The end of Fairphone 2

Yes, according to wiki it went bankrupt in 2018.
So who knows what’s next for it after TSM is finished with it.

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Sad for WakaWaka!
Solar panels are still quite a niche product, and those who use it the most (I guess hikers and sorts) look for good performance, strength and weight. Maybe not for social projects.
There is still Little Sun and they even have a partnership with Ikea now.
I have two models and am very happy with them. I use the charger for my Fairphone and the kids love the original. Good gift-idea for kids…

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I am using a fully extended “Solar paper” which I backed on Kickstarter as an early bird.
Now it’s not so cheap anymore, but mine operates flawless and I don’t want to miss it anymore.
I don’t know how _fair_this one is/was, but the follow up project(s) surely seems to be.
So I somehow do feel a bit better of being one who gave them a small boost on their way.

Nice to read that they haven’t reached the end of their road. Hopefully Ikea (sorry only in German) won’t mess it up as it is also well known for being “the mother of money/tax” saving.

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While we are really not that far apart, when it comes to “judging” what FP has done as incredible.
In my opinion we have to be aware, that not all users/buyers of a FP are nerds or willing to do experimental stuff with their pone. The more phones are sold by FP, the more users there will be, that just want their “perfect” phone.
When comparing FP to Apple (which I do not consider to be advisable), please take into account advertising as well. And just considering the blog-entry @Patrick1 already linked to:
The architecture of the Fairphone 2: Designing a competitive device that embodies our values

This concept also allows us to create multiple variations of the cover and in time, we intend to offer covers with different levels of protection and/or additional functionality.

Potential for upgrades and expansion

However, to help our phone stand the test of time and the development of new features, we incorporated elements that enable upgrades and expansion without having to change the entire hardware.

One example of how we could use this is replacing standard components with alternatives, like an IR camera instead of the normal rear-camera unit. We could also redesign some of the units to eliminate certain functionality while expanding other capabilities. We can also use future components to replace the original ones, in order to keep providing repair units long after the design of the original one. The possibilities are quite broad.

You really have to be very understanding and reading very carefully to not expect at leasts some of those things become reality.
Yet there was nothing besides a new camera module.
To be absolutely clear. I personally fully understand this and I am no way disappointed. Still I can see, why people expected different; and as far as I remember FP never explained on this.

Judging by the statement from TSM, they are interested in keeping it up and running.
And I really do hope so, as I am absolutely satisfied with their products. I just recently got me a solar link for the solar panel from my Power 10.

TSM will use its expertise in business administration and leadership development to make WakaWaka future-proof.
Source: SPJ 11 Juli 2018, Restart WakaWaka

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Well, two, both a front and a rear camera module. And of course the redesigned slim case… And the second generation battery from a different manufacturer (with like… 20mAh more capacity :smiley: ). Come to think of it, the only “modules” they haven’t upgraded are the core module, which I explained wouldn’t have been upgradeable, and the bottom module.
The latter is a shame because it turned out to be a weak point in the design with it breaking disproportionally often, so it could have done with a refresh. But feature-wise upgrades in this module wouldn’t have made sense or were impossible. There’s little to nothing gained from a different microphone or vibrator, and USB-C isn’t supported by the SoC hence sticking the port on there would have only made a difference in connector, not in functionality.

So I guess what I would like to respond to that is the question: what would you have reasonably expected and desired that they didn’t deliver?

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Me?
Nothing, as I wasn’t expecting any updates at all. I still use the old module.

But, tbh, your list falls way short of what I cited from the FP blog entry.

  • 2 camera modules, Ok :roll_eyes:
  • A redesigned cover due to a design fault of the original one does not count in my opinion as fulfilling the claim “we intend to offer covers with different levels of protection and/or additional functionality”. (I know, an intention is not a promise.)
  • 20 mAh larger battery (you are joking, aren’t you?) If you haven’t already, please read this post by a FP-tech guy; and maybe the thread as well:
    Revised Battery Module (FP2-BAT02)

Seriously, I am absolutely satisfied!
Yet to answer your question what I reasonably could have expected: different covers, IR-camera, NFC and wireless charging as those were expressly mentioned in the FP blog entry.

And I (and that is just me) am absolutely able to understand, that some (many?) users were expecting (or hoping for) more, because Fairphone presented this wide range of possibilities, starting with covers of different protective levels (and further functions).

On the other hand it is quite obvious, why they did not start producing that kind of stuff. Since the FP2 did not sell by the dozen per minute, the number of buyers for that kind of accessory would be limited which at the same time would have lead to raising the costs (less units, higher prices due to fixed costs). And there were of course those troubles to be fixed, that came with the new modular design (leading to a new cover a new display and a new battery). (I count the need to change the supplier as unexpected troubles to be solved as well.)

