if it is the software’s fault is to flash it back with stock firmware/OS and see if the problem persists. If it does, it is not a software-caused problem. If it is not possible to revert it stock software any more, it is also not a software-caused defect. There are very few hardware defects that are caused by software — e.g. overriding the speaker volume above the safe level could blow the speaker.

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That is wrong and it remains so, no matter how often it is cited.
And the article. though written by at least one lawyer, lacks references totally.
If the consumer has tampered with the phone - in a non regular way - the consumer might need to prove, that this was not responsible for the defect. It is not the seller/manufacturer that has to prove your tampering was the cause.
As the article correctly states, flasihing the phone with the stock software again usually is proof enough, returning the burden of proof on the seller. If you can not reflash the original OS, the article is a bit misleading:
In stating, that there are very few hardware defects caused by software it rightfully says, one can blow hardware by software tampering. And that makes the statement If it is not possible to revert it stock software any more, it is also not a software-caused defect. This should have been it is also not neccessarily a software-caused defect, because in fact it might be, or can that really be ruled out by all means?

Sure, but that’s rather part of the problem, is’nt it? Nearly everyone can root a device. I meant, that I don’t know in what way software-tampering can harm the hardware. And one should better know that. to avoid such errors.
As far as I know, e.g. a loss of power while flashing a new bios can brick your computer. Couldn’t that happen to a phone to, making it impossible to reflash the stock OS?

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That is wrong and it remains so, no matter how often it is cited.
And the article. though written by at least one lawyer, lacks references totally.
If the consumer has tampered with the phone - in a non regular way - the consumer might need to prove, that this was not responsible for the defect. It is not the seller/manufacturer that has to prove your tampering was the cause.

Are you saying that FSFE is not competent? Are you saying that their article is without referencea? What else?
I trust FSFE and their members are experts in the respective fields (Matija Šuklje and Carlo Piana), I read the EU directive by myself and I confirm their article.
So please stop writing if you do not have a valid claim/reference which counterdict FSFE and EU directive.

Sure, but that’s rather part of the problem, is’nt it? Nearly everyone can root a device. I meant, that I don’t know in what way software-tampering can harm the hardware. And one should better know that. to avoid such errors.
As far as I know, e.g. a loss of power while flashing a new bios can brick your computer. Couldn’t that happen to a phone to, making it impossible to reflash the stock OS?

I suggest you to study who is an hacker. If you read well, I wrote that rooting a smartphone is a quite simple procedure. I did not talked about the success probability.
However, if you brick your device you are covered by the warranty.

Wow. you really take that personally, do you?
My aim is to present correct information in this forum, as I guess you mean to do.
Yes, the FSF article you cited is - best of all - misleading, in some parts plain wrong.
And yes. they present no reference. The footnotes do not lead to any legislation or ruling or legal newspaper. Just more statements.
I am sure, they meant right and in most cases their reasoning will be true, but the basic of their article - that the seller is always the one having to prove the fault is with the customer - is just not correct. I will provide most competent reference later in this posting.

First for some citing:
I wrote in my first posting:

I am no hacker and have no idea, what bad can happen by rooting the device and tampering with the OS, but if a defect,

Your answer:

You do not need to be an hacker in order to root a device. It is a quite simple procedure.

My answer:

I meant, that I don’t know in what way software-tampering can harm the hardware. And one should better know that. to avoid such errors.

Your latest posting:

I suggest you to study who is an hacker. If you read well, I wrote that rooting a smartphone is a quite simple procedure. I did not talked about the success probability.

You always seem to misunderstand me or cite only part of my expression.
I don’t have to study, what a hacker is; as I had a rather good idea of this to start with. And my idea is, that a hacker regularly has a concept of what he/she is doing and what can happen if things go wrong. For rooting a phone such knowledge - of course - is not neccessary. But then you do not neccesserily know what harm you might cause. Well, I myself would not know, what havoc I could create when trying to install another OS, therefore I did not do it so far.

Sorry, to say so, and absolutely not meant personally, but reading any EU-directive is not in the least the same as understanding it. That’s even hard work for lots of lawyers.

