Why Android and nothing else?

Hi wlendl, I could be interested by buying your phone… if you still want to re-sell it (because my current situation of unemployed people forbids me to subscribe for a new FP at the entire price… for the moment).
I’m French and living in France, but I’ve a couple of friends in Germany (even if rather close to München). Where d’you live? If you prefer, you can answer and send me a proposition on my personnal adress : XXXXX . Best regards, Rémi.

Sorry, I think I will keep it and have another try - as I am a graphic designer I need to know what people are busy with all the day although I’m an old fashioned lover of paper and no friend of digital products as you have already got to know …

@Remi_D, I would suggest you edit your post and take out your e-mail address. Otherwise, you might experience some spamming in the future. This is an open forum, after all. :slight_smile:

Just for completeness, you could have sent it as a private message to @wlendl, so not everyone could have read it.
I wonder if it would be possible to create a filter which alerts people to that option whenever they type in an e-mail address here. Coding an if-then statement should be possible…

if $@$ in char then $popup$

Or suchalike. :wink:

@Chris_R and @Robin, do you think It would be worth to alert one of the FP team to do that? Discourse is open source, after all… :slight_smile:


Thank you for your special caring about my interests, but don’t worry: 1- Wlendl has already answered me on this address and all is OK now (he decided to retry to use this bloody android machine… ;-)) ; 2- I’m not dump and it was a “special address” for forums and web business, thus I don’t care if all the spammers of the world use it ; 3- Anyway and following your advises, I delated it from my first message, ok, ok, and thanks again, but… I don’t think it was necessary to call the police or disclaim from the UN tribune! ;-))

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Hi everybody,
I am new to the topic, but could you list some reasons why there is no other kindy of system beside android? I heared rumors about an firefox system? What are the disatvantages to load such a system and are there some experiences out there? I do not question the strategy to produce fp for android at first, but for a guideline for alternative systems would be great. Well loking for Experiences and discussion,
have a nice weekend,

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You should read this topic. It is quite long though, so feel free to hit the “Summarize this topic”-button. :wink:

Edit: The summarize-function doesn’t work that well… :stuck_out_tongue:

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Simple explanation: the chipset (the ‘brains’ of your phone) requires software (so-calked ‘drivers’) that is specific for an OS/device combination. The manufacturer of the chipset, MediaTek, has made such drivers for Android 4.2 on the FairPhone. There are no drivers for other operating systems and since only MediaTek can make such drivers, we are dependent on them making these drivers.

Work is being done to get MediaTek to release the source code for the existing drivers to the general public, so the community can adapt them to work with other OSes, but it’s questionable if that will ever succeed.

In the meantime, FairPhone is working on getting MediaTek to release updated FairPhone drivers for Android 4.4, so there still is a small chance we’ll get an official Android 4.4 update. Still, even if that happens, it still won’t allow us to run other OSes like Firefox OS.


You can read on here and I invite you to sign the petiton:


@Stefan yes good one I already signed, I hope mediatek is listening…

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If Mediathek won’t release new drivers, Fairphone should hire another manufacturer. Seriosly, that’s stuff the company Creative did: not updating drivers after releae of a product.

btw: Through reverse-engineering, it would certainly would be posstible to creative free drivers. Like the sound drrivers for Creative sound cards by Daniel K (look them up) - they work fine or even better than the official ones. But I doub’t Fairphone could do that, because technically it is illegal.

Because Android is best :slight_smile:

If I may quote:

The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying glass.

While I agree with you in principle, Fairphone committed themselves to build up a long-term relationship with the manufacturer they chose. They tried to describe the process in several blogposts. And they have a point in doing so.

To be very clear about it: I hate being stuck with a MediaTek chip with closed sources and a lot of binary blobs. I hate it because I feel locked in. It’s not fair to me as a customer that I can’t choose to update to the latest Android to get some security issues sorted out. It’s not fair to me as a customer that I can’t choose the operating system. It’s not fair to me as a customer that my device already was outdated software-wise by the time it was delivered. (Especially now that <20 year old major vulnerabilities seem to be surfacing all of a sudden every other week or so.)

But I knew, at least partly, when I ordered the phone. And I learned a lot more since then.

In the end, it is all about choices.
And there seems to be no real “right” choice. To end with another quote:

There is no right life in the wrong one.


