I am not so sure about this, when I compare the pictures, but to be honest, the difference does not seem to be that big, that I would make it a topic.
At least Fairphone is using FSC-mix materials and they advise to use the box for returning another phone for recycling - engraved in the box, just when you take the phone out.
Maybe they went for this box because it
- was more sturdy and durable to use it for another (international) delivery
- is likely to attract more customers when presented in the shops; as they are aiming to make this phone one for the mass market. (And, let’s be honest, a majority of phone buyers is more interested in shiny presentation and buys a phone based on the “bling-factor” (so to speak).
When a phone is sold online only (like the shiftphone), the packaging is a less important factor.
Some other points:
But if the phone is moving inside the box - which it will on a journey that long - even cardboard can lead to tiny scratches or might tarnish the phone. (Do you know, if shiftphone is ommitting the protective foil?)
While I really like this idea, I also wonder, if that would not even produce more waste. This would surely take more materials than the actual leaflet. Therefore it would depend on how many people really would use this phone stand. I doubt, that this would really be a high percentage.
Compared to the leaflet, the available space on the phone is really tiny. That means, they would have to print it in tiny letters, that most likely would be hard to read; especially through that semitransparent cover.
In the end I consider this a business decision (most likely based on market research) made to attract a greater number of buyers. And since they chose responsible materials and advise recycling the old phone using this same packaging, this kind of justifies the chosen package.
In addition they made the unpacking of the phone a kind of event, which really might help achieving the goal.
That’s why I can live with the decision.