Replicant support for FP2

Had a quick look on the replicant site. They support a whopping 9 devices (all 3 years or older), which to me, makes them completely and utterly insignificant. Their high horse attitude only hurts themselves. They appear to be wanting too much at once.

Ironically they list Samsung devices as supported which run either an Exynos SoC (Samsung’s own chipset) or (surprise!) a QualComm SoC.

What’s up with that?


Ah, it gets even better. The FAQ mentions how drivers and, for example, modem software is still proprietary. So in that aspect, I don’t see why FairPhone’s QualComm choice would be such a bad one.

Also, they say that they still lack hardware support for some of the supported devices, due to drivers for these pieces of hardware not being free. They refuse to stick to proprietary software instead to maintain full functionality of the phone. Now, I am totally baffled why anyone would willfully neuter functionality on his or her phone just so your software is “free”. And it’s kind of hypocritical when you accept the fact that you have no insight into the modem software you’re using whatsoever. I understand that if you remove this your phone becomes unusable, but it’s really a case where you stick to your beliefs until they really start to inconvenience you.

So sorry to be blunt about it, but I get the impression that Replicant is for ivory tower high horse hipsters who want to be better than you


[quote=“Jerry, post:9, topic:9574, full:true”]So sorry to be blunt about it, but I get the impression that Replicant is for ivory tower high horse hipsters who want to be better than you

Thank you for your “interesting” point of view, I’m sure I really needed to know how much stock android with gapps is useful for our needs and how EVERYONE must have it on their phones.
But this thread is intended to discuss about the OPTION to have Replicant on fairphone for people that are interested. Frankly, your personal statement is absolutely useless and a bit too “trolly” for me, but it’s only my opinion and I don’t intend to discuss more with you about this argument.


I agree that a different OS “flavor” the users could switch to would help.

Exploits that exist for the old android version the FP1 is now stuck with show how important this issue is. Due to hardware choices the fairphone project made it depends very strongly on code from the manufacturer of the phones’ chip. And the manufacturer does not care. But @Jerry is also right with the modem part, but this will not change.

The software vs hardware fairness was a misconception from the beginning of the FP project and it was known and pointed out during that time, but choices were made to reach the projects goals at least partly.


But mistakes are being made again for the FP2 just to sell the crowd a “fair” but still pretty standard vendor locked phone again.

That’s the really sad part. Why not wait a little? Rushing this and just trying to sell more phones that only last one or two years it really bad. If I want expensive up to date tech, I buy Apple.

But I want something that is build fair and will work for a while time and can be repaired. Not just another standard vendor locked phone that was build more fair. This is what FP1 was for.

FP2 should address the software fairness, be build modular and help the worker by building the ever changing parts in a fair way, not by building just another standard phone more fairly. I guess I will skip FP2 and just buy a cheap used phone in the meantime if I have to.

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I had an idea some time ago and this post reminded me to share it here.
If it turns out that the FP2’s chipset- or motherboard-module can (theoretically) be replaced do you guys think we could successfully crowdfund a project to create an open-hardware module and a replicant distribution that will run on it?
Or is that just crazy talk? :smiley:

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We discussed this a while back for FP1(U) too. :slight_smile: it’s amazing how similar we think sometimes… :wink:

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It’s a bit crazy, but I think that a similar proposal made to, for example, the openmoko community could have a interesting impact. But it may not be enough anyway…

It won’t work. If I recall correctly, too much of the FP1/U hardware was based on the choice of the “wrong” chipset. But maybe these guys could answer your question:

If the FP1/U hardware would work with a GTA04 board, there would be a chance. But I don’t think so. Else somebody would have already wrote that here. But hey, why not ask?

Is openmoko still existent?
Their official website was last edited in August 2013…

But to quote more from the same source as the original post:

Which platform (instead of Qualcom) they should have been choose for authorise the freedom solutions?

The could have chosen a modern platform that doesn’t check the bootloader’s signature, such as the i.MX6, OMAP4/5 or Allwinner.

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I agree although I don’t know if these chips will be any better. And this is why I won’t buy the FP2, alternatives were never really discussed. They settled with a new partner pretty quickly or at least this is how I feel about it.

The FP1 was a prototype to check if it would work at all. But the FP2 feels rushed. But maybe this is the only way to get money into the project? I don’t really know, I never saw discussion about this and I have to admit that I stopped following the whole project for a while, so I’m not sure.

But I would buy a voucher for a FP3 if they would tell me on what hardware they will focus the next time, just to support the project.

