Reading your post made me feel a lot of emotion coming my way. I didnt mean to offend you.
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.
I have been talking to almost all close friends, family and co-workers about my Fairphone 2 - like I did with my Fairphone 1. For one I am known for having some above-average knowledge on tech-stuff and people ask me for advice and two I do like spreading the idea and might have shown off the transparent cover I used to have (before it broke at the volume buttons) every now and then to provoke questions like @danielsjohan mentioned. That worked fairly well.
One friend of mine bought a FP2 because of me so far. He even jumped on board in the preordering phase. It was a big step for him, because it was his first smartphone. I think what convinced him the most was the transparency of the project - and not only about the achievements, but also in the honest descriptions of the limitations on how to produce a “fairer” phone (working hours in the factory e.g.). He can be very critical of green-washing or in this case fair-washing.
He also considered the Shift-Phone but finally went with a FP2 because of the much higher standards and transparency of FP1 and FP2 production in china, conflict-free minerals etc. Yet, although he read a little bit about both phones, he never did a lot of deep reading of blog, forum and homepage texts himself. In a lot of aspects he asked and trusted me in telling him about it and e.g. discussing Shift Phone vs. Fairphone.
Three more people I know are considering to buy a FP2 because of my ad campaign (hey, where is my share? ). They too have not read a lot about the FP2 but are rather influenced by me. Two of them mainly like the idea of not only buying fair clothes or fair fruits but also a fair phone. They both are in stages of “maybe soon” - one because she has no smartphone yet but is considering in buying one. For her the google-free FP Open OS is a big plus. Yet, she is not so good with English and technology that she would probably need me in helping her with setting up and getting to know her smartphone. Explanations in german might come in handy. The other has an old phone that is falling apart but is a little short on money. So a discount might work for her. The third person is a colleague that is also very much into security and privacy. Only FP Open would be an alternative for him - but the most important argument for him were the regular security updates. This is one aspect that is in my opinion not brought up often enough. Security updates are a great plus for FP2 and promising to do so in the future and promoting it will attract some more people to considering buying a FP2 instead of a nexus device from google for example.
Many people have asked me about my Fairphone who must have read about it before because they knew what it is and asked me how it’s working for me.
I usually show people how you can take it apart and tell them about the whole concept and that it’s not actually that expensive if you consider that you will hopefully have it for a long time.
But quite frankly it is hard to recommend a phone that restarts itself between one and five times per day. And @paulakreuzer I am really sorry, but it’s not like that with every other phone model. I like my Fairphone and everything else is fantastic, but so far none of the things I tried fixed it and other people had the same problems with a replacement phone.
So when someone asks me about it I say it’s a great phone except for the fact that it sometimes crashes several times a day. I will also say that not everyone has this problem but it’s definitely no exception.
I have talked to many people about Fairphone - colleagues, friends, family. Some of them must had heard about it somewhere but did not pay attention - which has changed now that I am an “ambassador”.
- back in the days a friend was thinking about switching from a cell phone to a smart phone and was asking me whether he should go for a Samsung or Apple device. I had heard about Fairphone and this friend became one of the pre-production buyers of the FP1 (it was his first smart phone). After being inadvertently crashed on a concrete stair some weeks ago the phone was turned into a FP2.
- when my dad was thinking about getting his first smart phone I decided it was time to not have dark forces conquer his soul and so (with some financial support of other family members) a FP1 was his birthday present, he still has it
- eventually FP2 became my first smart phone
- at least one Linux-geek-colleague repeatedly says that his Samsung is not quite enough dead yet, otherwise he probably would get an FP2 because of the Ubuntu port
- another colleague asked my for my experiences with my FP2, meanwhile she has bought a FP2
Regarding the following:
I usually tell people that Fairphone roots in an initiative which tried to raise awareness e.g. for conflict minerals. Since there were not too many people interested in listening to such ‘boring’ information, they came up with the idea to promote their own device as a conveyor for their storytelling…and so on.
And then I conclude by pointing out that Fairphone’s mission is a little tough: they need to be successful in the market to survive as a company, at the same time they hope to prevent people from buying a FP by pointing out that for society and the environment it is best to use the existing phone for as long as possible. And even after having sold a device, they hope for customers to keep if for as long as possible by providing support and updates as best as they can.
(Along these lines I also wonder about the future of FP as a company. Once a major smart phone company steps into the market of fair smart phone production they can easily change much more things than tiny Fairphone. But what would happen to FP then? ‘Mission completed’?)