Btw: Even the 3D-printed acceossories, that were available for some time are no longer obtainable: 3D-Printed accessories are no longer available

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If we talk about the failure of delivering convincing upgrade options, I might agree with @BertG.
The pogo conector at the back of the phone still are unused, and the NFC-ready back cover is really something that would add value to the phone.

But the relation between FP2 and backcovers is… complicated at best :smiley:

As for the camera, I’m not entirely conviced by an IR camera (AFAIK only the Caterpillar S60 has thermal imaging functionnality) it’s really a niche. They would be really expensive compared to a third-party non-sustainable-masse-produced add-on. I think it was mentionned only as an exemple in the context of replacing some alternative module.

Lets find something that would gain traction and really useful and can really be used in place of the camera !

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I need to say that I like this thread. The discussion is on a high level of information an is very respectful. Thanks to all participants.

@BertG
Of course comparing a global player to a 40 employee company which currently not even offer a product to buy is not advisable. I did it on purpose and and with a little irony to give the behavior of some customers a picture. Suddenly they obviously become a nerd when the product did not match their need. I just wanted to point that out.

My FP2 had a breakdown of the core module when I was on a long vacation very far away what sets me a bit in trouble. But I can not remember any of my smartphones before were better. I honestly need to send them all in for a repair or swap, in one case three times. The first one not need any repair was the FP1. So from my point of view Fairphone is as good as other manufaturers, in view of quality.

I also like to have some more gadgets were invented for the FP2 for the still unused USB port on the backside. And I did complain that there is room for improvement in communications between the company and the community.
I will bring up this point on the #efct19

And I also think it is on us, the very proficient FP users and the Fairphone Angels to tell the complaining users what kind of product they bought and what impact their decision generated. I am sure most customers understand why the circumstances are as they are.

the number of buyers for that kind of accessory would be limited which at the same time would have lead to raising the costs

That is a kind of a doom circle: The unique selling point could have been available accessories, but to invent them ressources were needed, which were not available at that point.

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I didn’t read through the entire thread, but found it striking that it appeared so shortly after my own core module failed five days ago. I started to have the exact same thoughts again and just quickly wanted to weigh in with my own story.

I joined the FP journey with crowdfunding the first 5000 FP1, later bought a FP2. I was willing to forgive the early problems the FP1 had. Because I love the concept, I invested a significant amount during the crowdinvestment campaign last summer.
But:
In my FP2, most modules have failed at some point (core, bottom, screen (2x), battery (2x), cover (2x) or needed replacement because the originals were crappy - and still, the camera is way worse than in a regular smartphone!
I’m pretty sure my footprint is now worse than if I had bought an iPhone - many friends of mine had theirs for years! I’m not even counting all the money I had to spend so far.

That said, of course owning such an otherwise cool product is also rewarding in itself. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve taken it apart just to demonstrate to friends and aquaintances. But first and foremost, Fairphone is a project to make electronics sustainable and fair, also towards the customer. In my case, they have failed.

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We will never know this for two reasons:

  1. Apple will never reveal how many electronic devices and parts are going to waste before being sold. They surely do have a much stricter and thorough quality testing and their suppliers most likely will apply a stricter testing before shipping the parts to the factory as well. In my opinion at least FP might have a higher drop-out rate, due to less market power (i.e. testing power).
  2. No one can ever know how the phone you would have bought insteadt would have faired. After a bad experience we just tend to assume, that another decision would have been better, but would it? You might have been off worse with a battery, that goes up in flames while you have it in the sports bag in the trunk of your car, thus burning down your car, causing a major traffic jam, making you miss a vital business meeting, resulting in going bancrupt (in case you are self-employed) …

Just kidding of course.
But more important than the individual footprint is the one of the device in total.
And I just had to replace the - ill designed - first cover and two times the display (I dropped the phone and broke it both times; so no fault of FP). I am even still on the first battery with my FP 2.

Even if the environmental footprint of the FP2 should be worse than that of an IPhone.

  • There is the social aspect of labour and mining that is not addressed by apple, samsung and the like.
  • It’s a first timer when it comes to modularity and might need some time for enhancements like all technical devices do.

I wonder if that is fair towards FP?

I understand this and have done so a couple of times myself.
But you can not disassemble and reassemble a phone over and over again and wonder if at one point sooner or later the modules start to fail. It’s a fragile device and dirt as well as contacts or pins coming loose or pcb tracks breaking under stress from bending etc. can happen without notice.
Modularity is meant for repairability and upgrades and the like, not for “fun”.
Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to critizise, just to maybe give some other possible explanation than failure by FP.

(I really wonder, in how many cases of failure of the phone frequent dis- and reassembling might have played a role.)

