Well, sorry, but now you’re just silly. So you mean when in 2014 they spoke of “Lasting Value” enticing people into buying their phones, they technically did not make a promise by which they are legally bound? I wasn’t suggesting that they broke any laws, I just say they screwed up royally on this one, and what they are promising for model 2 is so vague that I am not going to to this a second time.
(“While we still can’t guarantee that manufacturers will continue to supply the specific components we need for five years, in the event that a component is no longer available, the modularity gives us more room to modify the design to accommodate a certain change.”)
They haven’t even been able to update android from a totally totally outdated and unsupported version to a minimally less outdated version, and yes, they have promised repeatedly that this update was coming.
Quite frankly, I am growing increasingly sick and tired of all the “I feel so betrayed” threads. While you certainly have a very important point in saying that the availability of spare parts is a key necessity for long-lasting phones, I’d suggest you cut FP some slack.
I’m sure you realize how incredibly complex the supply chain of a smartphone is and how many factors play a role. FP is not Nokia, they had neither experience nor suppliers. They started from scratch and they used all the possibilities that were possible for a small startup in a highly competitive high-batch-minimum-margin-oriented market. They had to start somewhere. It still hasn’t seized to amaze me how incredibly persistent these guys were in taking on an entire market that does not care the least about the people at the bottom. Of course, it was impossible to make a perfect product right from the start. That was perfectly clear to every reasonably thinking person involved. Someone said we were used as guinea pigs, well yes. Of course we were. That is part of the idea. To stand there and demand a phone that is perfect right from the start, absolutely fair to everybody involved, technologically equivalent to that year’s latest flagship phone while not costing more, that is insane.
Nobody had any idea how to build a smartphone, but when you look at FP2, they have certainly learned their lesson. “FP1 sucked so I’m not buying an FP2”, that is childishly defiant.
They had the courage to take a step that in no way I would have ever had the courage to take, I would have given up when first looking at the sheer amount of parts and their shady supply chain.
Going vegan can be painful, buying fairtrade can be painful. That should be clear to anybody involved and that does not mean we shouldn’t try it.
Thanks for noticing!
No I’m not silly, but I think it’s a big difference whether you promise something or you make it your goal. And no, a promise is not legally binding.
Fairphone never promised anything, because they knew that it was never just in their hands. They are a small player and can’t change the game overnight. They can try their best to reach their goals, but if the industry just doesn’t comply then they are pretty much screwed.
Last thing I heard they have not given up yet, but are still trying to find creative ways to get FP1 spare parts created at reasonable prices.
And again, I understand that it is difficult to get manufacturers for spare parts if you have a very small production number, but that when they got people to crowdfund them, because they were believing their promises. In 2015 they wrote
Note, there is no qualification here. They don’t say “we are selling spareparts, if we find a producer”, they don’t caution that it might not be the case. So what is this if not a promise they made obviously before carrying out their due diligence. They could have known.
Just as much as it was known by the time, that Mediatek is a very opensource unfriendly company, which caused the FP1 to be almost never updated (because the source code for the drivers was not available).
And by the way, of course promises can be legally binding. If you sell a product and your advertisement promises certain features that it does not have, you are of course liable.
The statement you’re quoting was from their crowdfunding campaign, meaning from before everything happened. A lot of idealism, undeniably. That is a good thing, because you yourself are a very good example of how people tend to react when they are presented with uncertainties:
[quote=“Johannes_Rohr, post:206, topic:10427”]
what they are promising for model 2 is so vague that I am not going to to this a second time.[/quote]So which is it? An idealistic view on things or a more restrained one that doesn’t get anybody’s hopes up? You seem to not like either.
It seems I didn’t quite make that point clear earlier, so again: FP is not HTC. They had to start somewhere. They needed to make compromises. Nobody knew where they were to be made, but if you seriously thought such an enterprise would go 100% according to plan, you were kidding yourself. I believe I remember something about them initially wanting both SIMs to be 3G-capable, that didn’t work out. I am fine with that. I like to believe I participated in pioneering a good cause that will make a difference in somebody’s life. I also like to believe I live in a world where people are allowed to make mistakes. Do you think they are sitting in their HQ laughing at you for paying them to build a phone that did not live up to all the expectations?
In 2008, Obama announced a lot of things, many of which did not come true. That does not mean he didn’t try. That is life: Try, fail, learn, repeat. So again: Cut FP some slack.
No, never. But a selling point, a mission, a goal is not a promise.
Nobody would pay more than the price of a FP2 to get an FP1 sparepart, or even the price of a used FP1.
I think you should look up the definition of a promise. The sentence you quoted is a statement. And it was the truth. They did sell spare parts and many many users were able to repair their FP1s instead of getting a new phone. If they had said something like “we will sell spareparts until at least 2017” it would be a different story.
