Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Jun 2013 23:46 UTC, submitted by raboof
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The entire global supply chain is too complex and overwhelming to be addressed as whole. Which is why we're starting with a single product. One, single, open, high-performance smartphone made as fairly as possible with a transparent supply chain. One step at a time." I love the idea behind the Fairphone (and it's a Dutch project, too), but I'm too much of a realist to think it will truly force large corporations and consumers to change their minds.
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I'm suspect
by jokkel on Tue 4th Jun 2013 09:01 UTC
Member since:

I don't see them doing better than Apples does today regarding the environment and suppliers . Or products that are TCO certified

The phone is just a generic off the shelf chinese phone, which fairphone's supplier A-Hong produces for other people too. It sells for around 150 € today. The only thing fairphone really does is use more fairly produced tin solder.

They don't provide a plan for recycling or improved working conditions in China. With the 1.5 million € for the 500 phones manufacturers will not be impressed. It just does not have the power that bigger manufacturers have.

A company that wants to produce a phone, but does not have a single engineer is very suspect to me.

Reply Score: 6

RE: I'm suspect
by sssam on Wed 5th Jun 2013 08:09 in reply to "I'm suspect"
sssam Member since:

Assuming you are happy with a locked down proprietary phone. (this is OSnews)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: I'm suspect
by Snial on Wed 5th Jun 2013 08:23 in reply to "I'm suspect"
Snial Member since:

Fairphone's objective is to provide a phone with conflict-free (and where possible, fairly-traded, e.g. in the case of gold) minerals. Therefore the supply chain is important, but hardware and software engineering aren't yet going to be a major goal of theirs - and I'm writing this as someone who has helped engineer the firmware on a number of Symbian OS smartphones.

Also, Apple's record, though good for the industry, isn't yet conflict-free. Their Tantalum is 21% conflict-free; Tin is 26% conflict-free; Tungsten is 29% conflict-free; Gold is 44% conflict-free. Since the values are <50% in all cases, they can't yet claim to be conflict-free yet and Fairtrade isn't yet a stated Apple goal. And again, I'm not anti-Apple, I've been a Mac guy since the dark days in the mid-90s; love their products and admire many Apple ethics.

Although Fairphone are not big, in this case it can be an advantage since they only have to certify a relatively small number of suppliers and make sure A-Hong uses the materials. I don't think this is implausible.

At the time of writing they've had 5239 pre-orders; running at close to 1000 per day with 9 days to go; so they've got the minimum they need to produce the first batch already.

It's easy to be cynical and therefore one should check out their operation. In their case it would seem rather incongruous of them to spend years extensively covering all the major issues surrounding ethical consumer electronics; report them first hand; only to use them to exploit both the public and the suppliers they claim to care about. There are much easier ways of exploiting people if that's what they wanted to do.


Reply Parent Score: 3