And yes, the fact, that both authors of this article are lawyers is something, that really makes me wonder.

If you do not believe me, maybe you believe the EU homepage over the FSFE-article (the authors of the directive):

If your product breaks after 6 months , you still have the right to have your goods repaired or replaced for free or, at least, to a price reduction or your money back. However, you may need to prove that the problem existed when you received the goods.

(2nd boldface textpart by me.) And that is the exact point, where FSFE is wrong!

Really? When bricking the phone by trying to install an unsupported OS?
Does this mean, if you fill the gas-tank of your 12cylinder Ferrari with diesel, the broken engine is on Ferrari?
Crazy idea.
Give it a try (with bricking a phone, not ruining a Ferrari engine) and please share your experience.

But do not try to convince me, that it is a bad example, as in both cases you try to “fuel the product” with something not meant for it.

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For me this was the reason not to order a FP3 now. On a support call I got information that Fairphone OS Open is being looked into for the FP3, and they made it sound like it is very likely to come. But they were far from making it sound guaranteed as well and I will not buy the phone before its fair software is out. For me it’s the killer-feature. Like: If the software isn’t fair, the phone is not fair :wink: So for now it’s FP2, not 3 …

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I changed the topic title to better reflect the content of the discussion.

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Wow. you really take that personally, do you?
My aim is to present correct information in this forum, as I guess you mean to do.
Yes, the FSF article you cited is - best of all - misleading, in some parts plain wrong.
And yes. they present no reference. The footnotes do not lead to any legislation or ruling or legal newspaper. Just more statements.
And yes, the fact, that both authors of this article are lawyers is something, that really makes me wonder.

I do not like to read misinformation and fake news. Are you saying that two lawyers from FSFE are wrong without any fact or proof for this?
The footnotes reports the EU Directive 1999/44/CE. It seems that you do not read properly.

I am sure, they meant right and in most cases their reasoning will be true, but the basic of their article - that the seller is always the one having to prove the fault is with the customer - is just not correct
Sorry, to say so, and absolutely not meant personally, but reading any EU-directive is not in the least the same as understanding it. That’s even hard work for lots of lawyers

This is your problem, you are sure, but you do not have knowledge and expertise. You are reporting your opinion without real facts and reference.
I have enough knowledge in order to read and understand the directive, differently to you.

If you do not believe me, maybe you believe the EU homepage over the FSFE-article (the authors of the directive):
Your link:
If your product breaks after 6 months , you still have the right to have your goods repaired or replaced for free or, at least, to a price reduction or your money back. However, you may need to prove that the problem existed when you received the goods .

The article:
The difference is only that i f the defect arises now, the seller can claim that the defect was caused by some action that was triggered by non-normal use of the device . But in order to avoid needing to repair or replace your device, the seller has to prove that your action caused the defect .
The directive:
The directive states: Article 5.1. The seller shall be held liable under Article 3 where the lack of conformity becomes apparent within two years as from delivery of the goods .

If you can understand it, you will find the answer.

You always seem to misunderstand me or cite only part of my expression.
I don’t have to study, what a hacker is; as I had a rather good idea of this to start with. And my idea is, that a hacker regularly has a concept of what he/she is doing and what can happen if things go wrong. For rooting a phone such knowledge - of course - is not neccessary

If you read properly my messages, I always provided reference for third party statements and I clearly stated my opinion.

Really? When bricking the phone by trying to install an unsupported OS?
Does this mean, if you fill the gas-tank of your 12cylinder Ferrari with diesel, the broken engine is on Ferrari?
Crazy idea.
Give it a try (with bricking a phone, not ruining a Ferrari engine) and please share your experience.

But do not try to convince me, that it is a bad example, as in both cases you try to “fuel the product” with something not meant for it.

Sorry, but I think that this is one of the most stupid example that I ever read on a forum. This clearly show that you are talking without knowledge about the topic. Maybe, your comments are best suited for famous social networks.

