Most Android smartphone producers are not profitable: Is 525€ really too much?

525 € is a lot for an Android device of which is not possible to change the OS. I’m interested on Firefox OS, Ubuntu Phone or at least CyanogenMod. Moreover, there is no detailed price list for each components and each cost items.

True, but as oftenly said don’t forget to consider that when you buy a Fairphone you don’t only pay for the phone. Also, the cost breakdown is yet to be published and as @anon90052001 said, there are are things they can’t just directly make public because of agreements with suppliers and partners :wink:

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Does that include the prohibition to tell what they can’t tell?

Right, but to clarify it’s like any business agreement or deal - it’s strange to make announcements before details are finalized. It isn’t that things are secret, but that we’d be reporting bits and pieces which may make an inconsistent or confusing update.


Why? How are statements like “We’re trying to negotiate for feature X.” or “We couldn’t successfully negotiate for X, because we couldn’t agree on the price.” or “Our negotiation about X are troublesome, because we can’t agree on Y, yet. Further details follow.” inconsistent or confusing?

We’re widely in danger of getting completely and utterly off topic here…

Announcing before you know the details ultimately leads to disappointment in my experience. Being an open/transparent company doesn’t mean you release details before they are ready, nor does it mean putting commercially sensitive information into the public domain without having a signed contract in place to support it. Leaked details is a different situation as most companies will neither confirm nor deny reports…

Back to the point in hand, as ‘consumers’ we all have to make the choice of whether we wish to pay for a product. If we think it’s too expensive then we don’t buy, if we think it’s worth the expense then we buy. I think the FP2 will be worth the expense, but I’m acutely aware that not everyone will have access to cash to buy outright, and that’s why I am hopeful that FP are able to setup further commercial contracts with other operators/distributors to provide on payment plans etc. It is in no way a disservice to existing customers to have a new product that is not aimed at them, nor for it to be a different price point.


For me - even just being able to change the battery makes it nearly worth the money (though to be fair, being a company buying it mostly for work, I didn’t have to pay any VAT for my FP2 and can claim the cost against tax as well, plus the GBP is strong again - effectively, it cost me £235).

Repairablity is nice to have - but frankly (as I’d never buy a sealed battery one so won’t touch Apple with a barge pole) my mobiles obsolete themselves by being technologically overtaken, not by breaking down. I could root and re-boot-load and upgrade my tough and repairable motorola defy, but it still wouldn’t do 4G or have enough resolution for web pages.

Forsure I could get an equal or better spec phone for less money - even one with a replaceable battery (LG G4C) and a less clunky form factor (the FP2 is a bit of a truck in truth : I found no heavier handset on the market!).

But it’s the principals of the thing isn’t it. (repairable, minimised obsolescence and “fair” production combined). If I were president I’d make it illegal to import anything to Europe that hadn’t been made to European employment, HSE, and environmental laws!! Which would make everything very expensive indeed and is one reason (of many) I’ll never be president!

I do so hope that when 5G / Android M, N, Treacletart (whatever) come along the FP2 will be able to keep up! Then it will really be worth €525.


Another interesting fact on the matter:
Here is how much money LG made in average with each handset sold: ~ 1.2 US cent.

This is not only unsustainable, it is also obviously impossible for a company like Fairphone to operate on such low margins.

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I wouldn’t trust it. They have good ways to hide the winnings.I’m positive one (or some) of the daughter firms of LG collect the winning somewhere on this planet, where they do not have to pay taxes.

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I agree with HackAR. This also far too much I CAN pay (even if I were willing to pay the price).

In addition, the mobile phone’s hardware may work well for 5 or more years, but like computers, it will probably have severe problems when dealing with new apps, games and other software after 2.5 to 3 years.

Come on!

My Computer – and it is even a mobile one, is more then 5 years old and has zero problems with the software is throw at it daily. Everybodys experience may vary, but this 2,5 to 3 years timespan in computers is simply not true anymore in my opinion.

And I am sure it slows down for smartphones already.

Is 500€ really more then you can pay? I think it is most times more then we wan’t to pay. On the other hand: Smartphones are amazing pieces of engineering. They can, to some degree, replace your computer, your telefon, your camera, your stereo system and your walkmen. This alone is amazing when you think about it. And if you use your phone for 4 years, for example, you get all that for 10€ a month. Make it 5years and it’s 8,75€.

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I agree with the first part of your post, but please do not talk about personal earnings. It is a very delicate topic, IMO, which should not be discussed in public.

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In the North of England we have two different words:

Afford = I have enough money to pay so much
Foil = I am willing to pay so much

as in “well, I can afford one o’ they Fairfones, but I’ll not foil it”

I’ll foil an FP2 because of it’s “business model” but I’ll not foil the cheaper (and arguably more suitable) LG4© :¬)


I would have preferred a smaller and less powerful smart phone with a lower resolution and a better battery. I don’t care about 4g but I care about OS interchangeability. This FP2 is a bit too much for me, and originally I only had a budget of 400€. The announcement of the price of the FP2 was a disappointment, my first reaction was “too bad, I can’t afford it”.

There are concessions to be made, the phone can’t be 100% customisable, and the price will be higher than other equivalent phones… I just want to be part of this, that’s why I paid.

(And to compensate for this excess of goodness, I’ll just burn a few kitties alive.)


same situation for me!

I would think Fairphones strategy would be to have two phone models, with long usage lives and move from one to the other with 5 year spans initially and then increasing this as much as possible in the future.

One based on the FP1 model release, small, low cost, low spec for those that don’t need the latest thing, don’t want to have to pay for it but focus on sustainable development.

The other based on the FP2 model release, size determined by the market (follow latest trend of larger models), high cost, high spec for those that want the latest thing and willing to pay for it but focus on sustainable development.

FP1 was released June, 2013, FP2 towards the end of 2015. So i would expect FP3 would be released 2017, though the issues with FP1 and the ability to design FP3 on a modular construction, with some identical modules to the FP2, could be released much sooner. Hopefully the FP2’s will last for the desired 5 years meaning FP4 would not be released until 2020.

Potentially, with the modular models, when you upgrade from FP2 to FP4 you would only require the mainboard of the new phone, thus decreasing the cost to upgrade. Just reuse the screen, case and modules with the new board and chipset…unless the chipset becomes modular too in the future. you then have the choice to upgrade the modules to suit your use.

I think FP have tried to compromise with the FP2 and it misses the mark, rather than focusing it as a device for those who didn’t want to compromise on FP1. Two models are possible, but they need to be separated by enough time to be sustainable. The last thing FP would want is that users of FP upgrade to each new model rather than making their old model last…though reuse and recycling could protect this.

People who want the FP1 model described above see the price of the FP2 as being too high, with specs that they don’t need. The FP2 should not be targeted at the FP1 users, they have a phone and it should last until the FP3 released focused on upgrading FP1. Unfortunately it appears that the FP1 will struggle to make it to this point, but it was a learning process and FP3 based on FP1 should hit the mark. Utilise the modular design from FP2, using the same modules where possible so they can make one module for two phone models.

People who want a FP but also want something high spec and are willing to spend it will also have to compromise if they want FP2, not getting the highest specs and some will not compromise and prefer to stay with the mainstream models (apple, samsung)

decision anyway or is it?

You are right, but at least two of those I know have been waiting for the
last year, raisin’ eyebrows every time another feature of their phones
failed, postponing a purchase multiple times, waiting for the fp2.

The price tag hit hard.

But that’s just anecdotes, mind.
Success or failure of the FP2 is going to be data.