Moved discussion about Fairphone as a company

Moderator edit: this thread is composed of posts moved from Leaving a movement (FP3 Era) as they were getting off-topic.


I like the idea of this thread, but I wish it was not a place for the angry mob and unconditional fans to retaliate against someone who share his experience. I don’t know if it is really necessary to answer to each and every point on someone’s post about why he gave up (for now) on Fairphone by defending the concept and trying to convince him/her (and whoever might find this thread) he/she was wrong.

That said, I’ve been a FP1 and FP2 user. Now, I have a Moto Z2 Force and a Z3 Play with Motomods. It’s the compromise I found to serve my need. well the Z2 Force still works… at some point, the microphone was dead, I was in an emergency need for a replacement so I bought the Z3… Z2 will go to a friend soon). Unfortunately, Lenovo betrayed their Moto fans as they said they would continue the Z range after buying Motorola, and they finally cancelled it. No surprise though.

Anyway. My FP1 was a nightmare. I think we’ll all agree that buying an FP1 was an act of faith and support for the launch of the company and the community. It was slow, buggy, and had numerous issues.

FP2 was much better. I used it for 18 month I believe. Unfortunately, it was also a bit buggy, yet much less than FP1. However, it was again far too slow for my need. I finally gave up for the Moto Z2 force which is way more powerful, and it was the best compromise after Fairphone, given the moto mods. Until now, I’m quite happy with my Moto. I’m using a lot the powerpack motomods, the beamer, a bit less the JBL speaker and the Haslebad cam. However, if the phne breaks, it will be impossible to repair, and I will have plenty of useless electronic device to throw away given there will not be any Moto Z to receive them when the time come.

So, now, FP3(+) would be the only alternative if I had to replace it and follow my belief and principles (maybe FP4 or FP5 in the future)… Until then… I’m not a FP user anymore.

I’ve been watching FP3+ review, and I can see the improvement is consistent, and the fact it not all new to notch hardware just make sense. Samsung and Apple are selling premium product at an overpremium price… over a thousand bucks today… And they are building and selling much more phones than FP… FP has to make compromises if they want to be sustainable and accessible. Who would buy a 1000$ Fairphone ? I think it would be way too risky, and the company might not last for long.

One area where I wish Fairphone had more strength is the non-google software. But the same way, how do you compete against a company which made the internet what it is today ? Google made itself essential. I’ve been listening to John Doerr audiobook yesterday “Measure what matters” and learned a lot about it.

Just imagine google shutdown, and you’ll see the world is paralyzed. You might not realize it, but google is not just your search engine (and I’m not talking about Alphabet, but just Google Search. Many services on the web rely on Google services, in a way or another.

I’d love to have a true alternative, with no google. But just browse this forum about it, and you’ll see it’s only accessible to a bunch of people, passionate, patient, convince, and geeks.

I think the true way is to learn slowly, to step back from our addition to the internet. I recently deleted my Facebook account. I’m less active on LinkedIn. I start again to use community forums where available, and encourage communities to make their own.

Anyway. Long thread… Just felt like sharing.

I’m still actively monitoring what is happening at Fairphone.

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Running Android without Google is a nice idea, but mostly it won’t really work and will lead into lots of troubles and missing functions. You can blame it on Android or blame it on Google - but why the hell do you blame it on Fairphone?

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Although this can be true for some cases, and it will probably be for many, this is not an absolute truth. I personnally have not used once android with google, and I never felt like I was missing something, or as if something I expected to work didn’t (apart from a few bugs, but that’s not really dependent of google), and I do not think I am the only one in this case. It depends a lot on what your expectations are.

Edit: Typo

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I’m with HMZ on this. And I don’t think they expressed it as absolute truth.

At the moment I don’t have much time to elaborate, will try to do later.

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In my opinion that’s mostly it.

Android without Google (as far as possible with an OS done by Google) mostly “doesn’t work” for people who want no Google on the front, but still, and often even unknowingly, expect Google stuff to work in the background.

For many it gets too technical to recognize the difference between Google Apps, which can be omitted relatively easily, and underlying Google services, which a myriad of other Apps depend on and with this make not relying on them much more of a challenge.

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Did you read the word “mostly”?
:wink:

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I think ‘retaliate’ is a misnomer for what the people (the ‘angry mob’) in this thread are doing. All I see are FP enthusiasts repeatedly explaining that they empathise with and understand how some people’s experiences have been negative, while their own experiences have been good - along with explanations of the background of some problems, the reasons they’re okay with it where others may not be, and potential fixes where applicable.

