Subscription based software update model?

I sometimes wonder why companies like fairphone do not offer a subscription based software update model after the regular software support-period has ended.
Of course i am happy about LineageOS or other free projects.
But i would not mind to pay e.g. 20€ a year in order to receive security fixes and possibly new android versions after fairphone decides to drop updates e.g. for the fairphone2 (sometime in the future).
The subscription price could be calculated based on the costs for an (partial?) extra android developer at fairphone in relation to the number of annual subscribers.
If for example the amount of subscribers for an old device decreases, the subscription price could be raised in the next year…

Are you thinking about such a subsciption model at fairphone?
If not, what are the obstacles to do so?

I found a similar discussion for the FP1:
Discussion about subscription model for FP1

My question/this topic is rather a general question and not related to a special hardware.
(although the FP2 might not have closed source problems on the hardware side…and I am one of the first 17418 FP2-Owners… :slight_smile: )

Because there is no such thing as a regular software support-period.
Fairphone provides software updates for their devices as long as they possibly can and throwing money at the problem is likely not going to do anything.

FP2’s chipset (which is most likely never going to be upgraded with a new module) will never see an official update to Android 7, because Google arbitrarily decided that it [the chipset] “doesn’t support” Android 7.

So once Android 6 doesn’t get security updates any more you will have to use LineageOS or another #software:alternative-oses on your FP2 if you want to stay secure.
Even hundreds of developers extra at Fairphone headquarters wouldn’t be able to change that.

In general of course this could be an option, but it doesn’t seem like the industry is going into a direction where future devices won’t have specific hardware that will make render the idea pointless.


Of course there is no need to thow money at anyone and i am quite happy to hear about the great software service that fairphone offers.
I very much appreciate the security fixes i receive as OTA updates for the FP2!

You say that Google decided to “not support” Android 7.
What exactly do you mean?
Lineage OS is Android 7.
It comes without support too.
Coming back to the discussion: it would be sufficient for me in case the subscription based update model would be without (commercial) support from fairphone.
Of course i would expect that they do the best job they can to get mostly everything running.
But as a Lineage OS User on a Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3 and a Nexus 5, i know that i cannot expect everything from running smoothly when using a custom rom.

But still i would prefer to receive that software update service from fairphone because they can make it probably better and eventually a bit more end-user friendly than by using a community mod.

(It takes me several days a year to keep all that devices at the latest cyanogen/lineage levels, update Recovery, make backups prior to going to new lineage releases…reinstalling apps and settings…and so on)

Using a custom rom involves some work and knowledge on the end-users side.
And i would be willing to pay a few € a year in order to get the unsupported ROM more user-friendly.
One example for more user friendly could be an OTA update from Android 6 to 7 (without the need to wipe).

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Sorry my sentence was ambiguous. The “it” that doesn’t support Android 7 is the chipset and not Google.

Let’s not get into that discussion again. If you’re interested it has been discussed e.g. here, here and here.

In short: As you say the Lineage port proves that the chipset can handle Android 7 very well, but Google decides that “the chipset doesn’t support Android 7” for whatever selfish reasons - so no phone with that chipset will ever have official Google-supported Android 7.

Well I’m sure the #wearefairphone community developers would appreciate donations. :thumbsup:

Well you can’t switch between FP OS, Open OS and Lineage OS without wiping, but upgrading within one OS line works without wiping data (obviously the Lineage OS port didn’t experience an upgrade yet, but I don’t think it will require wiping if you upgrade from Android 7 to 8).


Please note that this is a community forum as outlined in the welcome banner and official replies by Fairphone staff are not to be expected.

Google invents some basic rules that every Android phone should obey if they want to preinstall Google Play Services. Let’s continue that discussion in the dedicated topic (my latest research on the issue can be found in this post).


Thank you both, Paul and Stefan for your community moderation in this forum.
Your replies were valuable to me although not everything is fully answered.
But perhaps this thread is still valuable for the fairphone staff or other fairphone users reading this thread…

Thanks again!

One of the biggest reasons I decided to get a Fairphone was because of the promise of long term support which is so sorely lacking within the mobile phone industry. I have now had my fairphone for 2.5 years, and the lack of OS updates means that some of my applications (banking) will no longer run on the older Android version. I would definitely be interested in a subscription support model if it means I won’t have to get a new phone to meet my needs.

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