P.S. this is my last message, un(fortunately) I do no have enough free time to waste in this way.
Please reply me, only if you have something useful to say.

Sometimes it’s better to keep quiet and look stupid than to open your mouth and remove any doubt. Oscar Wilde.

Disagreement is perfectly fine, discussion is welcome, but could everyone please cut ad hominem attacks such as the one I quoted? Thank you.

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Thx @JeroenH .

[Edit: @erotavlas Please accept my apologies, should you feel, that I have attacked you personally. That was not my intention and might have been caused by the fact, that English is not my native language. I am sure, that we both just want to help and provide correct information.]

My last posting.
I agree to this point:

Now to the point, that we seem to be in disagreement:

The FSFE article states:

The EU-information that I referenced on the directive states:

Still you claim, that the 2 lawyers thtat wrote the article do know the EU-directive better than the EU, that is explaining the directive to the public?

That’s really tough stuff from you, as you happen to know nothing of me, of my profession and knowledge. My reference to the EU page seems to go unnoticed by you.
(I can assure you, that I am at least as qualified as the lawyers. You just have to believe it, or leave it; that’s allright by me.)

Finally to the point, that seems to create the misunderstanding:

The liability depends on one the fact, that “the lack of conformity becomes apparent”.
But it does not say, when this is the case. Not every defect is an apparent lack of conformity, therefore someone has to prove if this is the case. And - as the EU-homepage states - this burden of proof might fall on the consumer and is not always on the seller. Nothing more, nothing less.

I don’t know, if you will find this useful, but I hope it will help those reading in this thread, as that is all I wanted to do.

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Are you saying that the second bold sentence proves the first? In my opinion it does not at all. Article 5 refers to Article 3 which speaks about “any lack of conformity which exists at the time the goods were delivered”. The second quote does not say anything about who has to prove that “lack of conformity” and that it had existed at the time the product was delivered. Article 5.1 defines just a time limit, in essence it says that the seller can’t be held liable beyond the two years. It does not specify anything about who has to prove anything.

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So, what’s now the status? Is there an official statement about the making of Fairphone Open for the FP3 or not?

I started with the FP1, now I use an FP2. I ordered the FP3 because I wanted to continue to use an open Android phone. (On the FP2) I never used the stock Android without root, ever. Though I must also admit that I never tried anything else than the official releases by Fairphone, i.e. I had used the factory-rooted Android 4.2 for the FP1 and the alternative Fairphone Open 5, 6 and 7 on the FP2. So call me a coward for not trying FirefoxOS, CyanogenMod/LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch or SailfishOS on the FP2.

But not getting root on the FP3 is a no-go.

Having said that, I know that there are plenty of Android phones out there that come without root access by default. But they can be rooted anyhow. So, why should it not be possible to root the FP3 running the regular non-rooted Android “Fairphone OS” as well?

Also, since Android 8 Google started to make Android updates easier. It was called Project Treble. This kind of makes it easier for Fairphone to update their Android basis as well. When you consider the amount of resources that went into providing Android 4.4 for the FP1 (which never came, except a closed beta), and to get Android updated from 5 to 6 to 7 on the FP2, having Android 9 on the FP3 should make thing easier because of its architecture. Updates from Google should come faster and it should not be so hard for Fairphone to integrate them.

Anyhow, I am among those approximated 5% of FP1/2 customers who bought their phone not only because they are fairer than other competing products, but also because the Fairphones used to be fairer from the software point of view as well, i.e. having root access and an open bootloader from the start.

If the FP3 doesn’t allow me to enable root access, I will have to ditch the FP3 and continue to use the FP2…
I would be very sad!

The official statement is: “it’s on the roadmap”.

Thanks. I thought that was informal only.

Yesterday someone on Twitter posted that they were in contact with Fairphone about this question and the response was that root does not void warranty but installing custom ROMs would.
https://twitter.com/MaPFeld/status/1179141027476754436

Just to make sure, when you say “If the FP3 doesn’t allow me to enable root access” do you mean really not giving you any means to do root the phone? Or is it “just” about the warranty which might be voided if you root the phone?

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