I am wondering if fairphone would be willing to create a basic phone. A basic phone, without a touch screen, high resolution camera, a large hard drive, and web browsing, would allow for users who prefer a simpler, more minimalist design. Also it would be an option for those who want an even more ethical phone considering it would require fewer conflict minerals. The basic phone I have now is made by Samsung but I’m concerned about the practices used in mining, manufacturing, and its likely planned obsolescence after two or so years. Please share your thoughts and knowledge.
I think this is very unlikely. If you want that type of phone, than the most ethical approach is probably to look for a good second hand phone. Avoiding having everything new is a very ethical decision. I find for example living in a well insulated house from the 80’s much more ethical and good for the environment than building myself one of these highly expensive eco houses.
Most people want a smartphone. They don’t want a basic phone without web browser and on which you can’t install your favourite apps. That “basic phone” would be a small niche.
I think basic phones (with only phone and SMS features) don’t become obsolete unless GSM is shut down. App incompatibilities, slow-down due to current software and security holes aren’t a matter for these phones.
And if the hardware breaks down, give it to recycling and buy an used basic phone from ebay. Used phones from ebay save resources and are therefore very sustainable and eco-friendly.
I agree that purchasing second hand is good. I should have bought second hand on ebay but I think at the time I wanted to find something from Craigslist or a local shop and found it very difficult. I ended up getting a basic phone from best buy because it was $21. I had another basic phone from many years earlier that stopped working after a few years because of the battery. Verizon stopped manufacturing the battery so the phone is now obsolete. Also smartphones are only used by the majority in developed nations, where as in less developed nations only 20% of mobile phone users have a smart phone.
I have a fairphone 2 which I am using 24/7 and love. But would be very interested in a basic (text & phone only) phone that allows personal detachment from the ever consuming media- I am sure there is a market for something of quality and ethics for anyone who either doesn’t want the hassle or wants to detach ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thelightphone/the-light-phone, ) a