Your experiences with the FP1 and FP2, while no doubt frustrating, are not the norm. There are users on this forum who still use an FP1, plenty who intend to keep using their FP2s for the next five years and tons of happy FP3 users. I own an FP2 myself and the thing just works; whatever minor bugs it’s had have been easily solved. I’m sure I’m more positive about the device than I would otherwise be because of this community and my positive experiences with the company, but I don’t really see how one would expect to go on the Fairphone Community Forum and not expect to hear from dedicated Fairphone nerds eager to provide explanations, context and alternate perspectives to people who are annoyed over whatever ails their phones.

It’s good to hear about bad experiences, engage users about their dissatisfaction and hopefully help them with their issues or at least give them the information needed to lighten their disappointment, if only by saying ‘we understand it sucks’.

How the words ‘retaliate’ or ‘angry mob’ apply to any of this is a bit of a mystery to me, but I guess it’s something to work on if that’s a potential perception of this thread.

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It really depends on the use case, but I guess ‘mostly’ covers that. I’ve been running custom Google-free roms for about a decade at this point, and up until recently, when my bank decided that their app would no longer run on devices without the full, uncut Google framework thing, I’ve never run into any issues that I couldn’t solve with some tinkering (I could probably get the bank app running too but I can’t be bothered).

Therein lies the rub, of course - not everyone likes tinkering with their phone and reading endless XDA threads to fix their issues. But it is possible to run a perfectly functional phone without Google.

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Not to mention “being able to do so and understand was is written in XDA threads”.
That’s rather for “geeks”, isn’t it? :wink:

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Anyone can turn into a geek, though, under the right circumstances. Slowly, without noticing it, you’ll find yourself learning about Android and Linux to solve some problem and before you know it you’re using a terminal and switching to /e/ and Arch! You’ll be on page 27 of some XDA thread about using ADB while in TWRP, and you’ll realise to your undying horror that you’re now a nerd and you can never go back.

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… as illustrated for German speakers in this educational Bernd das Brot classic … https://youtu.be/NXoW-TDzcFU :slight_smile: .

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cautionary

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Dear everyone,

A little fact-checking against very popular fake news or rhetorical cheats (such as the “straw man” technique) on this forum.

Maybe true, maybe wrong, because there is no way to know if the “norm” is

  • mostly working FP2/FP3/FP3+, or
  • mostly defective FP2/FP3/FP3+.

So far, the Fairphone company has refused to give me defective smartphone statistics for the FP2/FP3/FP3+. I can only wonder who benefits from that lack of transparency: the customers, or the company and its shareholders ?

Dedicated thread (closed down by a moderator): For an ethical company, is transparency optional when it comes to defective products statistics?

True but not a very useful fact and probably an involuntary “straw man” from BertG. I’ve read this thread and many others. I don’t think any customer on this forum expects any Fairphone products (even the FP3/FP3+) to work “flawlessly” and “perfectly”. I think most of them would settle with

  • an FP3/FP3+ that can make phone calls or browse the web (for example, without rebooting randomly in the middle : FP3 reboots during phone calls)
  • a customer service that reads customer e-mails and answers them
  • a company that honors its warranty

For many customers owning an FP3/FP3+, that minimum level is not even met. How many customers exactly ? It is impossible to know because, again, the Fairphone company refuses to give me defective smartphone statistics so far.

The hard facts are the following. We are in october 2020. Fairphone is a 2010/2013 commercial company manufacturing its third generation smartphone and selling it to regular customers as a final product (and not as an experimental product). These regular customers include poor or low middle class people too, who need a smartphone every day for professional use and don’t have any money to spare at the end of the month (to buy a temporary replacement smartphone while Fairphone technical support works on their FP3/FP3+ or to invest endlessly in spare parts).

So the question is quite simple: the Fairphone company either had success to achieve their aim at producing a fully-functional fair smartphone (that means with low defective products statistics) at the third attempt (FP3/FP3+) or they failed. If they failed, they have to take responsability (like every person, corporation or entity on the planet) and face three choices:

  • keep presenting and selling their products as experimental ones (and not as final products)
  • find new additional investors or donors and try one more time
  • get out of business, restructure or accept a buyout : which is what bankruptcy laws and commercial laws are made for.

But if they failed, letting the customer pay the price of their failure is not an option.

This is how business works. And a commercial company makes business, wether it is

  • a small carpenter, or
  • a 2020 “real” startup, or
  • a 2010/2013 company that manufactures smartphones like Fairphone, or
  • a huge multinational corporation.

But that simple question has no answer because, again, the Fairphone company refuses to give me defective smartphone statistics so far.