What I do not like is if you are not sufficiently transparent. They made very bold promises, not only regarding durability but also regarding the fairness of their product. You had to dig very deep to find that they don’t even pay living wages to the workers, that the work hours limit is at 60 hours weekly (which is the legal limit in China anyway) and that only 2 of the minerals are indeed certified conflict free. I know, being more upfront about these issues would have dampened our enthusiasm, but it certainly would have helped to increase their legitimacy.
Not 100%, I didn’t expect that. But I trusted that they knew what they talking about, because they would have conducted their due diligence. I knew of some of the limitations before, including, btw that much of their supply chain is very difficult to trace, to that the share of materials which are “fair” is very small, but I still though we should give them a chance. Yet I didn’t expect my phone to become unusable after only two years; and when I am told I should buy the Fairphone 2 instead I simply feel someone is pulling my leg.
Not I don’t think that. I say that the difficulties which are plaguing so many in the community could be anticipated at the time, and they should have taken precautions back then.
This includes that they should not have chosen a MediaTek chipset because the company already had the reputation of being open source unfriendly, so that future updates would be very difficult as they were not going to release the source code for the device drivers, they should not have chosen a motherboard where the USB connector is soldered to the board and kept in place only by the solder joint, because this is prone to wear out and break which means you have to replace the entire board unless you have the very costly special equipment needed for a repair…
My point is, that not that they messed up deliberately, but that they made certain promises, based on which people placed their orders, which they are unable to keep now. And you didn’t have to be a prophet to anticipate them.
[quote=“Johannes_Rohr, post:215, topic:10427”]I dare to disagree.[/quote]You are right, I stand corrected. The article was from a later date, I apologize.
Nonetheless, this does not change the overall point I am trying to make. Your inflationary use of the words “promise” and “due diligence” make me think that you are being intentionally nitpicking and refuse to see the bigger picture. I have tried twice, I will try once more:
The 2013 FP guys were /not/ experienced professionals. They had a vision, they raised awareness, they started a movement. This movement has since grown incredibly and was a success.
About the phone: The FP1 is a cheap phone. No point in arguing. You accuse them of not looking ahead, why didn’t you? Why did you buy a MediaTek phone when you seem to have known all about their closed-source policy? It’s easy to be wise after it happened. Don’t you think they had more urgent problems to take care of back then? And you really claim you would have seen the breaking of the USB socket coming? I can’t help but call bullshit on this statement.
I have a feeling you overestimate the impact that a small startup with a batch size of 15k has in such a market. That they could make any improvements in workers’ conditions at all and didn’t have doors slammed into their face along the linea of “We don’t need some european smartasses telling us how to run our business” is a success. Also, about the wage thing: Sadly, in countries like China, the legal and the actual max hours are two separate things. Law is not enforced like it is here.
I like to think of FP1 as a first step of many. They have learned their lesson, FP2 is a big technological leap and does a lot of things better. Should the FP2 spare parts situation end up being the same, I would be disappointed. But I am of good faith. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s worth doing. You are disappointed in how FP1 turned out, fine. But concluding that the entire idea is therefore unworthy of your further support, I believe that would be a terrible mistake.
I have an FP1U and my screen broke 1,5 years ago and was unable to replace it, I waited all this time for a screen understanding the supplier issue, but that’s too much, now the mobile is totally unoperative and I’ll need to get a new one. I have several friends that had the same issue and frustrated by the lack of repalcement they decided to buy another phone (which basically promotes the sort of practices that you want to avoid at fairphone, and the reason why all of us trusted you). Now I wonder that maybe buying another phone from the beginning would have been more sustainable as we’d have probably been able to reapair any screen without a problem. Anyway, I hope that Fairphone will fix this before selling new phones or be clear with this problem beforehand, so people can decide whether is worth to support the cause or not.
I am in a similar situation: I know that Fairphone 1 was not planned as a modular phone but your company suggested strongly that it is willing to provide spare parts to enable the repair and exchange of individual parts of the phone to avoid that the phone has to be exchanged once individual parts are broken.
My phone fell down and a part of the screen is broken such that I will have to replace this part or the whole phone in the next time. I was really disappointed to hear that it is not possible to get a new front part for the phone, which would save a lot of ressources compared to buying a new phone.
I just have to say that I am really disappointed that you explain on your homepage in detail which of the ressources that are used to build the phones are problematic in which way and what you do to try to get them in a sustainable and socially responsible way while in practice you stop producing the spare parts to get some more people (that really would like to save some ressources!) to buy the new Fairphone 2.
Hi @Katarina, if it‘s just the glass of your display which is broken and your touchscreen is still usable, then it might be sufficient to simply buy a protection film/protection foil.
If it is just a small part of your touchscreen which is broken and the rest is still working, there‘s the possibility to kind of disable the broken part of your screen. I had this problem and posted the solution here.