Many people I talk to support the Fairphone principles, nevertheless there are questions/arguments, some of them are:
- how reliable is the device
- how good is support
- what is the prospect for a FP device in case the company FP would disappear
- why not having the latest technology (the questions being partly answered by the release of FP2)
8 posts were split to a new topic: Yet another discussion about “promises”
The Fairphone 2 is my first smartphone, and I must say I never had anything technically problematic (except sometimes the image going a little crazy). I installed it because of the fairness, and because I strongly belived it was possible to choose not to install Gapps at the start, as with Fairphone 1. It wasn’t the case but quickly it became possible to choose Fairphone Open and I compiled it (it wasn’t possible to download it directly at first). Now I’m truly happy, and everything works fine.
This was for the congratulations part ! Now, I have to say that I didn’t talk a lot about Fairphone, because when I do I always feel as the fanatical alternative guy, who wants to point out that everyone is doing wrong except me (it’s not the case, but I can be to passionate and this can be problematical). Once I had a talk about what people wanted with their phones, and what mostly came out was :
- The price
- The possibility to get as much apps as they want
- The camera
- Quality of videos
- Not having to care about technical issues and software alternatives (this is, amongst other facts, what makes them run away from Fairphone Open if they have Fairphone)
The question of ethics never came out. But still, I convinced (directley or not) two people to turn to Fairphone, one that really did it (but she’s already aware of the ethical question), the other one I don’t know. Once, someone overreacted, saying that for that price, she never would by a Fairphone 2. So sadly, I think the price is a great problem for most people, if not the biggest. Also, no one wants to feel attacked about his/her way of life (even if it’s not the case).
So, my question is : how to talk about Fairphone in a diplomatic way ?
Nevertheless, I think goodies like t-shirts and stickers would be absolutely great They attract attention and make people feel they are part of a community.
For me also the translucent back cover has started some conversations, although mostly with people who heard of the Fairphone before, but had not bought one themselves.
In those and other conversations I am always very enthusiastic about the sustainable production chain and the modularity. But I also have to be honest and talk about the technical issues that I have had (although the only realy problematic ones, the backside cover faling apart and the screen being unresponsive, were solved by good support: free replacement parts, although a bit slow). And people also generally ask about the price and the answer does not usually make them happy.
But for me this is all worth it because I do not want to be responsible for what boils down to people giving their lives so that I can have a cheaper and higher quality phone. So I think this is something that we have to tell consumers: people are being exploited - we are responsible for that - but we have a choice.
I got a FP1U from a friend, he wanted to stick with his iphone. And I am very happy with it. And told some friends about that. One actually bought a FP2. His points: modular system (he is an IT) and fairtrade. The only minus point for him is, that it is too tall. He would have liked a smaller one, like the FP1.
Thanks to all the team for your work!
I have the FP 2 ordered and on its way, and I am very much exited to have done so and telling everybody too. The idea of fair production works. And the transparent cover helps a lot as well as being able to take the Phone apart yourself.
It would really help if the Phone would have a better camera and if the OS would be more up to date or if there would be more clarity about wheter or not you will be producing a FP3 shortly. One would not risk to buy an outdated version of a Phone that’s supposed to be sustainable.
I had some doubts with these points myself and my friends also do. My partner is very much charmed with the FP but he needs a better camera, so he is still in doubt and waiting for my FP to arrive, so he can test it first.
I hope I can convince him (and others) once my FP has arrived.
I guess it would help if the critics on these points would be more positive.
Keep up the good work!
3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Fairphone 3 – Hardware and obsolence discussion
A post was merged into an existing topic: Yet another discussion about “promises”
I have been a long campaigner for Fair Trade, sustainability and recycling - so when I learnt about the Fairphone, as soon as I had a full-time job I purchased one (I had been using old falling apart second hand phones so they had issues). At the time of purchase I did a call out and easily got on board at least 5 others to buy with me, who were already on board with ethics and already knew about the Fairphone, just hadn’t thought to do it yet. There were definitely another handful that were keen but could not afford the upfront cost (i.e. students), and more who were interested but for when they next needed to buy a phone.
Once I got the phone (and note I had been talking about it for ages), I demonstrated how it worked and its modular function to work colleagues, friends and family. All impressed, many interested for when they required a new phone.
However as I paraded so much at the start this brilliant new purchase I had bought, and it had ongoing problems (many were software glitches that along with many others they were solved within a few weeks or a month), but the microphone module that took me longer to figure out what the problem was took months before I had the piece in my hand to replace it. Once I had it, it was very easy to fix, there are a few other small issues and I struggle with telling people how great it is as a functional phone because they laugh at me! Those that new me well had a running joke about this expensive ethical phone being a bit redundant as a phone, and the joke has extended to fair trade type products being lower quality in general.
However, I have hope that with continual improvements the future versions will be more sophisticated technologies and i’ll be happier to promote to people.
Like many on this thread - each conversation is largely about planting a seed.
