Long-Lasting Design

The longer you can keep your phone, the smaller its environmental footprint becomes.

So we design for longevity, easy repair, and modular upgrades. Our goal is to make your phone’s hardware last as long as possible and to provide the support to keep its software up to date. From the battery to the camera modules, all Fairphone modules are available in our shop.

Why do things need to change?

 

We’re fighting against a market trend where the average phone is replaced way too early and often, creating a huge environmental impact.

1.  By 2040 14% of the total global footprint will come from the communications technology sector.

2. Smartphones’ contribution will surpass that of desktops, laptops, and displays altogether.

3. 82% of the emissions of a smartphone comes from its production.

Our approach: Innovating long-lasting design

We tend to treat our smartphones as semi-disposable objects, to be upgraded or discarded as soon as something better comes along – even when they would have years of life left in them. The consumer electronics industry profits massively from perpetuating these short product lifecycles. And as technology advances rapidly, we as consumers are losing the ability to repair, and truly understand how we can keep our devices longer.

As we have shown in our Life Cycle Assessment 82% of emissions occur at production, which is why product longevity is so important. Fairphone wants to challenge the dominant acceptance of this make-use-dispose mentality. We demonstrate hardware and software solutions. We call upon the industry to embrace these solutions and in doing so, we’re working to give consumers a choice.

Modular Smartphones

We are going against the make-use-dispose trend, by making modular smartphones that are durable and easy to repair. Fairphones are designed out of seven modules, that make up the device (a bit like Lego bricks). This enables users to easily repair or swap out a broken module, like a cracked screen for example.

Our modular design proved that doing something unconventional can deliver major benefits. It makes the Fairphone easy to open and repair. This empowers our customers to use their phones longer, which makes them way more sustainable.

Hardware Upgrades

Instead of announcing a new model every year, that makes the last model obsolete, we’ve improved the existing phones on a modular basis, with our current users in mind. The camera upgrades for the Fairphone 3 are our latest example. This is a groundbreaking concept in a world where phones are treated as disposable commodities!

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Software Support

We’re working to support the software for over 5 years – well beyond the average in the industry. This way, our core value of longevity is designed directly into our smartphones. Case in point: The Fairphone 2 received an update to Android 9 in 2021, 5 years after its release. In addition, we offer the privacy-focused /e/OS as an alternative operating system to Google’s Android.

Circular Business Models

We’re moving one step closer to a circular economy by encouraging the reuse and repair of our phones, researching electronics recycling options and reducing electronic waste worldwide. And to make the most out of the reuse of our devices, we’re looking into ‘Fairphone as a service’ propositions.

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Our progress and achievements

Fairphones are designed to do something very special: help us get closer to our vision of a fair economy. The phone itself is just the starting point. Here are some meaningful milestones that help to change the industry from within.

How we’re making an impact:

  • With the Fairphone 1, we offered spare parts on our website, as an industry-first.
  • The Fairphone 2 had many firsts: It was the first modular device on the market, the first phone to receive a camera upgrade, and the first and only smartphone running on a Snapdragon 801 to receive updates from Android 5 all the way to Android 9. The last three years of support was done without the support of the chipset provider.
  • With the Fairphone 3, we achieved an even lower environmental footprint, with a more robust and longer-lasting modular design and another camera modules upgrade >>

Featured projects & resources

  • Fairphone 3 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

    At Fairphone, our dedication to change means a dedication to measurement. We turned to the independent experts at the Fraunhofer Institute IZM to examine the phone’s lifelong environmental impact.

    Read more
  • Fairphone 3+ and modular upgrades

    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.

    Learn more
  • A breakthrough for Fairphone 2: Android 9

    Software is the unsung hero of longer-lasting devices. To keep an old phone going, you want the most recent, most well-equipped operating system you can get.

    All the details

Together we can change the way products are made

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