FP uses planned obsolesence

I own a FP3+ and after the recent Android 13 update I had the same issues as described in the thread. Everything seems to be broken, even the SIM login. It makes the phone unusable if you are not willing to spend minutes in front of loading screens.

I used to work for a company specialized on finding “planned obsolesence”, meaning - economy driven early attrition to make consumers rebuy or buy newer products. It is not only hardwarebased, but can also be softwarebased. This update to me is a strong indicator for such a process, shortly after releasing FP5. I am truly disappointed by FP company, because I bought this phone to avoid these mechanisms. Planned obsolesence can be “malicious/by intention” or “careless”. At least the last point is true, because this update has not been tested if it works for the FP3 smoothly. The timepoint nevertheless let’s me assume, that this is by intention. (the end of support for FP1 was also an indicator in this direction)

I want to discuss with the community, what you think about FP using such practices. We all bought this product to avoid these mechanisms I guess and we all bought it to have a long-living product.

For all the FP3 users which are affected by the update :
Today I found a solution - I installed a new OS called \e\OS. The installation is realtively simple (takes about an hour) and you can use nearly all your apps (except Google Pay and Google Watch afaik). You will get a spyfree and smoothly running OS. You can also install third party apps and even Google family link works for me. FP company recommends them too, so it’s officially supported. Cannot emphasize how much I’d recommend this step, especially after this “planned obsolesence update”.


I think this is nonsense. Fairphone used its resources to update Android and keep the phone safe longer. If they wanted to make it useless, they could just stop updates and wait.

So, no, I don’t think they programmed bugs on purpose. It’s just difficult to program a new Android version without the chipset supplier’s support. They did a betatesting phase, but you can’t test everything with literally millions of phone and app configurations possible.

There will be updates making things better again. The phone also needs some time to get everything settled after this massive update. So just wait and see - and then think again if you want to keep up those allegations.


I said it in another thread : the released software was tested. I know it since I am among the people who did it. If you want to complain about anything, you can do it saying that maybe there should be more beta testers in order to have a higher variety of ways to use the phone but it seems not so easy to recruit some.
You certainly read in the past that a Windows update had a bad impact on some computers. Do you think Microsoft did it on purpose ? The main difference is that Microsoft or Google are much faster to release a fix.

According to me, most of the bugs you met will be corrected by the next update (not the fingerprint reader which is not a bug). If Fairphone idea was obsolescence, then they would have no interest in correcting the bugs.

Anyway, you have now found your happiness.


The fingerprint reader is indeed not a bug but a regression.

Small digression…

I’m with you on the Fairphone planned obsolescence conspiracy theory. Occam’s razor applies here.

However, your Microsoft analogy is a rather poor way to support your point: Microsoft is known for that sort of dirty tricks, and I know that for a fact because back in the late 90s, I worked on demonstrating to a court of law that they intentionally broke compatibility with MSDOS clones to prevent Win95 from running on them.

Okay it was 24 years ago. But Microsoft has provided plenty of evidence that they have never changed their ways since. I can’t count the number of people I met who told me their computer started slowing down or randomly crashing for no good reason around the time of a new Windows release and they swore it was no coincidence, and you know what? I kind of believe them. I know what Microsoft is capable of, and whenever my Windows machine misbehaves at work after an update, I always suspect foul play first and foremost.


If Microsoft is not a good example, we can use Google with some bad updates for its Pixels, NVIDIA Nvidia crushes CPU-gobbling bug with new GeForce driver | PCWorld and it also occurs in the Linux world.

If you develop software, there is no way to never have bugs. But you should correct them fast.


There are ways to approach perfect software, and in some cases, you can prove the algorithm mathematically to ensure bug-free code. But that’s super-costly and reserved for aero applications and some such.

So yeah, I agree. All I’m saying is that while neither Microsoft nor Google spend all of their time being nefarious, they certainly do spend enough time to warrant choosing better examples of companies trying to do right by their users :slight_smile:

Not totally true, Fairphone encourage to use different OS, like other android distro (LineageOS, e/OS, ecc.) GNU/Linux distro (mobian, ubuntu touch, postmarketos, ecc.).
But in case that you need assistance you have to reinstall Fairphone official android distro.


/e/OS has its merits, I’m using it myself.

As long as you are aware that compatibility to Google-dependent Apps (these are not only Google’s own Apps, these are most of the popular Apps in use on Android phones) can break at any moment for any given time.
The compatibility is nice to have, but it should not be taken for granted for really essential needs, e.g. work-related, medicinal …

In practice most of the time those Apps will work just fine, else /e/OS wouldn’t have this much users, but a little awareness can’t hurt.

Worth considering if compatibility matters more …

The official partnership of Fairphone and Murena brings benefits to Fairphones for sure, but the responsibilities are clear:

Fairphone OS is the only OS supported by Fairphone on Fairphones.
/e/OS is supported by Murena themselves, and they will only support your device in hardware if you bought it from them.

If you run into trouble using /e/OS and want support from Fairphone, you will have to reinstall Fairphone OS first.

As for the planned obsolescence bit … yeah right :roll_eyes: . You might as well believe Fairphone just wanted to annoy you personally, makes as much sense.