Wrong, because “maki” and others are not engineers, not paid employees of Fairphone, not investors, not donors: they are customers that paid a price for a retail product.

Regular customers of the FP3/FP3+:

  • are usually human beings with limited money and ressources who need to eat, find shelter and sometimes support a family
  • “buy” a final product that must have a reasonable chance to work in its basic functions (phone calls, web browsing)
  • must benefit from a reasonably helpful customer service
  • have a right to have a company honor its warranty

Investors:

  • are usually either human beings with enough money to spare to invest in the stock exchange or financial corporations with a lot of money
  • “invest” in a company and accept the risk of losing all their money (or the reward if the stock rises or if dividends are distributed)
  • have a right to vote at the general assembly of the company
  • have very few other rights (it can vary depending on the type of corporation and the national law that applies)

Donors:

  • give their money to the company without asking anything in return

So, whether it is deliberate or not, in good faith or not, please stop this collective “Everyone needs to take a hit for the Fairphone Team because their are facing incredible challenges, whatever the individual costs to the customer” (this is not a quote of any forum member, this a general mash-up of many answers to dissatisfied customers I have read).

And please, avoid responding with half-truths, rhetorical cheats or other formal or informal fallacy. It doesn’t get the debate anywhere.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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Come on!
I will only answer briefly and right away ask you to - please - spare us another one of your lengthy posts, that are repeating themselves in a way, even if structured and worded anew.

What you - once again - cite as hard facts ist still just your perception. And it is no more true or wrong than every other one’s perception.
And there is at least this one fact, that speaks for Fairphone in this case:

  • The German market is the biggest market for Fairphone (with 45% of the phones sold there) and they do work with the same big resellers Memo (for business customers) / Memolife (for private customers) / Vireo for years.
    Memolife (for the FP3) and for the FP2 and Vireo even present the Fairphone on their starting page since years.
    Those are big shops, that take care to sell sustainable products, because they need happy customers. They hardly can afford to sell products with a high return percentage.
    Wouldn’t they have delisted the Fairphone for quite a while, if it is such a buggy device?
    Not one bad customer review for the FP3 on memolife. There were some complaints for the FP2 though.

And, no matter how often you do complain in this forum, you most likely will never ever get the statistics you are looking for (from no company whatsoever).

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Dear BertG,

When certain members stop repeating themselves by answering to defective FP2/FP3 owners: “your case is an exception, most FP2/FP3 owners don’t have your problem, stop complaining in public” without any valid statistical data (this is not a quote of any forum member, this is a general mash-up of many answers to dissatisfied customers I have read), I will stop repeating myself by answering: “no one knows that because no one has anything close to valid statistical data outside of Fairphone staff”.

If you read my post, you will notice that is exactly what I said:

Thank you for the information, I didn’t know that. Even if this information is not valid quantitative data (statistical or otherwise), it can be used as a good start for a partially qualitative talk.

May I suggest you start with that next time ?

The title of this forum thread is “Leaving a movement (FP3 Era) Participate complaints”.

Therefore, I think it is inevitable and appropriate that there will be some “complaints” in this thread, whether you like it or not.

However, if you read the beginning of this post and my previous post, you will understand that my purpose was not to “complain” or “get statistics” (which I doubt any forum member possess) but to answer to members repeating themselves by answering to defective FP2/FP3 owners: “your case is an exception, most FP2/FP3 owners don’t have your problem, stop complaining in public” without any valid statistical data (this is not a quote of any forum member, this is a general mash-up of many answers to dissatisfied customers I have read).

In a way, I envy you for having such strong absolute beliefs. My thinking starts with doubt at its center and slowly tries to build up a system with facts, logic and analysis (and fails many times before achieving anything). It is much less reassuring than your world vision because I have very few axioms at the base of my logic.

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

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While your wording is always really polite and kind, what you say is sometimes a bit insulting. And, I know I might be wrong, but the way you are using language, I assume it’s intentional. Rest assured, no offence taken, but as you adress me directly, I will reply one last time.
As I perceive it, you often take your perception instead oft what is said.
Example:

Even if this is meant as a mash up (btw very good word for this) of regular replies, rather cite one or two, in this thread maybe, that just imply someone shall shut up.

No, it is not, as I was referring to

And the facts that follow imply, that FP is selling a generally faulty product. Which is the way you perceive it, understandably, based on your own experience. Others have made different experiences.
That’s what I meant to point out; though I might not have been clear enough. My bad.

