Will fairness be accessible for me?

I have no mobile phone today and I never had one. Because I was not so happy to have a not-fair phone.

I’m very aware of what is high tech and what it cost : I grew up in a high tech environment. My parents had a little electronic company in the South of France with a strong R&D service that run, in the '80th, the first transistor in the World up to 4 GHz (a Mitsubishi prototype made for running at 2GHz, so before the end of the month, Japanese engineers went among ewes and sheep to see their chip)

I am Franciscan Friar, kind of monk. I promised to live in poverty, chastity and obedience. I have no money, no bank account on my own. I earn few wages and give it immediately to my community. I can emit checks for curent spendings, but important spendings are discused in the community. And buying a Fairphone is of the second kind.

I used to work with young people, teen agers, living, sleeping, with a mobile, playing with cracked programs. It was a handicap for me to not have a mobile phone.
But, by the time, they understood my position. They knew I have only free (open) programs on my computer under Linux. And I could announce them proudly I would buy a fair phone soon.

I failed buying a Fairphone 1, because I was traveling when it went out,and because it was difficult to react quickly without a payment card, gathering money, finding a way… Too late…
No matter : I would expect longer…

This summer I pre-ordered for a new Fairephone.
I guessed it would be more expensive than the previous one. So I asked for help around me. I’ve got 300€.
The new Fairephone is really more expensive than I would expected. 300€ is far not enough !
I don’t discuss the price : I’m confident it cost fairly the announced price.
But now, near me, some are saying that a Franciscan having promised to live in poverty can’t have a phone at 500€. A phone after all.
OK, they don’t know about the technology or fairness price and are not aware with cheap mobiles around them or by their own. And they are on Windows and see no problem.
But it is where I live : in the World, in a community.
And I can’t fight always against mis-comprehension, programed obsolescence, private licensed softwares.
I would have been pride to have a Fairphone and tell around me : "It’s possible to be fair and sustainable and free!"
I’m not so sure today for me : is it possible to be fair, sustainable, free and poor ?

I think I will send back the 300€ and remain without mobile phone. It will be my contribution to fairness and sustainability : delaying technology; remaining with the growing handicap of having no mobile phone.

Maybe one day…


I think it is refreshing for young people to see that a life without a mobile phone is possible. So I think it’s great that you want to prolong your undigitalized life.


It is. It’s just not “tres cool”. Just don’t buy the latest technology, but you don’t have to stay away from it. Just don’t fall for stupid “apps” or special software if there are alternatives. Buy used and only swap parts.

Buy an old laptop and put in a new SSD. It will run Linux just fine and twice as fast, especially if your turn off flash and use a slim desktop like xfce you will be able to work (writing, browsing the Internet, crop and edit pictures <24MP) just fine. Buy a used non-smart phone, buy a new battery or just get a used iPhone or Android smartphone but try to avoid apps that “lock you in”.

Like this you have never wasted a lot of resources, even if parts of this devices were build/harvested “unfair”. But don’t think too much, enjoy life … try to meet real people and don’t hold on to “your” gear. It is nothing but dead technology. Use it, and if not needed anymore, give it away or let it recycle if possible. Don’t keep it at home unused. It’s what you do with it what counts, but reading what you wrote, you already understood that well. Don’t get distracted by the kids playing with their toys. Most of the stuff is just very selfish and not very helpful for young people.

But games on a new computer can be fun and can be shared legally (just switch the person in front of the screen!) and a smartphone camera is also often very helpful.

I also think that a lot people will sell their FP1s soon … I don’t think the FP project will take care of this, but have a look around if you really want one, you will find one for ~150 EUR (all on ebay, I wonder why). I would only spend my money on a used smartphone that is well supported by software updates.


I would advise to choose a second-hand Fairphone 1.
I own a Fairphone 1 which I find perfectly well running, and one of the few reasons I would have had to “upgrade” -a word I don’t like too much, like many FP owners- is finding a convincing way to resell the first model.
In the end, I won’t do this, not because I’m integrist about lasting products, nor because I would not like Franciscans -on the contrary.
But the fact is, I don’t need to be Franciscan to find €500 is too costly. The image I have of Fairphone as a company has evolved quite a lot since the announcement of the new cost. I never expected such a jump compared to FP1. Being aware I may look a bit insulting to them, I find they are quietly evolving from a user base built from sincere, mid-healthy people (the ones of the initial crowdfunding), to, well, richer snobs. People for which having the fair thing is just fashion.
Sure, this is a better market, a better business development path, as some say. More economically efficient. But without me I fear.
To get back to the original question: ask for a FP1 being donated to you. I’m almost sure you’ll get one, without need to discuss how many hundred € its second-hand value is. Inded if the FP2 cost had stayed around the same value of the FP1, I myself would have donated my FP1 to you.
You will find a healthier FP1 owner. Maybe one is already contacting you at this very moment…


Wow, that’s harsh. The cost breakdown clearly shows there’s no excessive margin on FP2, and a modern phone that’s future proof just costs that amount of money. Being able and willing to spend €525 on a relatively high end phone does not make somebody a rich snob. It certainly doesn’t say anything about the heart for fairness.


