Fairphone 3 should be an Android One device

Given FP’s experience with the firmware development (had to stop for the FP1, seems to be quite some workload for the FP2) I really hope FP 3 will be an ‘Android one’ device.
That would take the burden from FP, allowing them to specialise in the hardware development (with all the ethical problems around them) and not spending time (and hence money) on the software side. That would mean FP could do what it wanted to do from the very beginning, and still allowing users to enjoy the latest firmware and security updates.


This would also make Fairphone very dependent on Google, right? Plus Google surely wouldn’t allow a Fairphone Open OS or even Ubuntu/Sailfish/LineageOS etc.


You mean that FP isn’t dependant on Google then?
Honestly: I can only see advantages of using Android one, both for FP and it’s clients.

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I’d hope for Treble support because that makes it easier for future Android updates…


Android One is developed by Google (link to Wikipedia). So an Android One Fairphone would very much be dependent on Google.


Since we can assume the FP3 will be Google Certified and since a few days, Google no longer certifies devices with Android versions older than Oreo and launching a device with Oreo requires Treble support, we can be sure the FP3 will support Treble.
Furthermore, I hope for A/B system partitions which allow almost seamless updates (and recovery in case something goes wrong).


I would argue that Treble and A/B updating are the most important features of the latest Android versions and definitely features I’m looking forward to in future.


Of course Android One is developed by Google; all Android versions are.
Android One is just a version (some call it a ‘skin’) that relieves the hardware manufacturer of the laborious job of maintaining the firmware. All updates are rolled out directly by Google (compare it to how Widows works). Using this all parties can do what they do best: FP making the hardware and Google the firmware (including updates & security patches).


Can you give an example of an Android One phone that has received monthly security updates for over 2 years?


Of course not for over 2 years yet, as Android One is only operational for a few months. And don’t forget that the FP1 updates didn’t even last 2 years, in spite of costing FP a huge amount of effort. If that would have been A1 it would have been an automated process.

Just keep an eye at how everything goes with the current A1 devices (like the Xiaomi Mi A1, Motorola Moto X4, HTC U11 Life, Y!Mobile X1/X2/S1/S2, General Mobile GM6/GM5/GM5 Plus, Nokia 1/6-2018/7 plus/8 Sirocco). And probably more to follow, as it is attractive for manufacturers not to be engaged with the burden of maintaining firmware.


According to Wikipedia

They make up the First Generation of Android One phones, which by now only run Android 6.0.1, released in December 2015. So much for that.

Google claims the following on their Android One website:

I think that this isn’t what Fairphone is aiming for.

PS.: I split off this discussion as I found that it should have it’s own topic. @Rob_van_der_Does If you don’t like the title I chose, please edit it.


Yepp, you are right here. If we assume that FP3 will support Android 8.X or better, it will have Treble support.

I found another good post on XDA why project Treble is quite impressive. My favorite part is in the middle paragraph where they write about “obscure MediaTek devices”… :grin:


1- Android One release plans and Android One readily available on WW-available phones are 2 different things altogether. If you look at the (IMHO quite extensive) list of A1 devices I gave above, you’ll see that they are all pretty young.

2- While Android One promises to receive at least two years of OS upgrades to the latest version of Android may not be what FP is aiming for, but it is way more then what FP materialised so far (no upgrades for the FP1 and just one for the FP2). And please remember that ‘at least’ means just that; it may even be more. And apart from Android upgrades, it assures very frequent security updates as well, which will go far beyond the 2 years.
The point is that Google has no gain by a premature ending the support, as it is no HW-manufacturer.

@Stefan: reading your posts you seem to have a big anti-sentiment against A1, while in my opinion it would be the dream for FP to make use of it. As I said before: A1 allows both parties to concentrate on what they’re good at.

PS: Project treble has nothing to do with this. Indeed all devices released with A8 and above must support project treble, and for sure this will make rolling out security updates much more easy. But as opposed to Android One they still require work for the HW-manufacturer.


@Rob_van_der_Does Is Android One based on AOSP or is it solely and exclusively developed by G$$gle? Because if it is closed-source, I can imagine that it will be much harder to release a G$$gle-free Android One version for the FP3…


And I argue: Google is good at selling your data and they won’t allow that users install other OSes or only go so far as removing Google Apps.


For a phone to opt in to the Android One program, in which the software is controlled completely by Google as you said*, it has to comply with a series of requirements. One of them is a closed and short list of hardware. The main cause of Fairphone is fairer electronics, which undeniably implies accurately choosing and cherry picking SoCs and components based on working conditions of manufacturing, and furthermore for the FP2, repairability, modularity and longest life cycle. In some cases, negotiating directly with vendors for specific extended security support or even full source code.

Fairphone needs a flexibility for fulfilling their promises and being what it is. Android One doesn’t offer the flexibility needed because of obvious reasons (they can batch-upgrade phones like Apple does with iphones because they have a limited list of hardware).

Furthermore, Android One’s promise of platform updates is already available for all phones as long as Treble is supported (mandatory for Oreo devices), as exposed by @Paule and @ben, and the possibility of other supported and alternative OSes like Fairphone Open/Lineage OS/Ubuntu Touch/Sailfish OS would be ditched, as already explained by @Stefan.

Sumarizing all this rationale, I’d clearly say NO to Fairphone surrendering their values and liberties to the Google monopoly and the Android One program for pretty little benefits.

*= that is very different to how current AOSP-based development + GMS is done and distributed with a “Google approval” (CTS)


I think that FairPhone should not be only a phone with a Fair hardware, but also with a Fair software.
A software like Android feed G$$gle with a massive amount of data about the end-users, I think that it’s not fair at all.
I hope that FP4 will be a Sailfish (with Alien Dalvik as a bridge), Ubuntu, or any other really Linux based distro (not like Android).

The Fairness is the diversity not the uniformity. What we fight for buying a FairPhone is to mantain the world a place with freedom and equity. I think that we should to support the “cyberdiversity” (is that a word?), we should fight the monopoly that a bunch of company is creating over this sadly dying internet.

I bought a FairPhone as a choiche. It’s “hard” (real hard stuff are others) to have a phone with a really short battery life, and other issues, but that’s a choice of freedom, and every choice of freedom requires a bit of sacrify.
Probably for FairPhone (the company) joining Android One will be more convenient, but for FairPhone (the idea) will be it’s end.

Maybe I wrote too much.


P.S. My english is not great, forgive me the mistakes.


My main worry, knowing that FP failed utterly in the upgrade process for both the FP1 & 2, is that a next FP will share the same faith. After all: no hardware is or can be better then the firmware and FP is basically hardware oriented.
IMHO Android One would be a good option for FP to be relieved from the burden of constantly working on software, but if there are other options (like Project Treble or whatever) that’s fine with me.
Bottom line: I really hope software support for future FP’s will be way better then it has been so far.


How did they fail for the FP2? It’s still receiving monthly security updates.

Another option would be to ditch G%§$e Android and instead use Lineage OS. The community could care for the software and FP concentrate on the hardware.
But why concentrate on the hardware anyway? Should FP just fire their software developers or have them do work they are not qualified for?

Sure, FP1 was not ideal, but software support for the FP2 was perfect so far. For many grave vulnerabilities the FP2 was one of the first devices receiving a fix.


Of course. The money they’re wasting on software development is why the camera on my phone doesn’t work. They should take their developers off and hire better hardware engineers. I love the Fairphone concept enough to put up with the terrible battery life and malfunctioning back camera, but not everyone has my level of virtue signalling. So if you want to make money off people who couldn’t give a shit about others, and don’t care about virtue signalling, then Fairphone should follow your advice.