I flubbed my Fairphone pitch to a friend

I have a friend, we’ll call her Beth, who is a vegan environmentalist who supports human rights organisations and is active in her local community. Her phone suddenly died and she asked me the question I bet a lot of us get: what do you think of your Fairphone? Do you recommend it?

I used to knock on doors for Greenpeace back in the US, and this should have been the equivalent of walking up to a house with a fuel-efficient car emblazoned with no-nukes bumper stickers in the driveway, a solar panel on the roof, and a golden retriever playing in the yard. It was a poor canvasser who walked away from a house like that without a donation.

I told her my love of the phone is kinda unconditional, cause I love what Fairphone stands for. I was honest about there being better phones for battery life and camera quality, and a few tiny things I missed about the Apple ecosystem that I hadn’t yet found ways to replicate in the Android world, but at the end of the day, the phone does everything I need and I gladly forgive some minor shortcomings for peace of mind and being a part of the Fairphone story. I talked up the fair materials and living wage benefits and incentives in their assembly factory in China. Told her I rated the FP3 9/10, would recommend.

Then I made my mistake.

I raved about how easy it was to disassemble and replace a component and how great it was that I felt empowered to fix it myself. I told her about replacing my camera and audio unit and how it only took a few minutes and the phone was designed to come apart with nothing but a screwdriver and guitar pick.

Oops. That’s a great sales pitch for ME - I found out next day it had the opposite effect on Beth. I’m her go-to “techie guy” to fix her computer issues, wifi issues, anything with a chip in it - she gets seriously frustrated with tech on a regular basis.

Her decision message was “I really love the idea of Fairphone but I’m not tech competent enough (yet) to be fixing things myself. So have opted for another iPhone this time.”

:scream: Fail.

I’d had instilled fear in her that this was a phone for geeks only.

I share this as a cautionary tale for any fellow Fairphoners out there trying to convert a tech-averse friend. Maybe don’t lead with all the great right-to-repair features or brag about taking the thing apart.

May my shipwreck be your lighthouse.

Would love to hear stories from anyone who has been more successful.


If you can slice bread and make a sandwich you can saw wood to make a shelf.

If you can open a can of beans and unplug your devices from each other and the mains you can change the battery and modules in the Faiphone.

Yes I’ve been vegan et al for 47 years but don’t ask anyone for donations it’s not a religion that needs devotees ~ more a meditation.

I think you did the best thing, I wouldn’t recommend the Fairphone to anyone that doesn’t have the desire to suffer the expense of their time and thinking. So I bought one for my daughter so that at least she wouldn’t have to feel that she got a bum deal.


I see it more as Beth is only half-heartedly an environmentalist and has not really understood what human rights are. She is not the only one. In my opinion, she is not prepared to make sacrifices for her life. On the contrary, by buying an iPhone she is pushing what she is committed to. A cover activist. The technology excuse is more embarrassing for her than understandable and acceptable. You Brian_Fitzgerald can still do the repair.


I didn’t like to say that as that’s putting it mildly :slight_smile: Who is? But then aren’t we all just blowing up our ego in the wind?


Maybe you should have told her that Fairphone doesn’t even mind if you install a custom ROM during warranty time and that you just have to re-install the original Fairphone OS in case of any complains…

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I think the issue was having to use a screwdriver not Android :slight_smile:

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I actually do think the main reason behind this is iOS vs. Android. Apple has this basic approach of “Be quiet and let US decide for you, WE know better what you really want” that simplifies usage of a device a lot at the expense of freedom. And many people regard this as some sort of “friendliness” vs. “nasty tech people”. I find it is near impossible to make people reconsider there.


