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An update from our CEO: Reported software issues and our next steps

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January Update

Hi everyone, I’d like to kick off 2021 with some encouraging news about our ongoing efforts to fix the issues mentioned below: Our latest software update for Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 3+ users is now available.

As promised, we’ve incorporated the following fixes:

  • Fixed an issue that was causing, under certain conditions, a phone to reboot while calling or using specific Wi-Fi networks.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing, under certain conditions, the microphone to stop working until the phone was rebooted.
  • Adjusted the sensitivity of the touchscreen to avoid potential «ghost touches» under certain circumstances.

While we are happy that this tremendous team-effort addresses most of the reported issues, we’re not quite ready to call it a day until we patch every last issue. So, we are still investigating the root cause of the “no audio until restart” issue, and we’re following up on all possible random reboot origins. As always, should you experience any problems with your Fairphone, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our customer support team will take care of you.

And finally, more detailed information about the roll-out of our software updates:
Each software version we release needs to be tested by our network operator partners. This process takes longer with some partners than with others. To make these updates available as soon as possible, we release our software as soon as each partner has approved it to customers on that network. This means the software update will be available sooner for some customers than for others – but rest assured we are working hard to make sure every customer receives it as soon as possible.

That means that depending on your network provider, some of you may receive this update later. Once the update is available, you’ll receive a push notification to update automatically.

All the best,

December Update

Today, I’m happy to share some good news with you all finally. We have a fix on the horizon for some of the reported issues. After more than 45.000 calls logged and analyzed, we better understand the different symptoms and their root causes. We are currently incorporating fixes into our next scheduled software update that address issues around random reboots. It’s slated for release in January. Please bear with us as we prepare this update for roll-out.

As for the «ghost touches» and calls not connecting on the first attempt, we have partnered with our manufacturer, the touch screen vendor, and Qualcomm. We have promising leads, but further investigation is needed before we can implement the fixes.

In the meantime, if you are experiencing an issue with your Fairphone 3 and you are not sure whether it’s one of the three mentioned above, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our customer support team will log your issue and personally notify you, as soon as we have news.

Many thanks,

November Update

A month after my initial report about the software-related quality issues, I have a progress update for you.
I’d like to start by sharing that I realize how annoying this disruption must be. I would like to ask you for a bit more of your patience and thank you all for your feedback. Even though it seems that only a few of you are experiencing these issues, that is still «a few» too many. Restoring an optimal experience for all of our customers is our highest priority and we are working around the clock to get it done.

As promised, I want to share with you today how far we’ve come in our investigation and what we’ve done to achieve this.
A month ago we started with logging data from our Fairphone colleagues who experienced the issues, to track down the origin. We’ve then ramped up efforts to collect as much relevant information as possible, together with our own experts and external support from knowledgeable partners. As it stands, we have logged data from over 12.000 calls in several countries across Europe testing under different scenarios and circumstances. So far, we have not been able to reproduce the reported «ghost touches» and the problem with calls not connecting on the first attempt. Rest assured that we will continue our investigation until both problems are solved. As for the issue of random reboots, we have successfully captured seven logs.

While it has been very challenging and time-consuming to reproduce this problem, the outcome is promising for two reasons:

1. The limited number of reproduced issues confirms that the problem itself is very contained.
2. We now have the necessary data to analyze and solve the issue.

Based on these logs, we are following a solid lead to address the random reboots. If you are experiencing any of these issues mentioned, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer support, who are personally reviewing each case.

I will be back with another update as soon as we know more. Thank you again!

October Report

A month ago, I was proud to share our latest milestone with all of you – the launch of the Fairphone 3+ and our upgraded modules. Today, we’re reminded that the journey of building an ethical smartphone company is not without its ups and downs. In both cases, I’d like to reach out and personally update everyone, so let’s get straight into it:

Currently, some Fairphone 3 and 3+ owners are experiencing disruptive software-related issues. Our community was quick to flag this to us, both on the forum and to our customer support. So we are aware and working hard to find the root cause. While our investigation is still ongoing, I would like to apologize for the inconvenience and get everyone up to speed on the situation.

Known issues

Although only a small number of customers seem to be affected, we realize that some of these issues impact them significantly. Obviously, making sure that everyone has the best possible Fairphone experience is our top priority. Some of the key problems being reported to us are the following :

– During calls the phone reboots randomly
– Calls not always connecting on the first attempt
– So called “ghost touches”, meaning random, unwanted touch input

Finding the root cause

Reproducing the issues mentioned above is key in finding the root cause and creating a solution. Both of our teams – here in Amsterdam and in Taipei – are on top of it, reviewing the reports and attempting to reproduce the issues. Our biggest challenge is that our engineers in Taiwan can’t yet reproduce some key issues. This points to a possible connection between the reported bugs and European mobile networks.

Working towards a solution

We are ramping up efforts to identify the root cause. As this occurs randomly, our team in Amsterdam is collecting information in order to find a pattern to reproduce the issue. As a first step, we started to log data from our Fairphone colleagues, to track down the origin. We relay this information directly to our team in Taiwan. If it turns out that we need more data in a shorter time span, we will broaden this group to supporters from our community.

If you are experiencing random reboots, when contacting our customer support team, please include the following:

  • Your Network Operator(s)
  • The country where you are experiencing the issue
  • The build number of your phone (settings > about phone > build number)
  • Steps to reproduce the issue. (For example, if it happens after using certain apps, making a call, etc.)
  • Whether or not you are using an SD card
  • The frequency of the issue

In the meantime, each case will be personally reviewed by our customer support team. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, but thank you for your patience and understanding. As soon as we have more information, I will update this blogpost.

Deutschsprachige Kunden finden das übersetzte Update hier >>

Clients francophones, veuillez trouver la mise à jour traduite ici >>

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