My summary about the whole FP1 thing

Well said, well done. I’d like a better camera, better bluetooth, a better grip (less sharp edges), water resiliency additionally; everything that I had with my beloved little Motorola Defy running Cyanogenmod 11.
So, as well, I am disappointed, having thought of selling my FP1 in favor of my broken old phone. It seems, we can’t have both: a politically correct, and a technically perfect device.
Trying to stay politically correct, we are glued to the outdated FP1 device - not wanting to create yet one more ton of industrial waste produced by just another FP2 (or, what’s the total amount of waste resulting from our halfway fair produced devices?)

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Taken from this blog post:


You are right about this. It was mentioned in a blog post or somewhere that it was not possible to not glue them together. Perhaps in this aspect the ideas were a bit idealistic. It is probably hard to buy a display unit not glued and Fairphone has neither the volume nor the capacity to design a display unit on it’s own. But i whish this would have been communicated more openly. At least, for the FP2, there are no such claims.

I understand this wishes, but none of that was promised by fairphone. The camera quite ok i think and easily the best i ever had in a smartphone. Bluetooth has worked very well for me to, even streaming stereo music.

Both of you are right about the software issue. But maybe there is some hope coming. I think it is to early to summarize on all of Fairphones goals.

Still, i would welcome another blog post on the issues with the Fairphone 1 and i understand you request for an apology.


Having given this some thought in the past (and providing more extended feedback via some of the surveys), for me personally, if I were to summarise my issues past (and to a certain degree present) in a single term, that term would be marketing.

Breaking that down into two main aspects (again for me personally):

  • Over-promising: The whole ‘open’ side of things didn’t go as planned, but at the time it did complete the image and add quite a bit of market. I’m not suggesting FP were aware of the issue and misled customers; I’m saying that they got stuck in the middle of having a phone that draws in enough interest and what a new start-up can actually deliver. Where they presented plans and ideals, people read promises because of the marketing spin added to the story.
  • Transparency & communication: Transparency has been fine when it comes the marketable aspects of transparency (e.g. cost breakdowns). When it comes to owning up to things that didn’t go entirely to plan: if a notification was given, you’ll have a difficult time finding it today, and most of them had a too much positive marketing spin applied to them anyway.
    See the glass issue (there’s only an update that mentioning the glass will now be stronger) or try finding the notification that the chipset in the FP1 was downgraded during production (the reason given on the now deleted old forum was miscommunication - was meant to be MT6589M rather than MT6589 all along and was costed that way. Next thing the FP1U comes out with the MT6589 as an ‘upgrade’ for a lower price. Blog posts on FP1 later updated ‘to clarify the chipset being used’). Update: this is perhaps worded rather strongly, see my later post.

Still, these issues occur on many start-up projects. I don’t think FP1 has performed particularly poorly on these issues. It does, however, still occasionally annoy me. Remember that in general, as an early adopter you pay a higher price for your belief in a product. These crowdfunding products often end up being different than advertised. I was aware of that when I pre-ordered the phone, but I can definitely understand the feeling of being let down iterated in the posts in this topic.
I hope Fairphone improves their communication (also in terms of customer service, see bloated battery thread) and also doesn’t forget about the FP1 owners now they’re busy with the FP2. A bit more directness and bit less marketing would be great. Other companies are (probably) as bad, but then again they don’t market themselves on openness and fairness, so maybe I’m just expecting more in this case.


Thank you Uwe, this was more or less the post I wanted to write for quite a while. And you did it much more polite than I’d been able to.

The “long-lasting” device Fairphone unfortunately turns into a piece of electronical trash after a few months (at least for security aware and / or open source people), as there are unfixed issues with Android 4.2.2. (and more and worse to come: Stagefright …). And I think the promised “openess”, besides the root access, was a PR-lie from the beginning, as Fairphone was never able to provide the sources (and they kind of know it). So no alternative systems.


Fairphone will provide security updates for years to come and are already working on a fix for stagefrigt:

And even though you can’t run a fully free OS (Replicant) on the FP1 you can run Fairphone OS without GAPPS and with only F-Droid apps.


True, but to be correct: Fairphone OS is not free software, no matter if you install Google Apps or not. And this is not only about the drivers.


Hi @White,

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.


Thanks @anon90052001. It is such communcation that makes a difference.

Quite interesting. I wanted to asked Miquel at the Posteo Lab presentation about the glass, but somehow forgot about it.

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Hi Joe,
will the FP2 already come with some spare display-units? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
While I can understand that a broken screen is one of the most common repair issues (had that myself only recently with my FP1) I still think (or hope) it doesn’t happen so frequently to a single person, that the need for a screwdriver would be asked too much when replacing the display-unit.
Personally, I would’ve preferred a lighter and thinner device to one where I can tool-less remove the display.

But that’s just my personal opinion.


Thanks Joe, I agree with Ben that your input here really does matter.

When I outlined my personal views above, I tried to magnify those point that, when thinking back about the process so far, led to some feeling of annoyance. As a result my comments on the chipset issue may have been formulated a bit strongly. I have since been able to find that e-mail (I was searching in the wrong language) and it does offer an apology. I was going by the discussion on XDA which happened a couple of days before Fairphone updated us via e-mail (which is a reasonable time window). By my comment on the FP1U having the other chipset at a lower price I tried to convey that the combination of these events could easily leave people wondering. I should qualify that the price difference is not strange (exchange rates change, volumes change, etc.).

I’m not trying to say that communication is/was bad. I’m outlining why for me, and judging by some comments on the forums for others, it has on occasion led to frustration. Part of that is that I couldn’t find the reason for the glass change. The explanation you offer is valuable, and shows what the advantage would be, but that it didn’t work for a specific reason.* Thank you for that! I’m just saying it would be great to easily find out about these considerations.

