I want you to know that your concerns are heard here in the Fairphone team. I’ve read and responded to many questions, complaints and messages over the years since we started in 2013. And while it can be overwhelming to process all the feedback, as community manager I use your community feedback when we work to improve communication, when we need an outside perspective at decision-making meetings and as a gauge to make sure the company is held accountable for our actions (and words).
The dreams and ideals of Fairphone in 2013 were huge - make an open-source, repairable phone that is fair to the people in the supply chain who make it, as well as the customers who crowdfunded it.
From those high ambitions, there was disappointment. I acknowledge your disappointment and on behalf of Fairphone I want to apologize. I’d like to encourage an open dialogue and critical remarks, so below I’ll reply to your concerns.
In our communication (or what some may call marketing), we try to stay positive and in many instances in blogs or newsletters we thank our first Fairphone owners for allowing us to make a second phone and exist as a social enterprise. But I can understand that if you feel like Fairphone misled you that you just want an apology. On that front, we have communicated and apologized about the Fairphone 1 chipset issue in a December 2013 newsletter to all owners, and regarding the software situation in a December 2014 blog. I’m not trying to discredit your feelings of disappointment and don’t want to sound defensive, but I do want to mention instances for the record where Fairphone communicated these issues to the community and owners.
Right now, the team is working on a blog to explain the current situation for Fairphone 1 support and our work to match the software on Fairphone 2 with our goals of transparency, ownership and openness on software. But there are relationships and agreements with third parties that affect what information we can share and when. So I do not want to put an estimated time when these blogs will come out.
I want to talk about the topic of the use of adhesives on the display with the glass and the touch sensor*. I have discussed this with members of the product team, and I learned that such a scenario where the glass and the touch sensor are NOT glued together is almost non-existent in the industry. Therefore, the adhesive between the touch sensor and glass is an industry standard and even if we wanted to change it, it’s not happening overnight. Still, the design of the Fairphone 2 is a large step for repairability. We’re enabling a tool-less repair for the screen that users can do themselves in just a few minutes, one of the most common needs of phone repair.
I hope I’ve addressed your concerns, and showed that we’re committed to improving communication as we move forward. Thanks for your comments and keeping us fresh.
*I changed “touchscreen” to “touch sensor” to be more precise. The entire display could be considered a “touchscreen” when the glass and touch sensor are combined.