Has anyone bought a Fairphone because of you?

I am so excited about the Fairphone, I tell everyone around me about it :smiley:

Many people actually were interested in the concept, but most of them were put off by the high price. If you compare the FP to other smartphones of that price category, it just can’t keep up in technological features.
And the friends who value the ethics more than the technology, mostly are not willing to pay 500€ for a phone in general.

My aunt was especially fascinated by the idea of a modular smartphone. She would love to have a phone that you can create individually, with different modules, for example different sized storage, etc. My boyfriend loves this idea as well.
There are a lot of people who actually are excited about a personally designed phone, in which you can decide what features you want and need. There has been a project some years ago that never came to life, and I think that Fairphone could actually attract a lot more people, if they would develop the modularity concept further and made it more personalisable.

But most of the people I told about Fairphone did not know the company before, and so I think one important aspect is just to spread the word and inform people, so that they can consider the FP when getting a new phone.

2 Likes

Well yeah like @Stefan said if we did our jobs right, they wouldn’t usually go and buy the Fairphone right away.
Here are some cases and what we did:

  • Person A is in Fairphone’s core target audience - a green hippy - already heard about the Fairphone likes the idea, plans to keep their current phone for as long as possible and switch to a Fairphone then.
  • We supported them in their views, dissipated some doubts they may have still had about the Fairphone and encouraged them to already join the movement (e.g. via the forum) before getting the phone.
  • Person B is another do-gooder, but hasn’t heard about the Fairphone yet.
  • We talked to them about everything that’s going wrong in the mobile electronics industry and what Fairphone does to make it all better. After they visited our booth I believe many of them are prospective buyers.
  • Person C is a random pedestrian - not an intentional visitor of e.g. a fair trade fair - sees our banner or posters and is intrigued - either because they never heard the word “fair” in the context of phones before, or because they thought they knew all phones that are on the market and are baffled that that there is one more they never heard about before.
  • We explain to them what Fairphone is, why it is needed and what it accomplished so far as well as the technical aspects, bugs, features and stability.
    When Person C leaves our booth I usually don’t have the feeling that they we completely won them over, but maybe the next time they are in the situation of having to decide for their next phone model they remember that technical specs and looks may not be all, but that e.g. durability and repairability are important too. Maybe that won’t be enough to make them buy a Fairphone, but they could decide for an “a bit fairer” phone than they would have otherwise.
  • Person D is an iPhone junky and fashion blogger and therefore can’t live without an ultra high def selfie-cam and wouldn’t ever get caught dead posting a mirror selfie that doesn’t reflect a diamond-framed apple logo.
  • They often listen with interest to what we say about the Fairphone, but would never buy one. But just maybe they have a friend who wants to live a more sustainable life and when their phones die Person D may remember to tell them: “I once talked to some dorky people at a booth. They tried to sell me a Fairtraidphone or whatever. Maybe that would be the right phone for you?”.
10 Likes

@paulakreuzer Are these the latest community personas??? :smiley: Great write-up! :smiley:

1 Like

Well, for me it’s always the first point and I try especially to talk my friends who buy fair-trade bananas, chocolate, coffee and quinoa but never thought about where their phone came from. Just planting a seed in their mind, not trying to preach them the good cause.

3 Likes

I’m privately very interested in Fairphone since the first edition and according to @paulakreuzer I belong to group A. I’m the only one in my company who kept his old phone until it broke-down. In course of the need to buy a new phone I mentioned Fairphone to the management and they had been quite interested and authorized me to buy a Fairphone 2 instead of an iPhone. But to be honest I can’t wait until July. And it makes no sense to buy a different to bypass. So I have to by another one and keep it the next 4-5 years.
The management may had turned away from apple, but the fact that the Fairphone has such long delivery times makes it impossible.

5 Likes

3 posts were split to a new topic: Buy a Fairphone 2 from reseller

Absolutely. There is just one little problem: the people I know who are interested in this story, already have a FP or are well aware of its existence.
Raising the issue of conflict minerals (the first reason to buy a FP for me) out of the blue happens rather seldom. But when it happens, the little map in the phone does help to explain the issue and tell the story!

