Will there be a FairPhone 4+ or FairPhone 5+
This would have two benefits:
The ability to freely replace modules, experiencing the joy of partial upgrades.
Compatibility of parts between FairPhone 4 and FairPhone 4+, extending the supply of parts.
With 5 years of parts supply for FairPhone 4 and an additional 5 years for FairPhone 4+, the total would be ten years.
I think there are two challenges to overcome when it comes to long support: One thing is for sure keeping spare parts in stock. And if you are going to produce a new batch that is better in some aspects than the previous ones, why not? It’s development effort and if a new batch of spare parts can be produced without that it saves that effort. But that alone doesn’t make a long support period. Software is a very important aspect here: If it’s getting more and more difficult to write updates around a not anymore supported chipset it doesn’t help to have spare parts available. The FP5 has a guaranteed long support period for its chipset, so that’s good already. Upgrading individual parts is then probably only a nice thing to have but not necessary for a long support span.