Future "Fair" branded products?

Hi all,

I know that Fairphone themselves almost certainly won’t say anything about this even if something is in development, but since this has been on my mind recently I thought I’d post about it.

As well as a smartphone there are other consumer electronic items that I am considering buying or replacing and would like to spend money on a “Fair” product (or as fair as possible):

  • Smartwatch/band
  • “Smart” voice assistant/AI including home automation hub
  • Power-user laptop
  • NAS
  • Smart-TV box with Miracast interface to my non-smart TV
  • …the list goes on, but these are the most “consumer” type things I can think of

I’m not sure what there is to discuss about them, I just wanted to make Fairphone aware of my desire to buy a wider range of Fair electronics.

Cheers :slight_smile:

EDIT: Added smart assistant

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Great topic, but there are not much fair products out there. So you could start looking at other qualities, such as longevity / long-term support, ease to repair / right to repair, FOSS (free and open source software), and fair trade products (though these are not electronic products).

There’s a few smartwatches which are (partly) FOSS, such as one in this crowdfunding project which I discussed here (funding has ended): Looking for a Pebble smartwatch alternative/replacement

NAS, you can build your own, with FreeNAS + available hardware.

For a STB, you could make your own with e.g. Raspberry Pi plus DVB-C hat, plus something like say Jellyfin/Emby/Plex/Kodi. Other than that, Nvidia Shield is desired, because of their long-term support and relative freedom. They even recently released one which is akin to a Chromecast (portable STB).

Laptop, people like to be able to open them, run FOSS firmware and software on them, repair them themselves. A second hand ThinkPad might be of interest, such as Minifree (currently on hiatus).

Voice assistant, Home Automation has recently implemented Almond, which is FOSS, but it uses Microsoft as backend. There is snips.ai but it got acquired by Sonos. All it takes to make such is a speaker and a mic, so it isn’t very complex, hardware-wise. There’s also Betty which is pretty cool (and FOSS) but I’m not sure what it uses as backend.


Thanks for the suggestions @JeroenH. I agree that in the absence of a “fair” product the best available is what I’ll have to get.

Cheers :slight_smile:

Fairphone is focusing on smartphones, and they have enough to do with it. So it is not planned to make other fair products.

Fairphone’s goal is that other (existing and newly created) manufacturers are inspired to copy the process to make fair(er) electronics. Smartphones are one of the most-sold electronic devices, so it’s logical to choose that as example.


You might want to take a look at this techcrunch-article:

In this article is stated based on an interview with Bas von Abel:

While Fairphone has had a singular device focus to date, van Abel says it’s thinking about applying its hard won learnings around electronics supply chains to other types of consumer devices — suggesting ‘Fair’ could end up as a brand prefix atop an assortment of consumer gadgets.

So, there might be something in the pipeline or possibly just in a concept-phase.

Hi @BertG,
Thanks for the link, good to read that Fairphone are considering it!
Cheers :slight_smile:

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I’d more than happy to see a full ‘fair’ branding of consumer electronics… however I wouldn’t want to rush this at all, given that there are so many challanges when manufacturing a smartphone.

Incidentally, smartphones are one of the pieces of consumer electronics that gets replaced more often and therefore also discarted more often, and likely to end irresponsabily in the environment.

Therefore my opinion is that FP should focus in providing the best phone in the market. Period.

The truth of the matter is that good is not good enough. People are not going to stop buying Apple or Samsung for Fairphone, just like they are not going to stop buying cars to go to work even though 50+ years old scientific reports keep saying is bad for the environment. They have to want to buy it, and that invovles making it look shiny and pretty but also work flawlessly, make it reliable, offer excellent support.

Branching out and creating a brand would actually help to give the impression ‘Fair’ is cool branding. But that’s a marketing tactic, not a practical approach to tackle the problem Fairphone is set to solve.

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I believe people are able to use their smartphone longer and longer. One, because battery size and hardware efficiency has increased (at the cost of slightly thicker/larger smartphones, and to offset higher pixel density / resolution plus more hardware). Two, because software support lasts longer (ie. longer Android support, partly due to Project Treble)

Smartphone is also basically the most popular computer, nowadays, and it is very visible (good for branding). It is able to replace PC and laptop, depending on specific use-case. There is overlap between professional and amateur usage (business and consumer). If you consider that, something like a fair laptop or keyboard or mouse is just far less interesting because smaller volume / userbase. However, I’d argue that bigger devices are in general easier to repair. Compare a smartwatch with a mechanical keyboard. The latter is meant to endure; the former typically gets a full battery drain a day, and after 1,5 years it won’t last a day anymore, while the battery is not user serviceable. So if we talk about sustainability and repairability, I’d guess smaller devices (not specifically smartphones) are less sustainable.

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Sure, they are able to but that is not desireable for neither the industry nor the consumer. They both want to sell/buy the latest toy in the market. This is true for all type of nations, developed or otherwise, and this of course includes the biggest of them all which is very, very hungry for consumer electronics… China.

Completely agree with you that smartphone is the most in-demand computer these days which is anothe reason not to branch out the market. There’s literally nothing that is demanded more than smartphones that people, right now, are willing to change every 2/3 years and pay good money for it!

Step 1 is to put a Fairphone in their hands, worry about them not switching brands later…

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