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Dear BertG,

In my personal opinion, in a debate, I don’t think it is very interesting to keep focusing mainly, over and over, on

  • the form of the argument of the opponent
  • his alleged inner state of mind, intention, etc
  • notorious facts (hard facts)

Personally, I prefer focusing on the actual content of an argument (controversial facts, opinion, etc) and resort to formal counter-arguments only when necessary, for example when logic is broken by some (unvoluntary or voluntary) formal or informal fallacy: “straw man” technique, sophism, illusory truth effect, etc.

But if you want a debate centered on form and notorious facts rather than on actual content (controversial facts, opinion, etc), I will do as you wish.

Thank you.

Facts and logic are cold but never insulting. I am sorry you perceived it that way and understand that it can be perceived that way.

Yes and no. I don’t know what you exactly mean.

Yes, of course, the way I am using language is intentional (most of the time anyway, as I am a human being and have emotions from time to time): as I said, facts and logic are cold so when I write about it, it is going to be cold.

No, it is not meant to be insulting.

I can’t do more than that as it is difficult to strictly prove one’s “intention” as it is an inner state of mind.

If you read my original post, you will see that I did exactly what you said.

I have not used the wording “shut up”. I used the more generic term “stop complaining”. That includes a larger number of posts that match this “mash-up” content: some polite, some less polite.

I will repeat the citation again (including one more sentence that makes it even clearer) and would appreciate it enormously if you could read it this time:

As requested, I am quoting an additional example:

I am sorry for not answering about the part you were referring to. I will answer you on the paragraph starting with “The hard facts are the following. …” and give proof and references for every single sentence. You will understand that these are notorious facts (hard facts), which means well known and well proven facts and not, as you said:

You can visit the official US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) sub-website on the official US Time
Link: https://www.time.gov/

You will see that today is the 10/11/2020.
(In formal details, it takes your device’s clock, shows it on screen, compares its time and date with the NIST clock and tells you by how much your clock is off: mine was 0.051 seconds off when I checked)

According to the “Official Guide to Government Information and Services | USAGov”, the dates are written in this format: MONTH/DAY/YEAR.
Link: https://www.usa.gov/style-guide/style-guidance#item-212512

In conclusion we are in october 2020.

You can visit the “About us” page of the Fairphone company website.
Link: https://www.fairphone.com/en/about/about-us/?ref=footer

You will see that the project started in 2010 and became an independent company in 2013.

If you want even more formal proofs, you can order and buy official documents of the dutch commercial registry held by the KvK.
Link: https://www.kvk.nl/zoeken/?source=all&q=&start=0&site=handelsregister

On the Fairphone website, you will see that this company manufactures and sells one product (and a derivative): the Fairphone 3 (and the derivative Fairphone 3+)
Link: https://shop.fairphone.com/ch_en/

According to the Fairphone company blog post “Launching Fairphone 3: Dare to care” of the 27 August 2019, the number “3” is representative of the generation because Fairphone writes: “This is our third generation Fairphone and we’ve learned a lot through experience” and again “This is our 3rd generation phone”.
Link: https://www.fairphone.com/en/2019/08/27/launching-fairphone-3/

You can read the Fairphone 3 product webpage and other pages including various official blog news. You need to combine a few pieces of information together.

First, you will notice that anybody with an internet access and a web browser can order a Fairphone 3.

Second, there is no mention that it is an experimental product. For full disclosure, I inform you that I read the main content of the main pages and blog news of Fairphone. I have not read footnotes, long legal documents (such as Standard Form Contracts), etc. I do not have acess to internal documents of the Fairphone company.

Third, if you read the text you will notice that Fairphone’s marketing strongly implies that it is a final product:

“Made with care for people and planet. It’s got everything you’d expect from a great phone — and so much more”

“our phones are backed by our 2-year warranty”

“Easy to use Android 10”

“You can access all the usual apps from the Google Play Store to get your new phone set up and ready to enjoy”

“To help you make a stress-free switch to Fairphone 3, check out our handy guides:
– Switching from iPhone to Android
– Moving from another Android phone to Fairphone”

“Ready to capture all your best moments with friends and family. The front and rear cameras embrace natural lighting and colors, giving you beautiful photos, videos and memories”

“Our first challenge was to prove you can make an ethical phone and survive. Now we’re out to prove to the industry that it’s the best way to thrive.This is our 3rd generation phone. We’ve learned massively through experience, and that’s essential when you’re blazing a trail for which no map exists. We’ve strengthened and professionalized our organization. We’ve built a more stable and scalable company. We focused on further improvement of our product and supply chain, and we’ve worked on expanding our impact and sales” (Fairphone company blog post “Launching Fairphone 3: Dare to care” of the 27 August 2019)
Link: https://www.fairphone.com/en/2019/08/27/launching-fairphone-3/