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I don’t think that Fairphone made a rushed decision and surely looked into the subject deeply. On the other hand they need to have in mind their most important driving thought: To prove to the big players that a fair smartphone is possible. I have never heard of these open chip sets before, but I am sure that they would not be a consideration for e.g. Samsung. But a Qualcomm chip in a fair phone, hey that’s something they might consider and imitate Fairphone.


[quote=“fp1_wo_sw_updates, post:15, topic:9574, full:true”]It won’t work. If I recall correctly, too much of the FP1/U hardware was based on the choice of the “wrong” chipset.

If the FP1/U hardware would work with a GTA04 board, there would be a chance. But I don’t think so. Else somebody would have already wrote that here. But hey, why not ask?

I refer to the FP2, and only in the case that Fairphone decide to open up the hardware specification, so third party could develop alternative modules and/or mainboard. I think that the FP1/U is too close for that, sadly.

I don’t know if Qualcomm was such a bad choice, either. There seems to be quite a lot of Qualcomm-related open source development recently.

I couldn’t find anything about free Snapdragon modem drivers, but it’s listed on the mainlining wiki page, so maybe we’ll see work on this at a later time.
There is source code available for Qualcomm Gobi 3G modems, however and the Snapdragon 801 product brief mentions Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE Advanced for connectivity. Maybe it’s possible to reuse some of this code then.


I didn’t know about this stuff, seems very interesting… I hope someone will use it to develop something interesting regarding Fairphone 2! Sadly I am not an informatic


I have found this: it seems that Replicant (and pruvacy) be and remain a dream for us fairphone users

I think it would be a shame for a smartphone project talking about open source stuff to not get Replicant running.

Well to be fair about 99% of open-source phone projects can’t run Replicant.


It’s a difficult topic, especially if discussed in the “app store” dominated world of phones (see: @Jerry). It’s either Android or iOS for the most. Other phones are not for the vast majority. But the FP project was mostly about changing the way of the manufacturers who create these kind of phones … and this will always crash with the “free as in freedom” concept that drives software like Replicant.

For me it would be enough to see what chipsets and OEMs were taken into consideration and how they there rated. For me it feels like they just took the next bigger player and hoped for the best (A’Hong ->i Hi-P, Mediatek -> Qualcomm SD 801 MSM8974AB-AB) but they don’t have any “hard” tech know-how at fairphone.

It’s just a brand (FP) buying standard phones from OEMs asking them to care better for their workers and use better solder if they want the job of producing a batch of 15k phones … with an added nice blue interface on top. Still android, still standard, still the same that you can get from all the others.

But will Hi-P changes their ways long term, after the 15k phones? Who knows. But this was the main goal for the FP project. Currently the are failing both goals (more freedom more fairness) from my perspective, but I think it’s better to try. I just don’t like how they “try” the FP2 – no published paper on how the decided to go with HiP or what other OEMs/chipsets were tested. That’s all. Right now I feel cheated.

It’s not their goal, actually.
FairPhone themselves are very aware that they will not be able to change the world by themselves. And with a projected 140,000 phones per year, that’s an unfortunate truth. With that amount of phones, their direct impact is very low.

The most important thing for them is to educate people and show the world that it is possible to create a phone without conflict minerals that was produced in a safe environment by people that are paid well. Hopefully (and perhaps naively so) bigger players in the market will pick up on the fact that there is a demand for phones that were built under fairer circumstances.

It’s also one of the reasons why I think it’s very important for FairPhone to stick to finding ways to make the production of the phone fairer and put openness of software and hardware in second place. I think that for the average consumer, the tale of a more fairly produced phone, without child labor or extorted workers is a much more powerful (and much more important) message than whether or not the software they run on their phones is open source. Everyone here has to admit: the average consumer couldn’t give a dime about open software (see Apple’s success) but everyone is distressed when hearing the stories of what happens in Congo or in factories in China.


I completely agree with you, @Jerry, however I would like to go back to the initial goal of this topic:

I’d like to start a constructive discussion about how to make Replicant on the FP2 possible. If there are people, who badly want Replicant support, I think they should do everything to make it work (by contacting either parties about it, or by talking to independent developers and asking them to look into the matter).


Make the process how the chipset and OEM are picked transparent and rate “replicant” support very high on the list of important things. Done. Right now, I can’t even find this information for the last current chip sets/OEMs decision on the webpage. I don’t care so much about “replicant”. I care more about the whole process. How is it done. What counts?

It doesn’t have to be “replicant”. “Replicant” is just an idea that is not intended neither by Google nor Apple. They want a passive consumer buying apps and paying twice; with their data and money. I’m assume @Jerry might disagree here. But I want a good consumer phone for consumers that like to think twice and that don’t need the latest tech. For latest Tech one needs real R&D something FP really does not have.

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