FP uses planned obsolesence

@BertG: I’d say the opposite. Exactly because Fairphone is a small company with a noble cause, customers should be more forgiving. My FP2 hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been supported beyond my expectation, so I’ve preordered the FP5.

Frankly, I think the topic title should be changed. There’s no such thing as accidental planned obsolescence, planned and accidental are opposites. So the top post is basically claiming Fairphone released bugs on the FP3 on purpose to make people buy a new phone, without any proof whatsoever.

  • we do not know if it’s accidental
  • if this update is fixed and FP3 users have a smooth experience again I will change it
  • planned obsolescence doesn’t necessarily mean to build in bugs, but could also be carelessly push an update like in this case which is simply not compatibale. Accidental would mean that the company tries to fix it soon and I hope they will

Do you know if this is the opposite ? No, but you affirm something in the title. It would be fair to add an interrogative point since nobody knows and that we normally say somebody is innoncent until proved guilty.


My FP3 is working fine with Android 13, the only thing I found is, that I have to unlock the device and than after a few seconds the SIM. Before it was the other way round.

You don’t know anything, you don’t have a proof, but you are waiting for someone else to proof you wrong? Strange behavior. So I could also post the theory, that all your complaints are only fake.


This is normal behaviour regarding planned obsolescence. The title is a thesis, not a fact, so please don’t overinterpret. This update is a strong indicator, but of course no “proof”. You as someone who can still use the main functions of FP3 is weakening my thesis - thanks for your input.

We as the FP community have the right to claim and discuss such a thesis. The way to get a “proof” is a long road to go. It starts with discussions like this to get an impression how often this happens and how many people are affected by it. The company itself won’t admit using “planned obsolescence” and even the judge can only judge by the arguments, I don’t know a case where a paper is leaked that the management directly states using “planned obsolescence”.

Of course you can post a theory that this is not true, as many in this post already did. The arguments matter in the end and everyone can have his indiviual conclusion.

No, that’s just wrong. You can’t accuse someone just out of the blue. We are not talking about a science theory and asking your colleagues to proof you wrong. You are blaming a company of willingly destroying the functionality of its products. I my eyes, that’s absolutely inappropriate.


This is the place for it. It’s not out of the blue. It’s an open discussion. I don’t go to newspapers with my statement. In your logic only whistleblowers can leak planned obsolescence.

Is it possible to ignore a contributor here ? I don’t appreciate trolls…


I don’t think that @ben_brln is a troll, but someone who is obviously very frustrated about some part of his experience with his device. That said, I don’t agree at all with the statement that Fairphone deliberately tries to make their products unusable. But of course there are issues and we’re discussing them here on the forum.

At some point when the arguments are exchanged and no real progress can be seen changing anyone’s mind, it might be best to just stop engaging in this topic. I honestly don’t see any more where this should lead now.


I like your post, but this is not completely true, I run debian (the mother/father of ubuntu) on much pc but years ago they have killed the ppc hardware support (since the wasn’t people that make package for ppc structure), so my ibook G4 run old version with old kernel, my radeon card on onother laptop have recently moved to amber the radeon R200 open source support (since there is not developer that work on it) and is too old (opengl 1.3/1.4).
This is about open source, on closed source you cannot use proprietary driver with newer kernel… every 3 max 10 years.
On mobile most of the driver are closed source.
If you cannot use newer linux kernel is difficult/impossible use newer android.

Honestly I’m repetitive, but we need to ask FP more mainline support.

the FP2 had more than 7 years of software support with several really difficult Android upgrades without Qualcomm support and only possible with community developer support and they just announced to provide updates for the FP5 for 8 years (from launch)… so yes that really sounds like a company who uses planned obsolescence…Oh and wait they now maintain 2 Android Versions for the FP3 which needs more resources, money etc, so clearly another indicator for planned obsolescence.

I think you are bit too deep into finding something, so you find something where nothing is…


Yes, it’s possible, see here …

(Just answering the question about a forum feature.)


