My iphone 6 launched 2014 is no more supported beyond iOS 12. That means that I cannot download new apps like the Swiss COVID one. In the future, it means that I cannot access new services like ticketing, payments and so on, which might quickly become standard. As an example, I can quote Fairtiq, which is an app which allows to travel in whole Switzerland with train, bus, boat… by just activating it on departure and arrival and getting charged afterwards. As such services evolve very quickly, I expect that such services soon do not work any more on older phones.
Apple supported iphone 6 for 6 years. I was told that it is worse with Android versions and phones (up to 3 years). My question is how long a Fairphone 3 will be supported for new iOS and software incl. new apps. It is pointless to have an hardware which lasts 10 years it cannot be updated after 3 years.
It is hard to predict the future, but the Fairphone 2 released 5 years ago is still receiving updates.
It’s not on the newest version of Android - but with Android that is less of a problem. There are many old versions around in any case because many other phone manufacturers don’t update it, so new apps are typically made compatible with older versions too. I haven’t heard of any app not working on the FP2’s Android 7 (apart from some obvious ones, like apps requiring NFC hardware which the FP2 does not have.)
Of course we can’t predict the future. But we can take a look at the Fairphone 2: It was launched in 2015 with Android 5. And now, a few days earlier, Fairphone announced its Android 9 beta testing phase for the FP2. It’s one of the only Android smartphones back from 2015 that still receives new updates (until Google stopped supporting Android 7 in nov '19 and doesn’t provide any more security updates) even gets (when the beta phase goes well) an upgrade to newer Android version
Besides, you’re also able to install different operating systems with probably even longer support: LineageOS and /e/ are already available for FP3.
The whole industry is designed to make you buy a new phone every 2 - 3 years. And unless this is not going to fundamentally change, people who try to use their phones longer than expected will run into problems. Technical progress is a double-edged sword.
This right here is what makes the difference between iOS and Android devices. Even if the manufacturer drops support, community projects can take over and you’d still use your device with security updates and new features. This does not mean that every device will be supported for ever, but you have that option available to you.
Currently, LineageOS supports only the FairPhone2 and /e/ supports the FairPhone3, but this device is gaining popularity and most likely will get support for other ROMS.
EDIT: Maybe LineageOS already supports the FairPhone 3, if someone can confirm this, but the link I provided should be the officially supported devices.
The keyword here being “official”. As far as I’m aware, there is no device manufacturer that supports any OS other than their own flavor of Android. Even Fairphone doesn’t support /e/OS even when they partnered with /e/ (in the sense that any software-related issues will be referred to the /e/ team).
This is common actually, device manufacturers will, at best, give you an easy way to install other OS but will not offer any support them. As for developers and carriers I cannot really say, but it makes sense they wouldn’t be willing to spend time and money on bringing compatibility of their products and services to every OS out there, other than the latest and greatest officially released.
As you said, the industry is designed to push the consumer to buy a new device every couple of years.
Sorry, but nobody can expect a manufacturer to offer support for something he has no control of. How should or - even more important - could Fairphone support /e/, when the software is done by /e/. The Fairphone’s hardware comes as it is and hardly changes, unless there will be an upgrade in modules (like an improved camera). In that case, they do their part to spread the neccessary information to /e/ or on GitHub etc.
The programming then has to be done by /e/.
Who do one expect to support the OS of ones computer? The computer manufacturer? Even if one changed the OS?
And Fairphone has just announced to bring Android 9 to the FP2. In two versions: Fairphone OS and Fairphone Open OS. One can’t hardly expect them to support UbuntuTouch and all the other OS’s as well.
So, that “lack of support” got nothing to do with pushing the consumer to buy new devices every other year.
We’re saying pretty much the same thing. But I don’t agree with this last part:
Most manufacturers will drop support in favor of their newest hardware model. They do provide updates, sure, but not for a long time. The fact that Fairphone is updating an older device to a relatively up-to-date version of Android, is the exception and not the rule.
Which is the reason why Fairphone is a durable investment
That’s a good observation, I also only read about it when they announced it a few weeks back. That kind of predictability can only come with time. Right now, at least there is a precedent of Fairphone as a company going out of their way to bring support to a device that would be otherwise not possible to update. It looks like it wasn’t easy:
However, after Android 6, our chipset vendor Qualcomm stopped supporting the Snapdragon 801 chipset in the Fairphone 2 (…) This is where software support for Android devices generally stops in the industry. And that’s at the core of the problem: deliberately shortened lifespans in the smartphone industry. This is something Fairphone is out to change.
We’ll have to wait and see how things go in the future.
They announce too early and don’t succeed (like with bringing Android 4.4 to the Mediatek-powered Fairphone 1, a failure which locked Fairphone in on Qualcomm SoCs for the Fairphone 2 and 3) … they lose.
They learned from this and announce at a stage when they are certain they’ll deliver … it’s being perceived as too late, they lose.
(And before the argument goes “Well, they could announce earlier with a lot of clear ifs and buts to manage expectations.” … Looking at this forum alone Fairphone have already accumulated so many “broken promises” they never even made in the first place … You can’t manage expectations, some people will just make them up as they go.)