Lifespan Fairphone2

I own a Fairphone1. I bought it in 2014. In 2017 Fairphone decided to no longer support this model. My motivation for buying a Fairphone were the labour- and everionmental advantages. The first one still stands, the last one no longer since I can no longer use my phone. More and more apps don’t work. The onces that still work are slow. And even making a phonecall is sometimes not working.
So I need a new phone. Fairphone2 would be a logical choice from the labour point of view. But what about the environmelt? Will Fairphone2 be supported for more than 3 years from now? Or will it be replaced in a few years with Fairphone3?
I tried to get an answer from Fairphone itself. The reply is vague as you would expect from a commercial company trying to boost sales. If Fairphone wants to be a fair company it should also treat its customers fair and provide substantial answers.
So maybe this way works better?

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This question is not generally answered as some customers expect long term support from the date of purchase while others count from the date the model was initially issued. FP2 is about 3 years on the marked now and there were statements that FP3 may be ready for sale by the end of this year (if all works out as planed).

And that´s the point - there is no guarantee FP3 will surely be available by the end of this year. So if FP clearly gives a statement there will also be customers who take this as guaranteed and may start to complaint if things turn out different.
I cannot recall any company doing different if it comes to clear statements for future plans. They all want to sell as many of their available units as possible until a successor comes out. But there is always also a general company rule which says “technical changes reserved”.

I cannot share this point of view. First of all I don´t see anything unfair in doing so as it´s entirely to 100% only up to FP if it will ever launch another model at all.
Next, no one can look into future events, not even FP.
Substantial answers - to what? Someones individual decision for purchase? Maybe you can name us one single company which supports you in this approach as you expect (fair or not)?
That´s what selling is about and the rest goes on in the background (so called internals).
I think wanting to be more fair than other companies does not imply such an open business structure.
We have sales numbers, cost breakdowns, reports about how FP is doing abroad with sub-contractors. I think that´s a lot more than we get from the majority of companies around specifically in the mobile branch.
Fairness is no one-way term. (Potential) Customers should also be fair. That should match up well.


The closest to an answer you can get for now …

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Have you considered to look for a used FP2 ?
About what happened with FP1, you can find some topics that explain why was so difficult for Fairphone to keep maintaining FP1 and why many of this problem has been solved with the design of FP2. So, even if a main board update seems unlikely, the software update and spare parts availability will almost surely last longer than FP1. 3 years ? They had to face big problems before announcing the Android 7 update and they sad Android 8 will be very hard.

Thanks Patrick for your reply. More substantial then I got from FP.
To cleary some of my remarks:
I am not asking when FP3 will be on the market. I want to know how long I can use a FP2 if I buy it now.
Fairness is two-way. I completely agree. As a customer I paid for my FP1 long before it was on the market. To help start a great initiatif. I was disapointed on the lifespan of my FP1. So all I ask is information on the lifespan of FP2. Is that to much in your opinion?


Thanks Agno. No I have not considered looking for a used FP2. Good suggestion! Do you know if there is a kind of marketplace for them?
I do not understand a lot about all the tecnical stuff. Android 8 will be hard you write. I am not interested in newest versions. I just want my phone to work. If apps will in time only work on Android 8 this will be a problem. Is that likely as far as you know?

Well, as far as I know, Google will offer support (i.e. security patches) for Android 7 for a while (I guess, I read somewhere, that it’s at least 3 years from now); and obviously longer than for Android 6. Therefore the upgrade to Android 7 will enable Fairphone to deliver security patches for FP2 longer.
For the “lifespan”, there are always uncertainties involved; e.g. Google decides to cancel security patches for Android earlier, thus making it way harder or impossible for FP to provide them by programming them on their own.
I guess, Fairphone has learned one or the other lesson on that behalf, when they anounced timetables for the production of the FP1 first and for the support and update to Android 4.4 later. The disappointment and frustration by users, that they took against FP is - in my opinion - quite a good reason to not “promise” or give any estimate for dates/lifespans and the like.
I know, that’s frustrating as well, but still better than disappointing hopes they might have raised.


There is a #market category


This was my general assumption as often queries about the lifespan of FP2 rise the question when a successor will become available making it rather less interesting for potential customers to pay the same (high) price for an unused FP2 with aged hardware.

Yes, you were not the only one.
I think FP also regretted not being in the situation to provide further support for this first model. But it should not be neglected that there were different factors responsible for this situation and their final decision, let alone that they are not so strong placed in the market. Third-party conditions e.g. manufacturers and sub-contractors weren´t able or not willing to keep on with manufacturing parts and providing security updates. Hence FP had to give in and move on taking their chance.

Even with FP2 there were struggles to get spare parts and find new partners to keep FP2 alive. So this is something a small company only has limited influence in. It´s still David vs. Goliath.

That´s all fine. Just consider FP stays in business, so they have to deliver spare parts for at least two years as your device will be covered by guarantee. If all goes well and your phone performs reliable you should easily make it through another year. And Android 7 is in the make for it already. So it looks quite good for your expected 3 years.
But yes, having burned your fingers with FP1 you are cautious on purchasing a new device at full price. As others here has replied already, a used phone in good condition could be an acceptable way to go.

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