That’s a very interesting statement and while I was aware that Fairphone has a slower product cycle, I didn’t know that the speed of the product cycle is gradually becoming slower. What is the goal? A new phone every 5 years? Every 10 years?
Maybe disappointing answer, but their is no specific goal
Analogous to the growth debate: Can it become slower indefinitely?
I find the rent-a-phone idea quite interesting. It all depends on how this is implemented. Having closer relations to the operators also means dealing with their apps on your homescreen. What is FP’s perspective on that?
I’m most interested in this because from an external point of view, the software is where most ‘partners’ will have a say rather than the hardware or the supply chain. Is the fair ethics of Fairphone going to match the software as well?
Finally, what kind of price tag is going to hit our purse: will it cost more than owning the device or less?
With a long product cycle: how do you intend to keep the software up to date? I guess it is quite important in an business environment to deliver latest security patches. At same point google will drop the version of Android which is running on the FP2…
Well I guess software updates will be the limit to the product cycle for now, but it might not be anymore in the future (Project Treble).
Have you guys read Doughnut Economics?
No, but it looks interesting:
thanks for your questions. As I said, this is now a pilot for companies and we are discussing a price that goes between 24 and 29 euros per month. This is, mind, a draft proposition that depends on a lot of topics as you can read in the annex of our white paper, so please don’t pin us yet on this one. This would include only the hardware and a certain level of repairs (for example first display repair) and all in warranty cases of course.
On your question about operators, you can see we have launched with multiple operators in different countries and yet no new app has been included. We are still commited to our Open Fairphone OS and we provide monthly security updates for both ROMs.
As of today, we still provide software updates every month. In the long term we are looking at different possibilities, but there is not much we can say yet.
While I like the general idea (phone as a service), I don’t think this specific offer will attract (m)any business customers. In my experience they are very focused on iOS devices. Android is often seen as an unreliable consumer OS for gaming and entertainment. With the FP2 there are additional issues: @ocramarco already mentioned limited international roaming (because of missing 3G / 4G bands) and poor battery life, which are both big issues for business users. And don’t forget the FP2 is pushing 3 years. I work for a small company and could actually propose this. I’m sure everyone will agree that it’s a great idea to get rid of all the iPhones and replace them with a 3 year old Android phone!
Also, you would spend more than 1000 € in four years. You could buy two FP2s (or one FP2 and lots of spare parts) for less. Companies are usually very good at calculating the TCO.
So… good idea, but I think you should wait until the FP3 is out, offer a more attractive price and focus on private customers.
How much do you pay for owning an iPhone for 4 years? Leasing an iPhone 8 64GB is at 1797,6 € (37,45 € per month according to iphone-leasen.de).
My point is that, from a business perspective, leasing any phone doesn’t make sense if the purchase price is lower than a two year lease (which is the case for the Fairphone offer). You could buy a new one every other year and still pay less.
The iPhone which comes closest to the FP2 is the 6s Plus. You can still buy it for less than 600 €, which is about the same price as a FP2. And unlike the FP2 you can update it to the latest OS.
Just sayin’. I’m not an iPhone fan and never had one. But if you want to convince business customers, only hard facts matter. That’s why I think it would be better for Fairphone to focus on private customers.
They offer TVs, phones and eBikes and all prices include VAT. Looks more like targeting private customers who can’t really afford the latest gadgets but really “need” them to show off.
- monthly security features
- repaairs included in the lease
- spare Fairphones included in the lease
Same for iOS (not strictly monthly, but “as required”).
Non-warranty repairs are not completely covered (“a certain level of repairs (for example first display repair)”. Also, similar offers have been available from phone manufacturers, insurance companies and even network operators for years and for a lower price.
That would indeed be unique since it would allow replacement of defective phones with minimal downtime. (Similar offers typically include replacement within 24 hours.) I just don’t think this single USP could convince businesses to switch brands.
Don’t get me wrong, I really want Fairphone to succeed. I just don’t think this is the way to success. I hope they will prove me wrong.
I hope so too!
Thank you for adding to the discussion. One more thing: surprisingly to some, businesses are, just as individuals, also capable of balancing different values in their purchases.
So, although hard facts are important, more and more businesses are realizing that their purchases and actions should promote long term global stability and not only short term monetary gains. There is even a whole new branch of companies emerging from this idea; the BCorps are growing every day and often performing better in many ways then ‘old world’ competitors.
My company mobile got exactly one (1) update since I’ve got it. (Got it before I bought my FP2)
E.g. “Stagefright” not fixed, let alone “Krack”.
To me, a good part of the attraction of open hardware (and software) is the notion of ownership. A leased phone would be the opposite .…
OK - my iPhone 4s has finally quit, so I need a new phone. Sustainability is a top requirement, so I’m attracted to Fairphone.
I’m not a demanding user, but my instinct is to want up-to-date hardware so that my purchase will stay relevant for longer. That the FP2 hardware is 2.5 years old does niggle at me. Should I wait for FP3 etc.
So, I see that I am now applying a market force on the Supplier to make regular hardware updates, and so perpetuate the non-sustainable cycle of producing new products.
I notice in the current Fairphone fund raising, that the 2.5 million target is to move towards developing Fairphone as a service rather than a device we own.
There is a game changing idea!
If I was buying a phone service, I would not care about the model. The only thing that would be important is that it has a shiny cover and it delivers the service I need today.
- If the service fails, the Supplier fixes it
- If I need a more advanced service, I upgrade the service.
Since I don’t own the product, I do not have to build margin into my purchase for possible future services that I may or may not ever need.
Also, if a company is selling a service, they are motivated to extract the maximum value out of their product. So they would try to achieve high reliability and good maintainability out of the products that they own.
But, wait a minute. Is this not the approach we have when we get a phone as part of our monthly subscription to a telecommunications provider? And that generally sucks.
I moved your post here. Above you’ll be able to read a lot about Fairphone as a service. Amongst others: It’s not available for private customers (yet).