Headphone Jack Removal - Lost Customer

Same as most of these posts.
I liked the design of the FP4 but have a lot of headphones at home that I keep repairing - even getting friends’ ones. I was not going to by the FP4 anyway but that is a sad news, we’re not at apple here, we’d like to use stuff untill they really can’t be repaired. Still apple deleted jack plugs 5 years ago…

You can use every corded headphone with the FP4, you only need a simple adapter. That was mentioned several times already in this discussion.


Following this line of reasoning you could also argue that, since most people don’t care about fairtrade, it’s OK to drop it, right?

(and I don’t mean to say that you do think this)


At least, if I follow your example, I could literally obtain Fairtrade as an option, which is what you can do with a separate audio jack for a FP4 as well…

I was talking about a line of reasoning someone else used to explain the decision FP made to drop the jack. The result of which would be a contradiction with their own principles.

And that just does not seem to make a lot of sense.

In my humble opinion, the decision to “kill” the built-in audio jack has been correct in conjunction with a replaceable USB port.

Any audio jack in phones and other devices has proven to become unreliable after some time. And its size has prevented engineers to develop thinner and lighter phones.

The unreliability of worn-out audio jacks is just the same with USB jacks when using a USB-to-audio jack cable/connector frequently. The common user cannot replace a built-in audio jack when damaged - but the FP4 is the first Fairphone with a replaceable USB port. And as long as enough USB port modules are available, this will be a big advantage compared to phones with built-in (and sometimes damaged) audio jacks…


For those interested the official reasoning for no audio jack can now be found here:


Following that reasoning, Fairphone would have to include every possible feature, as there will be someone considering it the one (killer)feature, that decides on buying or not.
E.g. how about an OLED display or a third camera and what about the FM-radio?

From my point of view, as a - rather small - business, Fairphone has to make decisions based on economic sustainability as well, as it’s not worth sticking to features, that add costs for production, while they are important for a minority only. Add to this, that an additional module will increase the tear and wear on the phone, possibly leading to a greater amount of support requests.
I rather prefer, they stay in business and focus on social and ecological fairness.

And - just for clarification - I don’t own a bluetooth headphone, but rather two wired ones; so I would have preferred to have a jack as well. But using an adapter doesn’t seem to be that much of burden to me.
One advantage of an adapter, regarding charging at the same time, is, that there is a cable only on one end of the phone. With a headphone jack one always has cables sticking out on both ends of the phone, making it rather uncomfortable to carry in a pocket or bag.


The audio jack in my FP3 ist still working without any problems after 2 years, and I use it frequently. They could just keep this quality. Anyway, this is not the only reason I will look for something else when my FP3 falls apart and there are no spare parts. And why not 2 USB-C ports, if this is so much better? To sell an adapter or more spare parts?

They can also keep their screen with rounded edges and notch. There are at least Shiftphone and “some used phone” as options.

Yes the radio would be a better asset than the jack.

So, don’t become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don’t know or just don’t care
And just complain when you’re not there

You had your time, you had the power
You’ve yet to have your finest hour
Radio, radio

All we hear is “Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga”
All we hear is "Radio ga ga
“Radio blah blah”
Radio, what’s new?
Radio, someone still loves you

Yes the reasons of dust and water ingress are a bit weak. I’ve a 7 year old Samsung with removable battery and a jack socket > no problems with water ingress, but then I didn’t drop it down the loo and in the rain I’m careful too.

One day when the FP4 is mine, I’ll use an adapter, I’ll be just fine.

My best guess -and it is definitely just a guess- is that they’ve done their share of market research, which may have shown that their target demographic cares more about water resistance than it does about the presence of a headphone jack. Fairphone pick their battles, I think. They’re firm on a few things, like fairness to workers and repairability, but they’re flexible when it comes to this type of stuff. Commit to the important things, move with the market on the things that will help you sell those important things. Something like that.


Do you mean the reasoning followed by fairphone or the one mentioned in the post? (this is getting complicated :grin: I’ll answer option2)

Erm… no don’t think so, more like the opposite, because it should also be in line with their mission which is (or should be) more important (e.g. We care about reducing waste and making the most of what we already have.).

When fairphone sells under 100k units in 2020 and worldwide sales are around 1370M, what’s your thought on customers sticking to companies? Economic choices are to be made by companies you rightly mention, but also by costumers, right?

Some costumers are willing to choose against the most common economic logic, but when things change and start to look more like the same, isn’t it to be expected that costumers also change their priorities/option/choices to be more like the same/the majority?

Same applies to adding more dongles… and carrying those around for the next 5 years, if you’d ask me.

I would be very happy with a 3,5mm jack at the bottom of the phone, just next to the usb-port to make lives easier :wink:.

And - just for clarification - I applaud the approach and the effort of the company, thinking different. I ask questions out of curiosity, not because I’m angry or something like that.

So the common user can repair the new earbuds, replacing the battery when it eventually dies after a few hundred charging cycles, or the BT module for that matter?

Proven by whom? I’ve never had this problem. Doesn’t mean it does not exist, but the fact that the tech is around for several decades might suggest otherwise.

So the FP4 is thinner, and lighter compared to its predecessor? Uhhh no, it’s longer, wider, thicker and heavier.

IMHO I’m still trying to convince myself … :wink:


Just to add to the @DeepSeas notion of what a user can and cannot do

The common user cannot replace a built-in audio jack when damaged

Talking just about the above, the jack definetly could have been at the bottom in the same module as the USB port for example, > so easy to change…

I agree with just about everything you said in the last two posts, and repeat that I too am not complaining or saying Fairphone should have done this and that. I’m presenting alternative ideas to those that others have as to why Fairphone ‘had’ to do what they did. Like you I disagree with, or challenge the precepts in, the statements you have quoted.

No, but I think we should keep a sense of proportion.

You might want to have conversations with people who experienced a worn-out audio jack of a Walkman™ or a portable radio.

Right, this point belongs to you. The reasons might vary, but the grade of modularity has increased, and the battery’s capacity by almost a third, too, which is very welcomed…

I’m sorry, but this is wrong. The thinnest phone in the world is only 4.75 mm thick and even it had a headphone jack.


This is a bit odd

a) @mike33 There’s no indication that the new earbuds can be repaired. Is there ???


b) @DeepSea As far as keeping a sense of proportion having a separate module for the jack or joint one with the USB would, I imagine, be within your assessment of the ‘common user’s’ ability.

Still the lack of a jack is still a bit of a mystery and I’m not really interested in why Fairphone have dumped it. Fairphone have said their piece and I have no intention of discussing it with them.

Let’s face it, Fairphone’s respond would likely be far less entertaining than all this opinioned stuff, and Fairphone clearly don’t have the resources or inclination to get involved.

Thanks for sharing, very impressive, it seems that the engineers did a really good job!

They did, contrary to Fairphone. I would’ve said that it’s not that bad if the wireless headphones and the case had replaceable batteries, but they seem to be just as irrepearable as AirPods, which imo is an unacceptable choice for a company like FP.


Is that phone modular too and has a removable battery?

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