There are some similarities with my :green_apple: addicted girlfriend.
She loves the simplicity of her (smart)phone, the haptic and the prestige.
But more and more she gets interrested how my phone works, when it comes to the USPs of Android or Fairphone. Here is why:
We are playing a quiz game against each other from time to time. She recognized that I need significantly less time for my questions in the game. With a look over my shoulder she was wondering why I do not have to watch the in game advertisement videos.
That was my time! Now I was able to tell her that ad blocking on her loved piece of Steves legacy is not possible according of how corded up her software is designed. She was willing to listen to my explanations the very first time.
I must have planted some seeds of dissatisfaction. Some days later she asked me how the privacy settings are adjustable my FP3. Later she admitted that she had watched some videos on Youtube about it and she wanted to have it validated.
To make a long story short: After intensive conversations about privacy, fairness, product placement and development, influence of global companies and personal conviction, she admitted that this :green_apple: product will be her last one.

It lays in the hand of the people, if they are open for different values. The story goes on with energy, (electric) individual transportation and, of course, politics. Just to name a few.

We just stared the hike and there are a lot stages to walk. But to see the change in people based on my influence is something that makes it worth.


It is simple as that: Apple products actually work most of the time, and basic functions like doing phone calls with Whatsapp etc. have no severe issues. As long as Fairphone have not resolved their basic communication issues including their lack of support, well, how much sacrifice does anyone have to make to save the planet?

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Instead of paying a few bucks for the ad free version of the software, you try to convince your girl friend to block the ads and use the app for free.
There are a lot of flavours of beeing fair, I guess.

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More than can be imagined in your wildest dreams. Mind you save it from what for what ~ from whom for whom?


Sorry to disagree in this case.
As @Brian_Fitzgerald clearly told, it was not about bad experiences with software updates, support problems or lack of spare parts. It was just about Android vs. iOS.
His friend Beth had no idea of all the troubles reported and discussed in this forum, as he didn’t tell her. And she obviously didn’t refer to this in her explanation.

Not, that your complaints regarding support are unfounded.
But they are not the explanation for everything.

It is as simple as that: There is so much more out there, then the one thing, that agitates one personally right now.


Still going for the screwdriver :slight_smile: I have my own ‘Beth

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I couldn’t see that. In my opinion it was about the possibility to take apart and repair the phone, which was mistaken for the necessity to do that.


I do pay for apps I use recently.
But some apps are using aggerssive ways to place ads that costs my time, my internet connection (and videos using some volume), my nerves. In most way I decide not to use them.
In general I use blokada to block the global data collection of companies.
And as long as they don´t pay for my data, I block their demands.
It´s that simple.

But this is not following the thread here.


@Brian_Fitzgerald :- Maybe ‘Beth’ would like to put us straight and save us all this agony :slight_smile:


I have been referring to this point:

It is as simple as that: In case of Fairphone, there are far too many things that are agitating me, and the lack of support is only one of them. If Android was such a bad OS, why do other companies use it as a daily driver for business devices? Microsoft are developing apps for Android and iOS, they successfully deploy business solutions mainly for Android. And Google quality control has improved very much over the years.

However, it is upon the product manufacturer (Fairphone) to deliver a comparable user experience to an iPhone, and that is the point where Fairphone just cannot hold the candle in terms of quality. To be very clear: This is no discussion about innovation at all, it is not about having the “super-duper extra stylish woo-hoo state of the art phone” to be adored for; this is a discussion about basic functions, like … doing a phone call and surfing the web? And having a response from Fairphone support within a few days? Is that already too much to ask?

If it would be that bad, Faiphone would be bankrupt.
As we whitness, they are not.

And from my experience it is in general not as you described.
I do not think Fairphone does evertything right, there is probably room for improvement, as for any other manufacturer also.


Buying fair products has become a “lifestyle” for years, and Fairphone have developed as an advocat for fair electronics over time. And there are people like @amoun who actually do sacrifice and say “if this is good for our environment, it is just good enough for me”.

It is a very humble way to express the necessity of quality improvements that should have been made for years…

If Fairphone become a lifestyle product, it would be a win win situation and give bigger players a direction to go.
I do not see a disadvatage here.

The disire of people to get always the very best product available is the driver of the throw it away society we are actual living in.
What about a “good enough for me” product? For me and probably a lot of others the FP is exactly that.

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