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It’s true of course that an iPhone might have broken down just as well. But Apple doesn’t build its value proposition on longevity. There are other factors too of course, you mentioned them. But Apple ranked second just after Fairphone in Greenpeace’s Green Electronics Report, so they must be doing some things right too.

You raise a valid point though: I could imagine that taking the phone apart repeatedly did speed up the core module’s demise. But the other components that broke did so without external cause. My two faulty displays, for instance, showed the exact same issue, so it was probably a manufacturing problem. And the price now for reparing the faulty core module is prohibitive (at least €223)! I hope I can find a local repair store doing it more cheaply or a used module…

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Oooh. Ohhh. Lineage 15.1 (testing)

but sometimes it is really hard! As I know personally that there are many having problems with their phones although mine runs fine.
That willingness is even more put to the test as I agree to

In addition, anyone is clueless how Fairphone will continue, plus getting the impression that https://www.shiftphones.com/ has more drive.

would be interesting by what cause, manufacturing or design.

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I totally subscribe to your posting. :+1: :clap:

Just one minor point:

I guess they are not exactly open on what they are doing to make for a better press coverage, when they present their next phone or phones (I guess there won’t be tablet).
You are right with shiftphone as well.
Especially the new “mu” seems to be an interesting thing, as a likewise idea has been discussed here in this forum as well (if my memory serves me right).
On the other hand I feel reminded of the policy of all the big phone companies, with their model-policy. Since September 2015 they have (had) the 4, 5, 6, 7 and the 12 (now mu). While that of course attracts more people, as everyone finds a fitting device, it feels like switching too fast to be sustaninable,

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This is the core of the problem.

The question is whether this problem exists because of Fairphone bad communication, or because of your interpretation.

The fact that the core module is expensive or very difficult to replace, is a bummer. It is a weak spot in the FP2 design. It sucks! But it is still better than the competition (which competition?). I mean the main competition regarding the modularity strength (Fairphone has various strengths) is, I guess, Moto mods.

Nothing lasts forever, including no phone does. I suggest we’re honest and upfront about this. I’ve had countless of people ask me to explain about my FP2. I’ve given a presentation about the FP2 as well. I’ve always been honest about the fact that the core module is a weak spot in the modular design, as it is expensive to replace. There is someone (@Leo_TheCrafter) who has plans to make a replacement core module (64 bit Atom though).

Lets be clear that software-wise it can be updated through official and unofficial channels. Hardware-wide it can be updated as well, except for the core module. (Though there’s a third party effort to fix that)

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but potential is far from being exploited, despite the opinion that it might be not that interesting for the standard user, but Fairphone user standard user?
If I get to this point, explaining modular design, I feel missing something

I love that, LOS 16!

they may go the other way around, first get phones sold and move step by step towards more sustainability. At Fairphone , sustainability was and is always the focus.
I agree that shifphones is far not as transparent as Fairphone.
Surprisingly, they have been selling 35’000 devices so far, see

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I don’t find that too surprising (it’s not such a high number anyway). They started shortly after Fairphone, had different phone sizes to choose from, always a current model available, and got pretty good press coverage in Germany.

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I expected a way more, considering their portfolio

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I don’t really know if it was worth it.

  • I have always been jealous of the quality of pictures other phones produced.
  • in my 3 years of an FP2 owner I’ve never been able to take phonecalls on my loudspeaker.
  • Using my phone in the car with google maps left me with a burning hot phone and wouldn’t be reliable in routing me in time.
  • since the last android upgrade the phone essentially became unusable.
  • Fairphone support has been very quiet since Android 7. In the forum a lot of people with big problems since Android 7 are voicing unhappy customer feedback. All we get back is criticism from other happy customers and no actual advise or help.

I mean, if you foresee, that Android 7 makes the phone slow, crashing, facing customers with black screens, why not strip down the software to necessary basics and be open about it with users. I don’t need a fancy layout if the phone does it’s basic jobs.

I have been asked what i want Fairphone to see in the next future and the options were planting trees or do something other totally unrelated to software and mobile development! I have been furious.

Though i am a software tester, i am not very techy with my phone. A phone became an essential part of daily life, which has to function. If FP does not get the basics working like a fine oiled machinery, someone else will. FP is not the only sustainable brand on the market.

I had and will further support the path FP has started to pave, but as a company with consumer products you’ll need to be able to compete. If you don’t, planting trees won’t make it better.

And yes, i have read about how difficult it is to exchange the core module.

The one good thing was that i was able to replace my battery. Will i stay with FP? I don’t know.

Have you tried some of the alternatives to Google Maps?

I have, on multiple smartphones. I’ve yet to see a smartphone and maps application which doesn’t become “hot” and doesn’t use a lot of battery. Either they do that, or they’re not very accurate.

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