My desktop PC is over a decade old, and because it’s so easy to upgrade it’s still running as snappy as ever. New hard drives, new RAM, new video card, new card reader, and even a ‘new’ floppy drive when the old one broke last year.
Your bog standard smartphone, on the other hand, is a terribly unserviceable device. It cannot be (easily) upgraded, people aren’t used to upgrading their smartphones anyway, the makers of Android won’t maintain old versions forever, firmware is proprietary and produced at the whim of chipset makers… the list goes on.
To improve on that, FP has taken on a rather monumental task. FP has to produce their own physical parts, keep a team of people employed fulltime to update the phone-specific OS, run customer service, and to supplement it all there’s a small army of volunteers running around on the forums to help users with their problems.
And after all that work, the FP2 will still end up being outmoded and unsupported because of the way hardware support is a proprietary nightmare, and Android versions that run on hardware from 2015 will just stop being produced because they’re not profitable. Terrible stuff and definite cause for a people’s revolution, but right now it’s the way things are. And taking that into consideration, FP could keep producing FP2s, but who in their right mind is going to buy a phone with five year old hardware*? If FP wants to keep producing fair, ethical, repairable smartphones, they’ll need to keep up with the current state of technology - and that’s what they’re doing. Not by upgrading the old, but by making the new. It’s imperfect, but it’s better than anything else in the world right now.
So me, I won’t buy one. Maybe I’ll get the FP4, or FP5, or something else entirely. Maybe we’ll all be far too busy drowning in boiling seawater to be thinking about smartphones. But for those who don’t own a working FP2 or other smartphone, or are finally, tearfully, retiring their FP1, the FP3 is a way to get a great, modular, ethical smartphone in 2019. One that lets you disable SIM cards.
* Me. the answer is me.