I struggled a long time with myself before creating this post. I really appreciated the idea of a “fair” phone. So after I read about the Fairphone I decided to give it a try. I’m one of the first Fairphone buyers. Back in May 2013 I bought one phone (I payed for it and I was aware of the waiting time that was announced)
I really appreciated the goals of Fairphone on the one hand the “human” goals and on the other “technically” goals. So after a long waiting time I finally received my phone in January 2014. And there was a postcard in the package “If you can’t open it you don’t own it” → Yes that’s absolutely right and this is why I bought a Fairphone. But after several weeks it came clearer and clearer that there will be no recent Android running on the Fairphone ever(I moved from a Samsung Galaxy S1 running Android 4.4 to a Fairphone that is running as for now on Android 4.2.2). At first I hoped that the Cyanogencommunity will bring out a recent version for Fairphone. But then the Mediatek discussion started and the Fairphonecommunity realized that even Fairphone itself don’t have all the sources that are needed for compiling an Android for FP1….
So there is now way (without reverse engineering ….) to get a recent android or even an other mobile OS running on FP1. Then an other one of the design goals of FP1 was that it have to be repair friendly. And if I remember correctly one thing that was a point of criticism at other phones is that the display and the front glass are glued together so Fairphone said “Hey our display and front glass will not be glued together.” After some time they changed there opinion because a glued display is somehow better to handle during assembly (I guess something like this).
So at least 2 of the goals are not reached (open source and easy to repair without changing unnecessary parts). And yes there a some parts in the FP1 that are easily replaceable but to be honest a broken display is the main failure at a smartphone.
An other positive point is the root access. To be able to buy a smartphone without the need of rooting is really a cool thing, thank you for that.
On the other side there is a really poor GPS but that’s also related to mediatek, so it’s the same point mentioned above.
So ok that the situation. All the FP1 pre-orders kickstarted the whole Fairphone thing we prepaid more than 1625000€ for about one year (without interest). And then Fairphone don’t reach (in my point of view fundamental) goals. And now we have the year 2015 and the FP2 is announced with a new chipset (no mediatek anymore YES good decision). But there I never read anywhere a simple excuse from fairphone to the first buyers. I’m feeling pranked from fairphone.
And no I don’t think that a startup can do all right at their first product. But they should be able to say simple sorry to all the people who made all of this possible (and who also made it possible that you are now able to produce a FP2)….
With best Regards