Jerry I agree it’s a bit harsh. But OTOH, when I bought my FP1, it was half the cost, supposedly as fair, and there was a cost breakdown too…
My revenue didn’t double in the meanwhile… and I don’t find the FP 2 twice better either…
To take another example : a phone within two hundred-something € is a phone I could offer to my sons, for instance. Over 500, they would be shocked at the spending.

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While I can understand the sentiment, it remains a choice for everyone individually. Your reasoning for not buying a FP2 (as a gift no less) is 100% valid and there isn’t a bad thing anyone can say about that. But that should go both ways. Don’t discredit people because they decide that 500+ euro’s is a price they are willing to pay for a phone like this.

I understand you’re disappointed about FP2’s price, but don’t take it out on others.


FWIW, the reasons for the doubling in price are exposed there. But, they didn’t convince me it was for fairness
By comparing to the previous cost I understand the doubling is mostly devoted to actually learning to design (instead of just buying an existing design), and with this to land onto a design that is very brilliant (modular, with many small parts very easy to replace).
This is very seducing (I’m an engineer and actually can see myself ‘playing with the screwdriver’ here, better than for instance on an Openmoko, where replacing the broken screen appeared feasible but definitely was adventurous to me).
This is seducing, but by no way related to fair trade.
Really, compared to the FP1 I can see a change in customer base. A base healthier than both me and the OP, brother FrViPofm…

My “facts” and “random thoughts about the costs and fairness of the FP2”

  1. FP1U and FP2 use the same two “fair” source materials. Currently gold/tungsten is being research as well. There is currently no list in which one could look up the different fair materials included in each piece of hardware. Anyone interested in doing this?

  2. The FP2 just costs more to begin with: €230.30 “just the parts”, Resellers and taxes add €100 more. So now all the other stuff (Patents, Software, development, operations) go on top of all that. Therefore, this new phone is automatically more pricey.
    As far as I know, there is no list comparing the different costs of both phones. That would be interesting.
    FP2: https://www.fairphone.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Fairphone2-Cost-Breakdown.pdf
    FP1: https://www.fairphone.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Fairphone_Cost_Breakdown_and_Key_Sept2013.pdf

I have the feeling that with all the new, heavy patented stuff (The “IP” costs are four times the workers pay) the SoCs are getting more expansive. I’m not sure, but I think a mediatek SoC is very cheap compared to a Snapdragon. But I never saw these numbers published anywhere. Is someone here able to look this up? I wonder if the OEM gets the reduction for all the SoC he buys, but never gives that back to the people only buying a few phones … I’m sure they use a lot of Qualcomm chips at Hi-P. But there a not a lot of reports about the OEMs here.

  1. This is why I care so much about the software. It’s a good phone, very similar to existing ones that proofed that they are good about a year ago. And it’s modular.

  2. The FP1 cannot be rescued without mediatek and they don’t care anymore. But if this path is secured for the FP2 it is at least worth its money, because parts can be replaced and it will last a long time.

  3. But for me, the FP2 is no more “fairer” than the FP1. And the is the part that makes me write here so much. It’s a better phone, but not with more fairer parts (at least that I know of). It just got more “advanced technology”.

  4. With all this compared, it will be the software that will decide about its longevity and therefor its real “value”.

There will be an update about the software soon:

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There certainly is: Urban Mining Manual. Fairt tantalum is used in the capacitors and fair tin in the soldering paste.

[quote=“fp1_wo_sw_updates,post:9”]It just got more “advanced technology”

  1. With all this compared, it will be the software that will decide about its longevity and therefor its real “value”.[/quote]

People were complaining about the GPS and the camera and also a lot of people had problems with their battery bloating (including me). So I think it’s not only a more advanced technology, but also one that is more reliable. And reliable and long-lasting hardware has its price.

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I haven’t found that one yet … but I wrote “two” in the end I guess I wasn’t that far off!

A pdf behind a “mail wall” is a bit hard to find. But thank you, I’m aware of all this … I was more looking for some kind of “bill of materials”: Solder: yes, resistors: yes, SoC: no. So one gets an overview on how much of the fairer stuff is actually used. That’s a bit sad.

I know that talking about it is also very important. Also thank you for explaining me that continuity is also (if not the most) important thing. Even more important than all the single pieces.

This may sound picky, but I want progress. Every new FP release needs to be more fair than the one before, else it is better not build it and just wait a bit longer. I will gladly pay for that.

For the FP2: I see the modularity and the (maybe) more open software as biggest benefit right now. But if the contracts with the company building the resistors for example got better and they agree to use fair gold in the future, that is also an improvement, I totally agree.

There are so many management system out there, that are used to continuously improve things, but I don’t see all this published for the FP project itself. Why not? All I see is sometimes is a not very detailed blog entry or a picture of post-its on a window. Tell us more about all the good process FP makes! I want to know all about it!