There is planned obsolescence for the Fairphone 5. Five years warranty and eight years of Android updates, leading to a maximum safe life of about a decade.

Given the nature of chip and software development, by 2033 the main board and in particular the CPU will be so out-of-date as to be unusable for new features.

The phone I’m replacing with a Fairphone 5 was a flagship. Expensive and only got three years of Android updates before being declared obsolescent.

There’s nothing much wrong with it after nearly four years, except that the lack of updates means I may be at risk of unknown or known security flaws fixed in later security patches or Android releases.

I haven’t got the 5 yet of course, so we’ll see how it goes when it arrives, but I think it’s a bit rich to knock Fairphone with allegations of short obsolescence cycles when the competitors last just three years to Fairphone’s seven to ten.

Maybe the next Fairphone will allow replacement of the CPU as well, but that’s unlikely as probably half the cost of building the phone is in the main board. So it’s unlikely many customers would stump up the cost of a new board - probably costing more than a new phone after five years or so.

Hardware obsolescence is a feature of Moore’s Law, which says CPU capability will double every two years. Proposed in the 1960’s it’s held true ever since, but is thought to be near to coming to an end with physics limits as integrated circuit lithography reaches down to 5 nanometers. So it’ll be interesting to see what effect the end of Moore’s Law has on phone obsolescence.

It seems to me unlikely progress to yet more powerful units will simply stop though. Maybe the Fairphone 10 will aim for 20 years or lifetime support? :slight_smile:


And how do you account for the faster compute power? Data lanes on the SoC will still have the same speed. The memory lanes and caches as well. Furthermore, the CPU must also fit in that socket, so how would a CPU 10 years from now fit? Form factors change because of profit reasons, but also due to technical reasons.

I think Fairphone is already really pushing it to the limit with the FP5. Of course things may always improve, but let’s not be too critical here. Maybe bash Apple, Samsung and Google for not doing what Fairphone does in the meantime? Fairphone is just one player in the market. To have a big impact it would help if what Fairphone does becomes mainstream. That has more influence than replacing that CPU, which is really not that easy.


You are right, FP is an exceptional company compared to other competitors. Product-lifetime doesn’t necessarily mean to have the newest updates. I can live with a transparent no-more-update policy after some years due to hardware restrictions (and in best case offer an alternative for those users like another OS), but to roll out an OS which makes the device not working is sth. very suspicious and breaks with expectations.

But - after hearing all your arguments I agree that it’s unlikely that FP uses planned obsolescence, but this update needs to be resolved to a stable state to clear last doubts.

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No, but claiming that Fairphone use planned obsolescence is a conspiracy theory.

And a vile libel.


In any reasonable online (or other) community the first rule should be “assume good faith”. You broke that rule with your post. You make libelous claims about the behavior of Fairphone.

If you want to complain about the quality of the FP3 android release, feel free. If you want to claim that Fairphone are acting in bad faith you’d better have some evidence.


Oh boy…I feel like in a loophole.
Did you read the posts in this thread?
I guess not.

  1. This is a thesis
  2. It’s not baseless, this update has good evidential quality, but is no proof and got weakened by people who can still use it (which I did not know from the beginning) and might get discarded when FP releases an update so FP3 users can use their device again

won’t give any more thrust into this

The term “planned” implies bad intentions. More appropriate terms could be “expected obsolescence” or “unavoidable obsolescence”.

We all agree that the obsolescence is built-in into the ecosystem that we now have. Some actors are trying to curb that, but they have limited power.


The thread is about planned obsolescence, not unavoidable obsolescence. Most people think it’s with malicious intentions and the name suggests so, but it can be also be driven by carelessness (not an accident as this case seems to be, but a continious carelessness to abandon a product so to say).
Again - it’s a thesis, not a fact. I get the impression you talk about the outcome, the conclusion of the discussion to you. As I stated before I tend to this conclusion too, but not yet - first I want to see this update fixed.

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