My summary about the whole FP1 thing

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:


Still they do much more for a good transparency than I’m used to from other companies. I have never seen any product pages of Samsung, Apple, HTC and whoknowswhatelse with a link to the cost breakdown or articles about where the phone is manufactured and backgrounds of mining. I think it is Fairphone’s aim to reach the maximum amount of transparency while knowing they probably never reach 100% (as you said). Can you refer to a specific source where you read the 100%-promise? I’m not quite sure whether they ever promised that :slight_smile:


According to my knowledge, Fairphone never wrote “100% transparency”, but I have got the feeling that some authors in this blog expected something when reading headline like this “Supply chain transparency - Tracing materials back to the source” and thus were disappointed.

I also remember that the FP1 was advertised with more transparency than other companies (which means more than 0, but not 100%).


just chiming in with my experience. thx to fairphone for responding here.

I was a relatively early adopter of Android. I got a Motorola Droid X in fall 2010. There was Droid, Droid 2, a couple different regional versions, and Droid X. So this was like Droid 3, though later there actually was a phone called Droid 3 …

Initially my problem was, there’s a bunch of crap on this phone! How to remove it? This led me to discovery the wide blogging and forum communities, and rooting. I ended up running CyanogenMod 7 on Droid X for several years. DX came with Froyo 2.2, CyanogenMod 7 was Gingerbread. There were some quirks because Motorola did not open their boot loader, but ppl hacked it and made ROMs possible, and there was a lot of customization made possible by CM.

Eventually I got used to the missing features of CM on Droid X, and learned to ignore newer apps in Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, Kit Kat.

Then I got Fairphone, wow Jelly Bean! Cool! It is weird and I personally prefer ADW Launcher, but it is new and I am trying out Fairphone OS.

Ultimately yes I was saddened too to take a step backwards in software freedom. However having a vendor, Fairphone, moving in the correct direction, is a big step. They made root. They unlocked the boot loader. They allow switching SIM cards, which is not common in the US. Basically their focus on fair minerals eclipsed firmware and software. And that’s OK, because that was the point of the project: to bring justice to the supply chain. Other players do software freedom better then Fairphone right now. But they are the best at ensuring fair trade minerals, for gold tantalum tin and … 1 other, even though there are many more components to be fairly sourced, and even though there are many more steps to be taken with software freedom.

Thx for pointing out F-Droid in this thread, it really is a good solution. Personally I still depend on Google App Store, but I use FDroid for research to find out which apps have developers who care about open source.


@White / Uwe
what I find a bit strange is that you join this forum to post your “summary on the whole FP thing” - but don’t even ackknowledge the many answers from @anon90052001 / Fairphone and others you get here (the opening post seems to be your only one in the forum).
It’s easy to list long complaints, but then withdraw from the following constructive discussion is bad style.
btw I also bought the FP1 in the first round, but even though some things are not perfect (welcome to technical life) I find it quite weird to ask for an apology, - or a written summary of all “lessons learned”.

@JonathanSchreiber das mit dem ,Deutsch’ hatte ich auch gedacht :wink:

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There’s now a blog post on this topic here. (Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but this does complete the story!)
Also: thanks Joe!


When reading this post I had thought about this very wish. However I did not remember which thread it was in and thus was not able to thank for it here. Thanks, @Johannes, for digging it up :slight_smile:

And, of course, thanks @anon90052001 for fulfilling the humble request.


Yes! Glad you liked it :slight_smile:

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