If all FP3 users have these issues, then outrolling this update can be a case of planned obsolescence.
If…Otherwise I agree, that it might had to do with too little testing.
Planned obsolescence is no conspiracy theory btw and if FP-company uses these mehtods or not only time will tell. If the next updates fix this behaviour I take back my statement for the moment.

Hello, I must admit that I’m having the same thought. Bought my FP3+ half a year ago, because I wanted the os supported by the company for a long time and I was satiesfied with all updates and the phone itself, so far.

The last update is a catastrophe and makes me want to trough the phone into the bin. The worst bug is, that quite often the phone is completly unserviceable, no button in any combinatian works, the blackened screen is always on. I have to remove the protective cover, open the phone and remove the battery (quite funny when you are on the phone with somebody and can hang up only by the above described procedure).

I wrote to FP and did get the answer that they know this and other bugs. There will be an update and in the meantime I should turn off the auto-rotation orientation and switch to the portrait-mode. This works, but it’s anoying because I use the phone for navigation in the car in horizontal display orientation.

Thanks for the hint about an alternative os, but I’m not an it-expert, but paid for the phone and the service. Hope they get the next update out soon or at least the option to get back to the last os.

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It’s really easy and it works like a charm. At first you have to install a driver to your phone,then set some options in android itself (developer options), then you have to download the installer and then you have to install it with boot-mode on. You don’t need to be an expert and you will be more than happy afterwards because everything runs really fast. The steps are described in detail on their homepage, I guess u’ll find some youtube tutorials too. Get Support - e Foundation - deGoogled unGoogled smartphone operating systems and online services - your data is your data

When auto-rotation is switched off, a little symbol appears in the corner as soon as you turn the screen. Just tap it and you’re in horizontal mode.

Also, you don’t have to take out the battery to do a hard reset. Just keep the power button pressed for a few seconds.



I’m with you on the Fairphone planned obsolescence conspiracy theory. Occam’s razor applies here.

Hanlon’s razor applies even better. Although ‘stupidity’ is not exactly how I would call the A13 rollout, more bad luck, and, yes, some carelessness.

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To my mind the planned obsolescence comes from Google. Each release of Android seems to depend on a new level of hardware, and drops support for older stuff. All software suppliers only support their recent releases, for practical reasons, so if your hardware is not supported by the latest software update, it becomes obsolete.
This issue is far worse for mobile phones than, say, PCs, which are built on a much more stable hardware platform. I run PCs for years, I use Ubuntu Linux, and new releases always continue to support old hardware, even while adding support for new. So I can have the latest supported software (and long-term-support versions are only updated every 2 years!) and still keep using a laptop that’s now 6 years old and doing fine.
The phone industry is still hooked on getting customers to throw away perfectly good hardware after a couple of years, and with Google supporting that model makes it very hard for a company like Fairphone to swim against the tide.


Hi ben_bin, thx for help and info, I will try it, if FP doesn’t present a satisfiable solut soon. :+1:

Hi mgkoeln, thx for help and info. I’ve tried the powerbutton as advised before and it didn’t work. I will try the hint on screen orientation. :+1:

Yes I agree - this is obviously much more planned obsolescence. But to my understanding FP company curated these updates and has to make sure that it works for their products. If they find out it doesn’t work for FP3, then they should make this update maybe optional without auto-popup, so the users have to take the initiative and don’t get nudget into it. They should have good visible statements about what and why. The wisest decision IMHO would be to wait until it runs smoothly and then push it to the FP3 users, with the worst case that FP3 users get no Android updates anymore.

Regarding that planned obsolescence theory.

When I apply my kind of logic thinking (from the point of view of a manufacturer):
When breaking a phone I have been selling with the argument of long support by distributing a faulty OS update.
Can I really expect those customers affected by all the bugs to buy my new model, that I - again - advertise to be featuring an extra long support period?
Rather I would expect those being dissatisfied by the FP3 support to turn their backs on Fairphone in total. Just do some reading on the forum to find quite a few statements to that regard.
And I even do personally know people that sold their FP because they were not satisfied by the OS behaviour. And it will take some time to get those people to give FP another chance.

To cut it short:
Maybe some company like apple can pull that off, since they have a very strong fan-base and market share. But a small company like Fairphone disappointing a large amount of customers will be really challenged to turn this into selling a new phone. (I would not expect that to happen.)
Insofar the analogy to microsoft and google is indeed not the best one, since both those companies (like apple) are big enough to act that way. Microsoft even has a kind of monopoly with their OS, at least regarding personal computers.

Well, that’s just my opinion of course and everyone is free to disagree.


It’s a good point and I agree that it would be risky for FP, but keep in mind that those who write here are only like 1% of the users. There are dozens of good smartphones out there, but regarding sustainability and fair use not. I’m aware of “Shift-phones”, “Rephone” and that’s it (you may add some more here, but sometimes they are not fair , only sustainable or vice versa and they do not have this community support). So the market is not that big for this special target-group. The chance that people with FP3 buy a new FP is maybe 10-40%? In 2020 they sold 95,000 Fairphones. Let’s assume they sold 250.000 FP3’s overall…and let’s assume only 10% buy a new FP…it would be 25.000 FP5’s. The company doesn’t make money from long-term users afaik.