There was a lengthy and varied debate on this topic on the original FP forum. Since the new version coincided with the arrival of circa 25k new FP users, it has got buried a little.
Seriously, the choice of a closed chipset was a very bad decision.
FP now have to produce their own updates for an aging OS, on the basis of no further income - this is obviously not a situation that is sustainable in the long-term.
The way to have the hardware usable for the longest possible time is to have the hardware open to community initiatives to port new features to the old hardware - in the way that linux is available for many incredibly old PCs.
Until the mediatek chipset code is public, FP is a machine with a limited life-span, and FP’s resources will be drained by us users demanding support for an increasingly outdated machine that will be dependent on Mediatek’s goodwill, which since FP is a minority customer, may not be forthcoming. Other phone makers would simply leave us to suffer, hoping that we would be forced to upgrade, but FP, committed to being ethical, will continue to support us, even though we are a drain on future development.
As someone who passionately supports FP, I want them to be influential, so that other sectors of the industry have to sit up and take notice.
Most decisions FP have made have been excellent, and the achievement is already monumental - I am not a critic, just someone who clearly sees that this decision was not one that supports FP’s aims, which I strongly support.
FP2 must be built on truly open hardware.


Which will need to be found before ;-). Sorry, but this point is coming up and up again and i feel a strong urge to disagree with posts ending with somebody must do somethink. I would be much more comfortable with the community when even the most passionate people - including myself - realize that they are not alone out there. Building FP2 on open hardware, whatever that might be, is certainly somethink to consider. But given that there is now open hardware smartphone out there, it is a fairly strong request to make - and i think it is not a must. There are a lot of other complicated thinks to consider - certification, price, manufactures able to produce small batches… etc.

Ich finde es gut das du dich für den Ton entschuldigt hast. Ich bin einer der vielen deutschsprachigen Community-Mitglieder. Wenn du fragen hast, frag ruhig in deutsch. Wenn du deine Frage nicht im offenen Forum stellen willst, kannst du auch eine Private Nachricht schicken.

Is that serious question (no offence) or more of a rethorical one?

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I agree with Ben. The only open source phone to have ever existed was the OpenMoko (of which I have one, that indeed I was even able to repair myself after years, changing the touchscreen).
OpenMoko looked the perfect thing at the time -it never drained enough users to even start an app ecosystem, and they are dead now.
So, yes, there are ways to build open hardwares, but smartphones are very complex, and while I understand (and support!) the fact that FP intends to design the next machine (instead of just buying an existing design), I doubt we can afford “everything at the same time”, starting from scratch, getting and publishing all the hardware design open source, and keeping pace with actual performance.
Remember we have posters here that would spit if the next OS version is not absolutely the latest, which demands very efficient hardware.

@dilgreen I am still hoping that, as the MT65xx chipset gets older, FPs position gets stronger against Mediatek. Maybe then Mediate will find it less important to keep its drivers proprietary.

@Herve5 As said in another thread: I don’t think that newer Android releases need an especially efficient hardware (like iOS needs it for example) because Android is aiming to developing countries with low spec-phones.

And BTW, FP’s specs are pretty decent. :slight_smile:

I didn’t react, and don’t want to feverishly debate this, all the more than historically my family has been using macintoshes, that had (at the time) a very long life duration wrt PCs, with multiple large system updates being ‘bearable’ by the same old hardware.
But I am a bit sceptical on this concerning Android, because of the tablet environment.

Android is not only for phones. And the current picture for the tablets is very telling IMHO: there is a huge, and to me fatal, move from laptops to tablets.
Which means, very ambitious apps arriving on Android.

And here I don’t mean just a printing capacity for instance.

The german guys in Softmaker just released a prototype version of an openoffice/word/excel/powerpoint complete suite, exhaustive to the tiniest detail, that just ports the whole thing onto tablets, immediately useable -as long as the tablet is powerful enough of course.

Photomate, similarly, proposes a photo processing that starts with raw photos and incorporate extremely ambitious tunings like color-per-color light intensity curves fitting: with this kind of tool 90% of the professional photographers can just trash Photoshop. Again, as long as the tablet is powerful enough.

Samsung has been incorporating handwritting recognition in phones and tablets for a couple of years now, and for having seen my awful, french, unseparated script being totally recognized with zero error straight at the first attempt (compared to the pathetic results of all previous attempts in the past -remember Apple’s Newton?), I can say here again, as long as the tablet is powerful enough… plenty of things are to come.

This, to me, means the next versions of Android will be more ambitious, would it be just to follow: incorporating more efficient filesystems, printers etc. and these Androids will run on extremely more powerful tablets.
Because of this I’m almost sure they won’t be downward-compatible. This won’t be because of phones, but because of tablets.

Now, guess what. Maybe the next Fair phone will be… a tablet, after all :smiley:

(fair and root? indeed it’d be an impulse buy for me…)

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I don’t think anyone would use a Photoshop clone on a phone, doubting also a.complete office suite being used on a phone. So these apps don’t have to be installable on phones. As long as Google does not implement this into core-AOSP I don’t think there is the need for worries (and if Google does, hopefully until then, we will.be able to install alternative OSes).

And remember: the FP is featuring a Quad core processor!!! :wink:

Interesting thought! Add a (fair) attachable keyboard, and allow for installing other OSs (or dual boot setup), and I might jump aboard the same train :thumbsup:

Then why not build a fair laptop/convertible with PC-architecture??? It could run any OS (Windows/Linux).