Has Fairphone OS a free future?

Even though I browsed through a couple of forum posts and the site itself I couldn’t quite get an answer. I know there is a tendency to move towards a more free software state, but how much really? The FP2 will unfortunately come by default with Google Apps installed which indicates that FOSS is not a priority.

Also I read in their recent blog post that they will give the users the necessary tools to build their own OS. To me this sounds like if you want more free computing it’s up to you the user. Is this a safe assumption? I am worried that this will become a mess like many CyanogenMod ROMs which are barely usable and lose their developers within months because they have only their free time to spare. Especially since the user base isn’t exactly big.

What can I expect regarding the 2 points I made? Because a “free” (whats possible right now) and up-to-date Android is important to me.


I do not think this is a fair deduction to make. This does only indicate that FLOSS is not a solution for everybody and Fairphone realizes that a large amount of potentional customers might want to use Googles services. So i do not think this is unfortunate, on the contrary. But that is up for debate.
Still by promising us to deliver the tools required to build the OS for the Fairphone 2, this is a huge step towards a more open Fairphone OS compared to the FP1. So in contrast to some statements made in this forum, i think the FP2 is an improvement in the aspect of FLOSS. Because while the FP1 OS was free of Google, it was not free software in any way.

About point two, we sadly not know yet. We are all waiting for more details on that plan of Fairphone. I think they are coming soon, but if free software is really important, do not preorder just yet but wait until all these details are explained by Fairphone so you are not disappointed later on.

Finally, let me say i personally hope the FP2 as a long, prosper and free future.


Well… I think you should give people the opportunity to opt-out without coding a modified version of the OS. You could still install gapps afterwards if you want to use it. Maybe a setup wizard could ask you.

I probably have to. What should I keep an eye on if I want to get news on this matter? The blog?

I think you should open a support ticket with such requests… :wink: On a more serious note: This forum is not intended for official Fairphone Team respones, so there is not much use in saying “you” here and meaning Fairphone.

You are right, the blog is the channel, were you will get official responses too.

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If there’s a true demand for an alternative OS, then won’t the demand lead to a well supported project?

Free software is not really something people are familiar with. So naturally there will be less demand.

I simply see a contradiction between their motto “owning the device” and being able to “open it” if free software is not a priority. I would like Fairphone to take care of this since software is equally important as hardware for a fair phone.

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Well, in all honest, if FairPhone provides all the tools to build a custom OS for the device then how are they still obliged to provide said alternate OS? Besides, what should this alternate OS look like? Everyone has different wishes. To put it plainly: one person wants FireFox OS, the other wants Sailfish and the third wants Ubuntu Touch. Should FairPhone release, maintain and support four different OS-es for their device? Seems like a rather ridiculous demand.

How is their motto contradictory if they actually do allow you to open the device and build and run your own version of your own OS for it? That’s exactly what this is about: giving you the option to tinker with the software and do with it whatever you want. Sure, there’s still some unfortunate limits, but it’s very clear to me FairPhone is doing its utmost best to break down any barriers they can. It’s up to the community to pick up from there.

To me, it comes across like there’s this very vocal group who want open software and now that FairPhone is providing the means to reach this goal, they’re switching their complaints to the fact that it’s them that have to make builds of alternate OSes.


Oh please, let’s not start this style of discussing all over, ok? You argumentation was valid just right up until this point. And then you broke it with this last remark…


@abc: I understand your position, but as you might not be aware of, there has been quite some discussion about the topic of free and open source software. If you want to contribute, I sugggest you catch up with the discussion and read through the below threads.

But please, don’t view my post as an appeal to ‘necro’ some ancient discussions. This list is aimed at helping you to be more precise in your comments and (hopefully) get you convinced that Fairphone does indeed see FOSS as a priority. If you’re convinced enough to buy a FP2, of course, is up to you.