For me the FP1 was never good hardware … it was a off-the-shelf phone to see if a good idea would work.

But one can also learn a lot from a “$12 “Gongkai” Phone” or the $7 cellphone. And no, I’m not talking about cheap labor or environmental pollution. The question is: Do you have good solutions for common problems? That does not always mean to take the latest and best technology made by the big companies. Broken USB ports, broken displays and batteries? Changing a SD card on the fly? That’s a good step forward. And the best thing for me so far is that the FPs are more easier to repair. The second best is being able to fix the phones software … so they last even longer. And not just because QC has a new chip out or Google wants a new payment system to be pushed out.

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Jftr: If you scroll down, you can find a check box, which will allow you to download the PDF without providing any information.

Yep, did it that way, thanks! I just skipped through the three files. But it’s more for awareness/education … not a soft version of a “BoM” or something at least widely related, so one could compare the fair parts inside the FP1 with the ones in the FP2.

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In case you are looking for valid reasons to justify spending 500 € for a FP2 towards your community, your spiritual authority and yourself: This kind of device is called a ‘phone’ for historical reasons, but it is much more than that. It is an ultra-compact, portable, mobile-network and WiFi enabled computer. Not quite a general purpose computer in the sense a PC is, but a computer, still. For a good (special purpose) computer, and a fairer-than-average produced one at that, 500 € does not seem to much to me.

Thus I think that if your community and you agree that it needs this kind of computer for your social work, additionally to the computer(s) you already have, and the community can afford it, I don’t see why they should not spend that money. Note that it wrote ‘it [i.e., the community] needs’, not ‘you need’. While it would be bewildering for most of us to consider our smart phone anything but a personal gadget, I think the way of life you chose might allow to view this device as a tool. A tool belonging to the community and shared between those Friars that require it for what they do, not a personal property. Just like you probably do with other valuable or expensive tools that the community keeps not to amass richness or have its members live in luxury, but as means to a (good) end.


I’d say, the ‘advanced technology’ also specifically allows for much easier repairability than with the FP1 with this ‘Lego blocks’ design, and this is very significant.
But so, so costly is the difference…

The modularity and hopefully (we will know more soon) more open software are very good steps forward. But not a lot has changed regarding the “fairness” inside the actually sold phone. That’s not wrong, but one should be honest about that.

It’s okay to just sell a “better” phone to add new people to the project and raise awareness. But it’s also important to let the people know the full amount of reached and improved fairness in- and outside the phone and what was accomplished in the background (“electronics supply chain”), so people do not feel tricked in the end.

I like how @keesj defined the project goals in the replicant discussion: “… producing a phone to improve the electronics value chain one step at a time.”

I guess this time, a lot more fairness went into campaigning, the design, and talking to the suppliers from the miners up to the manufactures, than into the phones’ real materials. At least this is how I understand the blog entries. And that’s fine with me.

So the improved values this time are: A more expensive SoC (I assume) with a more modular own/OEM based more stable phone design, press coverage that lead to more awareness for the goals, the audit/improvement of two OEMs, and maybe, the partly more open software, we soon will know more about.

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I do not think you need to sacrifice your desire to connect with the world to teach younger people something.

I also would advice for a second hand FP1 or to wait a short while (what’s another 18 months or so after all) aqnd then buy a FP2 second hand.


Frère Pottier,
in case nothing else works, getting a Jolla tablet (at around €200) may be an alternate solution.

Hardware wouldn’t be fair, but on the contrary, software is extremely fair, in the sense it’s practically the last* operating system independent from the american giants Google and Apple.

You would exchange hardware fairness against software one IMHO, although it’d be worth checking the relative importance of each one.

All the best,
(*) there also is the Blackberry OS

Wel ! It will be possible for me to be fair. Because there is a real community around the Fairphone.
All your replies show your interest to this question. Many thanks to you.

But most of all, I’m just receiving a Post package. I’ve still not open it. I guess it contains a Fairphone 1 sent by one of you for free.
I think maybe he would remain anonymous. Magari lui vuole rimanere anonime :wink: It is to him to reveal himself as he want. But it is to me to thank him, anonymously and publicly.
Thousand thanks to him.
Thanks for the fairphone !
And thanks for the noble gesture !

Now, I have 300€ that would go to the refugees organization in Besançon.

Even if the cost of the new Fairphone is too high to make fairness at hand to every one, I can testimony that the community takes over from the company.
And I encourage the community to strength this way to spare fairness.

Thanks to Fairphone to make it possible with the site, the forum and the private messages.
A suggestion : Would it be possible to develop a “second-fifth hand exchange place” on the site ? It would be a other way for Fairphone to support the community and the longevity of its material. Maybe at forum.fairphone.com/c/second-hand.

Once more : Thanks to you all ! God bless you (if it makes sens for you).
I leave you : I have a package to open…


Thats an awesome story! @Daria_Fairphone and @joe take note! :slight_smile: