FP3+ camera module discontinued?

yes, that is a really nice vision :slight_smile:
Just with what I know about electronics and what kind of influence fairphone has, I think the company would have to grow at least ten or a hundred times to pull that off. I hope the industry will come up with more automation for the design of spare parts (e.g. automated design of adapters for spare batteries etc) so designing those interop parts becomes so easy and cheap that it makes sense for third parties to supply old phone models with those.
i also hope fairphone will keep looking into such opportunities where it is feasable (e.g. like shift phone pulled off with the batteries). baby steps it is mostly

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Hello,
I am very surprised because Fairphone advertises easy replacement and availability of spare parts, but it’s impossible to get a 48MPix photo module for my Fairphone3, it’s sold out!!! Is it a joke, What’s the point of buying this phones?
Michel

Welcome to the forum and the community.

Please read above.
Nothing surprising really, the FP3 was launched nearly five years ago, and a lot of people who started with the FP3 upgraded the camera when it came out.
Why not advertise in the forum (use the Market / Search category)? I often see offers, check those out too.

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Is your existing module defective?

I just want to add, for the records, that I am deeply disappointed to find that FP3 camera modules have been permanently discontinued. I bought a Fairphone precisely to be able to extend the lifetime of my phone, and that includes upgrading the camera, for instance, as it was initially advertised by Fairphone. What is the point of claiming to sell spare parts then if they get discontinued in a few years? Just marketing? It’s really sad but I might stop recommending Fairphone.

Welcome to the Fairphone community.

Do you have a problem with your camera module? Then you can check the market place here in the Forum, as some people are selling spare parts, they don’t need anymore.

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I can understand your frustration. Sadly, the reality (AFAIK) is that Fairphone has to make an estimate of how many spare parts are going to be needed in the next x years. Thus, they have to find a balance between buying enough spare parts to help people repair their phone and not creating lots of e-waste by buying unnecessarily high amounts of spare parts that will never be used.

Although FP is not perfect, I think they are definitely trying. You could also see it this way: despite the camera being out of stock, your phone is still way more repairable after almost 5 years than most other phones :wink: (although that will not fix a broken camera)

In case your camera is defect, you can still get modules that people offer on the forum as @Incanus mentioned.

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I agree it is disappointing.
Apart from the options mentioned and comments below, I would like to add that to the best of my knowledge FP support still offers the option to repair your camera - you need to send it in and most likely pay for it if it is out of warranty. The best option will be to search the forum then.

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I’m very disheartened to see that this is the situation. I don’t want to go hard on Fairphone, because I really love what they do, and I love my Fairphone 3. I really, really want this to work in the long run. I’ve had my FP3 for 4 years, and I want it to last at least another ten.

Other comments have brought light to the supply-chain realities of manufacturing spare parts. This much is true - in fact, it’s obvious. So obvious that it should have been a consideration in the FP plan from the beginning. To be honest, I was shocked when the FP3 itself was discontinued, and situations like this make me worry about FP’s desire (or just ability) to live up to their promise.

I think “sold out” or “not available now” is something we as a community can tolerate. But “discontinued” really implies that there is no plan on the horizon to manufacture these again. Perhaps this is only a temporary condition, but if so then that should be made explicit. What circumstances have to change in order that these can be produced again? Do we need a certain level of demand? (e.g. everyone who wants one makes a pledge, and sufficient pledges trigger a wave of builds) Or is it a matter of increasing the price point? These are things I can tolerate, but I cannot tolerate the idea that my “forever phone” has a realistic lifespan less than one of the major commercial phones.

I will have a try at finding a spare from a third party. But I want it to be clear that the average phone user is going to just give up at this point, feel burned, and go back to a traditional manufacturer. I know it’s not a rug pull, but if you want to be a sustainable manufacturer these are the kinds of problems you just have to plan for. I was prepared to pay over the odds for a phone because I thought this sort of thing was considered up front.

Sorry if the above seems like a rant, but I felt frustrated with the discussion above since it seems to amount to “supply chains are hard, go figure” as if it is an immovable problem. I hope we manage find a better solution as a community.

I understand how you feel.

I’d just like to hammer home a few points, even though I’m preaching to the converted.

  1. Planning, production runs, stock management are all subject to economies of scale. The bigger you are, the easier it is to absorb deviations from your original plan either way, and of course if you’re manufacturing your own modules (and maybe even components, as the very big actors may), you can trigger a production run like snapping your fingers (but do they?) Fairphone doesn’t have that scale of operations. Given their size, it’s incredible the influence this company has had on the industry in the Right to Repair, Recycling and Responsible raw materials and manufacturing.

  2. The FP4 and FP5 come with five-year guarantees that are truly impressive given that context.

  3. The community as represented by this forum is able to help in a significant way. The backs of drawers of community members are a significant store of spare parts that can be made available to those who need them - and they regularly are, though perhaps not enough. fairphoneangels and localcommunities may also play a rôle here, receiving, managing and distributing parts as they can.

  4. For those buying new phones, FP offer a reward for phones sent back for recycling. I don’t know to what extent these phones are being exploited for spare parts. Again not easy to manage, every module would have to be thoroughly tested and I don’t know what sort of guarantee could be offered, but FP have themselves published information on that sort of activity.

See here (already cited above) for example and comments:

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So you want to have a spare for your working camera? Then this is indeed the way.

Or is your camera broken? The repair center still has cameras to do repairs.

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