A new milestone in fairer electronics: Introducing Fairphone 3+
There are days that make me especially proud and excited to be part of the Fairphone movement. Today is one of them. Our entire team has been working hard to create a revolutionary development that I’m super pleased to announce….but first let me give you a bit of the background.
Today marks a giant leap forward, but it’s a journey that’s not going to be quick. Seven years after the launch of our first phone, many of the issues in our industry are the same – or even more urgent – than when we first started.
The phone industry is driven by innovation. But these days, innovation is increasingly incremental. That means there’s only the tiniest difference between one model and the next, and in fact, most new smartphones are very similar.
The industry has created a habit of hunger for the latest improvements, and consumers have embraced the fashionability of owning the latest model, even if their old phones are still working. Even if some of the attractive new features that seem like siren calls at the time of purchase never actually get used.
This behavior is having a massive impact, and it’s not a positive one. Most people replace their phones after a little over 2 years, and only 20% of their old phones are properly recycled. This means 1.4 billion new phones are sold every year… It’s no surprise that electronic waste is now the world’s fastest-growing waste stream.
Our make-use-dispose attitude has a negative effect on every step of the supply chain, from working conditions in the mines, to wages in factories, not to mention the strain on natural resources.
If you’re already a member of the Fairphone community, I don’t have to tell you how urgently I feel the need to see this change. It’s what drives all of us to do things differently. By establishing a market for ethical electronics, we’re motivating the entire industry to act more responsibly. By making the ethical choice to buy a Fairphone, you’re signaling to friends and relatives how their choices affect people and the planet.
And today, instead of announcing a new model of Fairphone that makes the last model obsolete, we’re improving the existing phone on a modular basis, with our current users in mind. It’is a perfect example of why we focus so much on modular design. We can upgrade just a few parts of the Fairphone 3, without needing to redesign the entire phone. Getting a better camera is one of the top reasons that many people buy a new phone. We listened to that – Just like we’ve done before, with our camera-upgrades for the Fairphone 2.
We’ve also been able to increase the amount of fair materials; the Fairphone 3+ is now made with 40% post-consumer recycled plastics — a big jump from the 9% we were able to manage for the Fairphone 3.
The Fairphone 3+ will ship with Android 10, an upgrade which will be available to Fairphone 3 users as of September 7th.
The Fairphone 3+ is our next step in addressing the smartphone industry’s constant cycle of make-use-dispose. We are showing consumers and the industry that you don’t need to buy a new phone to get an upgrade, or toss a phone away because one part fails. We’re also showing phone manufacturers a different approach to design: you don’t need to create a new model when you can launch new, improved modules. Doesn’t that just make more sense?
Beyond that, this launch is the latest example of our commitment to a different way of doing things. Of striving to find the fairest way. The most humane way. The most transparent way. Making electronics longer-lasting, repairable and upgradeable is an important part of the journey toward a brighter future. Together, we’re showing the world that a fairer, more humane, more transparent way of creating electronics is not just a possible business model, it’s a proven one. And that a fairer future is in our hands.