You are totally right.
Maybe they are right about no android phone having more than 4 years support. My only smartphones so far were Fairphones. True for the FP1 and the FP2 isn’t old enough to know, yet
When looking at official security updates, the Fairphone 2 just overpassed the 2 years mark.
In the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant Fairphone is mentioned:
‘De Fairphone is de enige telefoon die het gemakkelijk maakt onderdelen te vervangen. En repareren is nog maar het begin van circulariteit.’
"The Fairphone is the only phone that makes it easy to replace parts. And repairing is just the beginning of circularity. "
In the Dutch newspaper Trouw Fairphone is mentioned:
Elektronicabedrijven en juweliers die zich bij het pact aansloten, zoals de Federatie Goud en Zilver, het Nederlands Gilde van Goudsmeden en smartphone-ontwikkelaar Fairphone, verplichten zich om een transparante ‘goudketen’ op te zetten. Samen zetten ze druk op leveranciers en smelterijen om alleen maar ‘verantwoord goud’ aan te leveren.
Electronics companies and jewelers who joined the pact, such as the Federation Gold and Silver, the Dutch Guild of Goldsmiths and smartphone developer Fairphone, are committed to setting up a transparent ‘gold chain’. Together they put pressure on suppliers and smelters to deliver only ‘responsible gold’.
Saw lots of articles online today, but they all refer to this (German) press release
Article in the German daily newpaper taz with regard to the report of the DUH (Deutsche Umwelthilfe).
Headline: Smartphone-junk is bad for the environment: laws for more sustainable mobiles.
A statement by the general manager of Bitkom who has been interviewed by the taz is revealing and states - in my opinion - a sad truth:
“An additional legal regulation is no solution to the problem Bernard Rohleder, managing director of Bitkom says. New smartphones are not bought, because they don’t work anymore, but because the users always want to have the latest device. The demand of the DUH would lead to producing spare parts for the stockpile. That is not environmental friendly.”
I guess, there has to happen quite a lot of change of mindset to many people.
Fairphone is named as a niche supplier
“Smartphones have to be built in a way, that sensitive parts like batteries or displays can be exchanged by the users themselves. Niche suppliers like Fairphone already put this to practice. But some models by Apple or Samsung come with an exchangeable battery as well.”
I think there’s more to it
First of all a third reason “is no longer supported” is missing. I would replace a smartphone that still works but wouldn’t let me install essential apps because the OS is too old. That and missing security updates.
And I have the feeling that some of the “users always want to have the latest device” comes from the fact that smartphone are a relatively new type of device (roughly 10 years). In the early days, things change so fast that you gain quite a lot when switching to something new rather soon. Once there is some saturation, you can keep devices longer because the next step wouldn’t be that big.
For example in the PC world, the Intel i3/i5/i7 CPU came up 10 years ago. Between then and today, I think the changes were not as drastic as between the 80286 and the Pentium (roughly the same timespan). On top of my head the biggest “disruption” was the SSD. But if you compare a 286 system with their standard components and a Pentium I’m sure there was a lot more.
I happily agree with you, although you as well as most buyers of the Fairphone will not count as the standard smartphone-user.
Just as the quote gives the impression, you are answering to something I have said, please keep in mind, that I just translated something from the article I linked to; something said by Bernard Rohleder, the general manager of Bitkom.
All the other aspects were not mentioned in this article.
Yeah, you are right, it’s a quote of a quote and that was not really visible. Fixed it I think
Another article from the German daily taz: Gold aus Fairtrade-Minen.
It’s about gold from fairtrade and fairmined mines used for jewellery. So, it’s not about smartphones and Fairphone is not mentioned. But I think it’s of interest nevertheless.
Quintessence is that this could lead to carriers hiding APIs and features simply when you insert their SIM card. So even if your FP has Vanilla Android it could still lose features depending on the network it operates in.
Nice article, mentioning the Fairphone
My fav quote is
“If you’re wanting to buy a[n ethical] phone right now, your choices are limited,” says Greenpeace’s Gary Cook, “and Fairphone has done the most in terms of current manufacturers.”
One of the biggest German IT news feed mentioned the soon to be released update that will fix the known FP2 reboot issue.
The one point in that article I would criticize is calling the FP a “supposedly environmental friendly phone”, linking to another article in their computer magazine ct’ “Wie umweltfreundlich das modulare Fairphone 2 wirklich ist”.
As that article is behind a paywall, the slightly negative wording sticks.
I just saw a German documentary “Amazon - gnadenlos erfolgreich (Amazon - successful without mercy)”.
- They portrayed to what extent amazon has invaded the lives and privacy of people.
Two couples, that were using alexa, amazon prime etc. tried to live their life just four weeks without amazon. Both couples suffered from withdrawl symptoms and could not wait to be on amazon again.
- One student worked for two weeks as a temporary worker in the consingment department of amazon, telling how they were observed. E.g. she received an official warning for being 2 minutes late on return from lunch break.
- They demonstrated how “Alexa” is listening in on all conversations in the room where the “echo” speaker is located, even recording them.
Okay, that’s not exactly a Fairphone link.
Still, in a way I think it’s connected, as it shows how electronic devices have become part of everyday life, even dominating it for some (a lot?) people.
And it shows the dangers of intransparent devices / operating systems / manufacturers etc. The statements by amazon were meaningless - in the best cases.
With regard to developments like this, the base of Fairphone as I see it, is extremely important:
- to be transparent,
- to care for social working conditions,
- to offer the option of a google-free device and
- to support a strong community.
It’s a lecture on our present state of climate change, it’s by Jim White from Colorado state, figured some of y’all would be interested…
I have read that article and it’s not so critical as the headline suggests. Conclusion is somewhat that a Fairphone is only better for the environment if the user does not replace it for several years (who would’ve thought that… )
The article was published long before the upgrade to Android 6 on FP - and it’s mostly missing upgrades that drive otherwise content users to abandon their old phones. Hence a lot skepticism on how long FP2 would be used.
“Cobalt prices have more than doubled in the past year”
“The company also wants to adopt nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide batteries for electric cars, reflecting the trend in which carmakers gradually move to batteries that use less cobalt.”
Another reason to recycle your old smartphone(s).