I should be honest and say I’ve also bought one in a country you don’t sell to, so it’s more difficult as there is no marketing here, things take longer to ship via friends in Europe, so I am recommending to most people to wait until you do. so hurry up and come to Australia! There are bunch of pioneers here who will be happy to promote the Fairphone for you when you do
Also - lots of the people I know work in NGO or environment sector so do care about these issues and so will pioneer new ethical products like Fairphone. They also largely rely on their phones for work or social media interaction, so having a high performing phone is very important. Therefore if the microphone function is not working for any period of time they will be required to have another phone on standby (this has happened to my friend).
It is interesting, because all the time I had second hand phones I have been dealing with some sort of frustrating handicap, that the one time I buy a new phone I expected it to be perfect. Of course it wasn’t, and I’ve had to come to grips with that myself.
I will keep being an advocate for the Fairphone, but would advise people depending on the use of their phone to be wary of certain things, and to make sure they jump on top of issues soon to get new modules sent their way before letting it impede your life.
Telling people they are part of a journey would be a good idea for those in the Category
ethical consumer young professional - as they might feel good to be part of something that they can contribute to making better as well.
Thanks for asking us to be honest
Good idea I’ll see how that works…
Personally, I agree with @maik: much important information is only available on the blog, but not on the pages of the website that have the same topic.
I already made the same remark in the original topic: if I would be an interested consumer looking for information on e.g. conflict materials, I can find a little bit of information on the website. But the real “story” is hidden in the blog, which is not the first place a new customer would be looking (and even then, you have to use the right search terms to find it).
So linking all available information on the blog (not only the latest 2 entries) to relevant pages on the website, could avoid people not knowing about the background information. it’s not that hard, I guess, but it would improve communication. And after all, that’s the main critique over here: people don’t know exactly what FP promised or not, because of “less-than-optimal” communication.
I moved your post here because it seems back on track.
For reference, you were referring to your post here.
I also had the perception that information is hard to find (again? = is it hard to find for hardcore Fairphone followers that have read about something somewhere already before?), but actually that link has references to 7 blog posts:
Actually my brother bought a FP2 too, after he had a look at mine.
But that had been an easy one: We both before owned the same (dated) Symbian based not-so-smart-phone and both wanted to switch to an Android one. And he had been thinking about getting a Fairphone before - having a look at mine was just the confirmation.
A colleague of mine also had a look - but then decided to take over an iPhone within the family. (So probably Fairphone appreciates this waste reduction)
So, so far I didn’t need much arguing. When I describe it, I usually emphases the documented approach at fair conditions from minerals to production. (And I point to the web site for details and also the limits so far)
Then I point to the other details which make it unique:
- modular structure for easy self repair
- the “specification” that it is designed to survive a drop from 1.8 m
(So far I limited my accidental tries to having it drop from the table)
- monthly security updates
- more a special one, than any iPhone, where Apple sells on the first weekend a multiple of all Fairphones ever sold.
- if I’m sure the person I’m talking to, shares my sense of humor, I point to the “Chip” test, where it is termed the "probably the most ugly smartphone we ever tested"
And usually I emphasize, that the size (including this “ugly” thickness make it (IMHO anyway) nicely resting in my hand, while I have to hold other phones with edgy fingers.
Sometimes I mention the fact that it is NOT “shouting out” a company jingle on start - a fact I really appreciate.
So this is what “CHIP” magazine said about the Fairphone? Well, I use my FP2 every day, and I love it. But it is at least twenty years ago that I have read this “ugly” magazine for the last time. And I am not going to read it any more…
Ok. here is the link to the (German) article:
The heading says it all (sort of)
“Fairphone 2: Zu teuer, zu hässlich, zu schwach” (“Fairphone 2: too expensive, too ugly, too weak”)
Then at the end of the first paragraph:
“Auch wenn man über Geschmack nicht streiten soll, zählt das Fairphone 2 zu den hässlichsten Handys, die jemals bei CHIP getestet wurden.” (“Although there’s no accounting for taste, Fairphone 2 counts to the most ugly mobiles, CHIIP has ever tested”)
(In the edition after that, there had been letters to the editor commenting on the test.)
To me, this is just funny. Yet another superlative !
- first modular mobile (commercially available)
- most ambitious fair electronics product (I’m aware of)
- more exclusive then any iPhone or similar
Actually for once I don’t like these bright looking mobiles, with the curved displays, doomed to break for sure on the first drop. And second, anything which is too much “hyped”, is for sure off my buying list. So to me, this more comes to a compliment.
And oh yes, I forgot to mention in my list above “Dual SIM / Dual standby” - which I actually use and like.
P.S.: No, I don’t read this magazine either - my brother pointed me to the article and I actually had a look at it in the local library, just for the fun of it.
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