Telling about the modularity/repairability is a no-brainer for me, since I work on this topic. In meetings, I always put my phone on the table. Just yesterday, I dismantled it again at a conference. Often, people already know such a phone did exist, but they never saw a real one. But of course, often they have a company phone or want to keep their own phone for as long as possible.

The transparent cover is a must for me. Especially to catch attention by just “randomly” putting my phone upside down on the table (everybody knows you should always put your phone upside down to better see the notification led, no? :innocent:). So, a transparent version of the new cover should be available, I think!

Too many to count. Mostly to people who are professionally involved in the circular economy / recycling.

I don’t think so. If they ask about the price, most people get a little bit less enthousiast. But it brings up another interesting debate about paying the right price for a product…

5 Likes

Thanks you for all your answers and stories! This helps us a lot!

Summarizing a bit:

  • Most of you say that the Fairphone itself is the most powerful story-telling device. (map, taking it apart, showing the FP Open OS). The translucent case helps a lot to attract attention.
  • Different people need different approaches (Thnx @paulakreuzer for the new personas!)
  • @Stefan reminds us that if we tell the story right people should first get the incentive to keep using their old phone as long as possible and then buy a Fairphone.
  • @leper mentions availability. The Fairphone needs to be in stock, otherwise it is hard to convince people.
  • @Tawa mentioned brand-awereness: people need to know we exist before they can even consider us.

What about stickers, flyers, tshirts? Do they help you to start a discussion and talk about Fairphone?

Also, this I found interesting:

Do you think it would help if we would give community members a limited amount of discount vouchers that you can use if you think it will convince people? Maybe to take away the last hurdle to buy a FP2…

Do you think such an extra tool/argument could help to convince the type A and Type B personas of @paulakreuzer mentioned above?

I would love to see something like this. Especially stickers and shirts can be used just in daily life to naturally bring up the topic, make people interested or raise awareness of the brand name.

[quote=“douwe, post:16, topic:26704”]Do you think it would help if we would give community members a limited amount of discount vouchers that you can use if you think it will convince people? Maybe to take away the last hurdle to buy a FP2…
[/quote]
Another idea would be sending Fairphone buyers a discount coupon for friends with their order. This coupon could be used only for the purchase of a Fairphone, not accessoires. Only when the delivery problems are solved of course.
By that, you remind Fairphone users automatically to tell friends about it, and the friends could be stimulated to buy a Fairphone by a discount.
Also giving A discount always makes people consider an offer more intensely, because they feel like they get a very special and good offer.
Because also with my friends, I have a lot of people who love the concept, but are intimidated by the price of the Fairphone.

3 Likes

[quote=“Douwe”]Summarizing a bit:

  • Most of you say that the Fairphone itself is the most powerful story-telling device. (map, taking it apart, showing the FP Open OS). The translucent case helps a lot to attract attention.
  • Different people need different approaches (Thnx @paulakreuzer for the new personas!)
  • @Stefan reminds us that if we tell the story right people should first get the incentive to keep using their old phone as long as possible and then buy a Fairphone.
  • @leper mentions availability. The Fairphone needs to be in stock, otherwise it is hard to convince people.
  • @Tawa mentioned brand-awereness: people need to know we exist before they can even consider us.[/quote]

I think that availability is the most important of these points. If you get that one right, it will raise awareness in the whole industry because other phone manufactures won’t be able to use your delivery problems as an excuse for them not being fair.

1 Like

I convinced an older relation to buy the FP2. He’s been happy about it. However, he was already in search of a solution to detach himself from Google services.
I also made a younger co-worker interested in the FP2, and he decided his next smartphone would be the FP2 (not done yet).

Both times, the fair part of _fair_phone was important in the decision, but the decisive argument was: it just works!
I am among the lucky owners who encountered no show-stopper bugs, even though I did have some minor ones (eg. I reported the clock issue). No screen issue; no GPS issue; so touch issue, and so on. This is important.
Also, for some reason, there is a keen interest in the quality of the camera, which is just OK with the FP2, but could be improved.