“at the end of this quarter, the Fairphone 3 will be on display in approximately 1500 stores throughout Europe” (Fairphone company blog post “Fairphone 3 is opening doors to new markets and partnerships” of the 27 february 2020)
Link: https://www.fairphone.com/en/2020/02/27/fairphone-3-is-opening-doors-to-new-markets-and-partnerships/

“at the end of last year, we announced a strategic partnership with Vodafone which will directly affect our visibility in a number of countries” (Fairphone company blog post “Fairphone 3 is opening doors to new markets and partnerships” of the 27 february 2020)
Link: https://www.fairphone.com/en/2020/02/27/fairphone-3-is-opening-doors-to-new-markets-and-partnerships/

“In France, our ongoing Orange partnership has been instrumental in encouraging other resellers to come along for the ride. In Germany, which is still topping our sales charts, the Fairphone fans at mobilcom-debitel gave us in-store visibility at all their stores (about 550). We’re also working with all the major operators there, including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica. In the UK, we recently started a new collaboration with Sky Mobile. In Belgium, we’re working with Proximus, whose CEO presented their new sustainability strategy with a Fairphone in his hand. Finally, closer to our home base in the Netherlands, we’re still working with KPN (a partner from day one!) and are expanding our collaboration with Belsimpel” (Fairphone company blog post “Fairphone 3 is opening doors to new markets and partnerships” of the 27 february 2020)
Link: https://www.fairphone.com/en/2020/02/27/fairphone-3-is-opening-doors-to-new-markets-and-partnerships/

You can read the briefing of the NGO Oxfam “A Europe for the Many, Not the Few” of the 8 september 2015. A press release gives a summary : “Between 2009 and 2013, the number of Europeans living without enough money to heat their homes or cope with unforeseen expenses, known as “severe material deprivation”, rose by 7.5 million to 50 million people. These are among the 123 million people(1) - almost a quarter of the EU’s population – at risk of living in poverty, while the continent is home to 342 billionaires”.
Link: https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/increasing-inequality-plunging-millions-more-europeans-poverty

From 2015 to today, many bad things happened, including the current global COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. Time will tell but it is probably now much more than a quarter of EU’s population who is at risque of “severe material deprivation”.
Link: https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/pandemic-profits-companies-soar-billions-more-poorest-pay-price

There are of course traditional low income or low middle income mobile professions (travelling salesman, mason, plumber, taxi driver, paramedic, home health nurse, classic temporary workers and many others).

In addition to these traditional professions, even more precarious jobs have spread dramatically these last years called collectively “gig economy”.
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/30/the-guardian-view-on-the-gig-economy-stop-making-burnout-a-lifestyle
Link: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/innovation/the-main-tool-needed-to-work-in-the-gig-economy-a-smartphone-1.3193362

And last but not least, suprisingly, on the very low end of society, homeless people depend heavily on their smartphone for their very survival.
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/oct/01/smartphones-are-lifeline-for-homeless-people

You can read the same references that concern the quote above the previous one.

What follows are not notorious facts (hard facts) or pure facts. It is my opinion in the form of a question. Of course, this questions has to be based

  • on the notorious facts (hard facts) from the previous paragraph
  • on a few other additional notorious facts (hard facts) about economics 101 (investors, donors, buyout, takeover) and law 101 (good faith principle in sale contract, bankruptcy law, commercial law) which, I really hope you are not going to categorize as “just my perception”.

If you read my original post, you will notice that I imply all possibilities (because of the lack of information, specifically defective products statistics):
hypothesis 1: Fairphone is selling a generally working product
hypothesis 2: Fairphone is selling a generally faulty product

Of course, if Fairphone is selling a generally working product, there is not much to say except that everyone is happy (company, investors, donors, customers, etc).

If Fairphone is selling a generally faulty product, there are many more things to say. Ergo, I use more words for this possibility. It has nothing to do with my own experience which is discussed in an other thread: FP3 reboots during phone calls

Well, nobody can be clear all the time to everyone, so there is nothing to feel bad about, but thanks.

I just hope that we will stop focusing mainly on

  • form
  • one’s inner state of mind, intention, etc
  • notorious facts (hard facts)

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone

Haha @BertG never read such an impatient post from you before! :joy: :pray:t3:

What is the point of this thread? I don’t get it. Is this a discussion about the world being black+white only? Can someone please sum it up for me in one sentence (I will read only the first sentence and definitely ignore the rest)?

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The original intention of this thread was for people to share their experience about why they were leaving away their FP.

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Exactly, thank you alex21.

Now, maybe people will get back to the topic and stop writing things like:

Best regards,

Swiss-fairphone