Sorry to hear you’re sad and disillusioned. This was never our intention.
The official statement now is: “We currently have no plans to release the Fairphone in the US.”
This of course could change either way; we might one day see opportunity to expand outside of the EU, or we decide against it.
Reasons not to ship outside Europe are basically the ones mentioned in this post by community members: there are different regulations, networks and technicalities that could require some or a lot of modifications to the hardware. And then there is the market size: we are currently struggling (as many forum members can tell you) to serve the European market. We need to deliver, support and, sadly, sometimes take back Fairphones. In the EU this can already take days, imagine if we’d have to send back and forth Fairphones across the pond…
Our team is stretched thin across the many tasks involved in not only making an actual working phone and shipping 10’s of thousands to multiple countries, but also in developing software, supporting the phone, making the packaging, writing legal documents, updating the twitter account, researching where the tantalum comes from, get fair trade gold certification and last but not least, continue support for the 60.000 Fairphone 1 owners.
The US has an estimate of 322,369,319 inhabitants. The EU has 508,191,116 people. So you can imagine what a stress and workload just the US would be for Fairphone: a new unknown market. And then there is Canada, Australia, Honk-Kong, Israel, Brazil, Mexico… etc. etc. etc.
Do not get me wrong: we wish very much to be able to expand to other countries and show the industry the depth and width of demand for fair consumer electronics. But if we move to fast we’d risk swaths of very unhappy costumers and, even more important, we risk loosing what we are cautiously building up.
Just as the phone is not 100% fair, just as our software is not 100% open, we can not make everyone 100% happy. But reaching new people and markets is, next to 100% fair phone and 100% open software, a spot on our horizon we are aiming for. And we are getting there. Step by step.
In the meanwhile, take our message and agenda and start questioning the practices of unfair electronics manufacturing in your country and raise awareness among your fellow citizens. Organize an urban mining, a rally or demand fairer products at your local electronics shop.
We are coming, but don’t wait for us to start making a change.
We are proud and humbled by your lack of patience