3 Likes

Hi,
I’m used to install GNU/Linux on PC’s for friends.
But I do not own a smartphone myself (I don’t really need one at the moment).
However I have started to look into Free software (apps and OSes) for smartphones since most friends of mine now own this kind of machines.
My intend is to bring people to Free-OS. Therefore I’m keeping up to date about the marketing of smartphones shipped with Free OSes.

1 - I successfully convinced a friend of mine to buy a Fairphone2 to be used with Fairphone Open.

  • this person is receptive to alternative ways of life and I had already convinced her to switch to GNU/Linux on her PC.
  • this person can afford a rather costly device (middle class)
  • Free-OS + fairtrade were together balancing the higher price.
    -> FP2 was bought and then activated with FPOpen in February 2017.

2 - I talked about the Fairphone to another person who is considering the acquisition of a new smartphone

  • this person is receptive to alternative ways of life and I have already convinced her to switch to GNU/Linux on her PC.
  • this person can NOT afford a rather costly device (lower middle class - will buy in the range 150 to 250 €)
  • Free-OS + fairtrade are both appealing to this person, but cannot balance the higher price.
    -> this person will wait until a more affordable Free-OS smartphone comes to the market (with Sailfish OS or Ubuntu touch).

Most of my friends are lower middle class and will be deterred by the price of Fairphone (as I write : 530 €). Although fairtrade and - when I explain it to them - Free-OS do appeal to them.

2 Likes

This is very true indeed.
Unless the person belongs to the higher middle class, but then Fairphone is in competition with iPhones and we know that Apple’s customers are generally quite addicted to their self-valorizing-branded-devices.

Availability is important for ordinary people who don’t have too much money to invest in a smartphone. These people will order a new smartphone the day their current one breaks down. At that moment they will want to have a new one almost immediately.

Availability is less important for people who :

  • own a spare smartphone (they can wait for a long delivery)
  • will replace their smartphone after some time even if it still does work (they have money to invest in such devices). Therefore high relative price and current lack of availability combine to narrow the potential buyers to the higher middle class (or technophyles, = generally addicted iPhone users…).

Exactly! Those, who use their old phone until it breaks down, will need a new phone immediately!

PS.: @mohican Please reply only once. You can quote multiple people in one post, and, besides that, refer to others by @username.

Yes

I should point out that I bought a Fairphone 2 because my girlfriend had bought a Fairphone 1. I loved the concept of not only an ethical phone, but an open phone. My girlfriend had some issues with her phone, but overall it was more reliable that her last two mainstream phones, it was lasting well, and the concept of the Fairphone 2 was even more attractive (modular, repairable, more open), so I took the plunge. When I bought my phone (which was about 9 months before it was delivered, and about 2 months before my old phone stopped functioning) the price wasn’t too bad for the specifications it included - unfortunately neither the specifications nor the price have changed since.

Since I ordered my phone, and since I got it, I have been telling people about it. Often we are just talking about phones in general, or someone spots my phone and wonders what it is. One of my friends who I had told about it before rang me up one day and told me that he needed to get a new phone and wanted to know more about Fairphone. I gave him all the details, but conscious that he was about to part with 525 euro, I also outlined all the problems I had with mine at that stage, and how it took a long time for me to get responses from the support team. He like the idea, and was happy enough to give it a go, as he was fed up with mainstream phones, and the contracts the networks tie you into. He got the phone, and at first he was pretty happy with it (although not too happy with the battery life), but when I met him a couple of months later I noticed he was using an iPhone. I asked him, and he told me that he could not get any reception on the Fairphone so eventually he had to abandon it. Switching the iPhone, he had no trouble. Now, I had no reception trouble with my phone, and also had no reception problems when I was at his house so I suspect that his phone might be faulty, but despite me encouraging him to do so, he has not yet returned the phone to Fairphone (probably mindfull of issues I have had) and has just moved on to using the iPhone.

So, I should probably outline a few issues I’ve had. I had a couple of small issues at first (notification lights not working, problems with proximity sensors) which I was happy to deal with, but had raised with support. Back then, support was obviously understaffed, so my tickets got no attention. Then after a couple of months the microphone stopped working so essentially I could not use it as a phone - luckily this happened just a few weeks before Fairphone upped their game in Support, and devoted more staff to it. Pretty quickly they got back to me, and said they would replace my phone, and after a couple of weeks I had a new one. Unfortunately just before Christmas I started having trouble with the touch screen, and I had to get this replaced. So, I’ve had my fair share of problems, but I do love my phone (when it’s working).

A few other friends who were thinking of changing phones have asked me about it, and I have hailed the merits of this project, and how great my phone is, but also I have had to tell them about all the issues I’ve had. The bottom line is, if you want a Fairphone you really have to believe in the project, you have to spend a lot of money up front, and you have to be willing to put effort into making sure the thing works. This is too much effort and expense for most people, especially for the majority of people who buy discounted phones as part of their network contract.

Now, my girlfriend’s Fairphone 1 is on it’s last legs. She’s been very aware of all the trouble that I, and my friend have had with our Fairphone 2s, but after looking around for another phone with similar ethical credentials, she found nothing came close. She has decided to go for a Fairphone 2, and I commend her for it, however, I really hope that she has less trouble with it I have had with mine.

I hope that my continued support, and support of the rest of the Fairphoners will lead to a more reliable phone in future. I believe in this project, and I will continue to support it, very aware of how much it has achieved already. Well done Fairphone team, you’ve done an amazing job with very limited resources, but you need to do more. I’ll keep backing you, keep going, keep improving.

Brian

6 Likes

Very well expressed. Would you believe Fairphone 2 had less problems if it was non-modular?

1 Like

Hey all,

thank you very much for your responses so far and how the Fairphone itself helps you to talk about fair electronics and open source software. The Fairphone 2 clearly has is pros and cons when it comes to being a subject of discussion.

Now, besides the Fairphone, what other materials, knowledge and information could we create that would help you to share the story of fair electronics?

  • Would a locally translated version of the Urban mining manual help?
  • Do you think there should be a dedicated Fairphone app with extra info to show?
  • Shall we give coupon-codes to Fairphone community members so they can give discounts to friends?
  • Do we need to share more info on our website and blog about the issues in the industry for you to read and educate others?
  • … or do you have an other crazy idea, we didn’t think of yet…?

In other words: what do you think, apart from what was already discussed in relation to the Fairphone itself, would help you to convey the issues in the industry to more people?

It 's easy: There is nobody, who bought a Fairphone because of me.
The reason for that:
Very seldom I talk to friends about Fairphone, because I value this concept to realize and produce a phone very much, but I have had and still have trouble with my FP2, specially with battery drainage. And this severe issue stays and stays and stays over the updates and makes my phone unreliable. Imagine, what I should say, when a friend is asking me, how I could advise her or him to buy such a phone.
Another question I am unsatisfied is the camera quality. For a long time they are talking and talking about a new model - the existing one has been insufficient from the beginning in my opinion - , but when does it come???
A third point: The insufficient communication between the Fairphone management and the Fairphone owners. It is really nice to have this very active forum, but that does not replace reliable and in time information by Fairphone itself.
The forum for me very often seems to be a playground for the customers to let alone the Fairphone stuff.
Therefore I can 't do any advertising for Fairphone at this actual situation. Hopefully it will change in future. I really would like to do advertising for the Fairphone concept!

2 Likes

I think it would help with workshops in schools because younger students don’t speak English yet. (Maybe there should be a stripped down version for younger students that is translated into other languages, rather than the whole Miner’s guide.)

:scream: Gosh, NO! Think about all the iPhone users! They won’t ever be able to learn anything about Fairphone!!! On a more serious note: That would also raise questions about Sailfish OS, Ubuntu OS, etc. native apps. I think the mobile version of Fairphone’s website is sufficient and you should make sure that it works well in the latest mobile browsers.

Yes! Maybe to #efct17 participants? :wink: [quote=“douwe, post:26, topic:26704”]
Do we need to share more info on our website and blog about the issues in the industry for you to read and educate others?
[/quote]

The blog posts about recycling the FP2 and the 10 materials you are focusing on were very informative and I hope to get more of these. (Wasn’t able to read the MWC blog post yet.)

Paint @werner_noebauer 's VW bus in Fairphone blue and make a roadtour / pop-up stores all over Europe! :smiley:

3 Likes