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Has anyone bought a Fairphone because of you?


#1

We want to improve the tools, materials and knowledge base of Fairphone.

It should be easier for you to raise the issues of ewaste, toxic mining, conflict minerals, harsh labor conditions, and recycling with your family, friends and colleagues and make them aware of the possible solutions.

As a first step we want to get a better understanding of how you are telling the story of Fairphone and fair electronics already. We know many of you do as we can read on the forum and see on social media.

But can you tell us what has worked so far for you?
And do you have ideas what we could do to help you tell this story better?

How many people did you tell about Fairphone so far?
Has anyone bought a Fairphone because of you?

Looking forward to hear about your crazy, moving and honest stories of spreading the Fairphone story.


Yet another discussion about "promises"
Yet another discussion about "promises"
Yet another discussion about "promises"
#2

My best friend bought a Fairphone 1 of the second batch back then. I wanted to pitch a FP2 to another close friend of mine, but it was too expensive for her and she eventually bought a used iPhone (I didn’t talk to her for a while afterwards… :smiling_imp:).

One other reason for her not to buy the Fairphone 2 were the long waiting times for orders in Fairphone’s webshop. I think it doesn’t give a picture of reliability.


#3

Well I think you are missing something. I’d guess we did convince quite a few people to buy fairphones at our events.

Apart from those I wasn’t successful in pitching the Fairphone to anyone yet. My whole family is too fixed on iPhones and my friends are politely interested by the idea, but I guess they prefer taking what their providers offer them.

@Douwe So you guys are still hoping to promote the Fairphone to new customers? @Stanzi and me recently jokingly supposed that the reason you don’t offer a black slim cover (apparently black is what most people want) is because too many people want to buy Fairphones already and you can’t keep up with productions. :wink:


#4

But how? Were these people already interested or completely new to the idea?
Did you ever show someone the phone and you saw a light go on in their head and the next day they went and bought a Fairphone? What made this light pop?

No comment. :wink:


#5

That would be a contradiction, wouldn’t it be? Of course they tried to use their old phone as long as possible after they heard about the issues connected to it! :wink:

To be honest, I am struggling a bit with the initial question:

The problem in my opinion is that there is no immediate solution to these problems. People can’t simply ditch their old phone, buy a Fairphone - and all is well, life on Earth is saved etc. We can only plant the idea of Fairphone in people’s heads and hope that it will blossom and eventually bear fruit when their old phone dies and they need a new one.


#6

I used to have one of the clear back-covers (until it dissolved into its constituents) and this triggered some interest in fellow geeks.

Main selling points were (in the order of importance):

  • You own it - you can take it apart and repair it yourself (including a demo on how easy it is to remove the screen)
  • It will last you for longer that those crappy (exploding Samsung) phones
  • It has the option of using non-googlified Android with community ports of Ubuntu and Sailfish
  • It’s fair electronics (show map on the inside and tell a tale).
  • It’s not cutting edge, but really good enough.

Sold two for you up to now :wink:


#7

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.


#8

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?”.

#9

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


#10

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.


#11

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.


#12

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


#15

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…


#16

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?


#17

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.


#18

[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.


#19

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.


#20

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.


#21

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.


#22

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…).