I appreciate that a lot of the community feedback has been taken on board. I’ve seen some blog posts that I think were clearly influenced by concerns raised in the community. They are very welcome.

Keep up the good work!

*On that note - many people here feel connected to whole process towards fairer and more durable phones and understand that these things go step by step (buy a phone, start a movement). What struck me about the blog post on Fairphone 2 design and the designing the next fairphone post before that was that there was no mention about lessons learnt from the FP1 (or the FP1 at all), where I do have the feeling it has been a massive learning experience - based on sections in other blog posts. Maybe I just missed an overview of how how the FP2 is influenced by FP1 - if it exists I would be grateful if anyone can point me to it. I’m not saying there has to be one (and I appreciate that it is a new design), I’m just curious…


i would love to read such a post.


Do you know there is a running poll about our wishes for the next FP2 “alternative OSes”?
You can go there and vote. I definitely support Sailfish, and I discovered there is a very large consensus on it apparently…

Ok Uwe @White,
seriously, what’s the point of your post? It’s not that YOU or me made possible the first Fairphone. Yes, we paid for the vision of a fairer phone. No one paid a million like you stated. Everyone just paid 325 €. That’s not cheap, that’s not expensive. What in the world do you think while crying in your keyboard like this? A little company (barely a company at all) tries to challenge one of the world’s biggest branch of industry, delivers an affordable and still more or less up to date phone. I know that it has its issues and I sometimes think ‘what in the world is so hard about providing a working gps?’ But to ask the people from Fairphone to say sorry is just ridiculous!! Just sell it and get the FP2 like I did. You still get a lot for it. Saying sorry for not reaching every bit of all announced goals …being more German is absolutely impossible.

Best wishes from Hamburg.


One should not leave unmentioned, that that “very large consensus” you’re talking of seems not to be representative:


No, the FP2 will not come with spare display units included with each order. That would be a bit excessive, right?

I totally understand, and I think with any crowdfunding campaign, there’s going to be disappointment as plans/announcements change etc. Doubly so for electronics products. So I expect the criticism.

As for your comment about ‘what we’ve learned’, I do think we’ve addressed a couple points in blogs (like about the choice of Qualcomm) but I hear from you guys that a post specifically about “What we learned from FP1 to FP2” could be helpful so I’ll circulate it around the team.

I imagine you mean product design (screen size, GPS, 4G chipset, Bluetooth etc) but do you also mean what we learned in the supply chain, growing up as a startup etc? That would be a pretty massive blog. :smile:


Here – at least myself – we were talking about lessons learned in terms of the product. However elsewhere, we’ve also mentioned the second possibility, to learn about interesting insights in what Fairphone has learned in terms of supply chain, industry, mining, whatnot.

I’m aware of many of these points that you’ve mentioned in publications throughout the years. Still, especially in light of Fairphone’s original mission (to shed light on workings of industry) it would be very interesting to see a listing of all these minor points which don’t fill their own blog post.

It would not only help outsiders to learn these details about the smartphone industry, it might also help your team internally to make these issues explicit and not forget them.


@anon90052001: I agree with what @jftr says. Over the years we’ve seen some nice blog posts about the larger issues you mention. As an example I would mention the interesting post about the decision to switch away from Guohong and what this means for social responsibilities that were addressed by the workers fund. This post is also clear in regards to what was learnt, and what was achieved (see ‘Achievements, challenges and lessons for future partnerships’) - I found this particularly interesting to read.
I guess now I’m mainly curious what was learnt from the design (even though it was licensed) and production of the FP1 that was used in the design of the FP2. I believe the FP1 was an essential step in the process of moving towards an own design - I’m not sure you’d have designed the same FP2 without experience learned from the FP1 (other than issues in raising capital, now being a more established brand). For example, there may have been issues with e.g. the FP1 screen (difficult to source, so switch to more common size?) or batteries that led to decisions to do things differently in the FP2. (I only mention these as examples - though now I’m curious what the most common repairs / warranty issues are for the FP1 and whether that is something addressed by the design of the FP2) I do realise it is not the best-defined topic, hence my earlier comment that I did not necessarily expect there to be a topic that dealt with this.

I hope this gives you a bit of an idea of what I meant - I do apologise if I’m incoherent.
Also, I’m probably going to be offline for the next weeks, if I don’t contribute to the discussion here I promise I’m not sulking in disappointment!


I would like to (again) point to this topic:

What are the actual FP1(U) failure rates? What is the mossy common cause? Etc. @anon90052001, please give us all the information you can source!


Some words about the transparency of Fairphone’s components and their origin

I read many complains in the blog that Fairphone promises/promised 100% transparency about all the materials, components and parts - where they are from, what they are made off, where and how were the raw materials mined… - and that Fairphone failed.

Well, they failed indeed, but I think that no-one in this start-up was aware what they had promised.
I work in electronic engineering and development for electronic control units in a global automotive company. 300.000 employees worldwide, 35 billion Euro turnover every year, super-high standards about quality, traceability of every single chip resistor and transparency down to sub-sub-sub-suppliers.

And even we do not know where all our components or raw materials are from. Suppliers buy from different sources, sub-suppliers, service-providers,… they buy from mixed pools, mix materials in their production lines, make pools on their own,…
In case of problems or recalls, this lack of knowledge has cost us millions of Euros. We made huge efforts, but we are still no able to look through!

In my experience, the idea of total transparency is as honorable as impossible. I don’t blame Fairphone for failing. This is when idealism meets reality. Sad, but true. :disappointed_relieved: