10 Lessons We Learned in 2023
No two years are the same when you’re trying to shake things up like we are. But 2023 really was a special one. It marked a decade of change, a decade of challenging the status quo and defining the new normal for the electronics industry. We’ve always known it was going to be a steep learning curve. And just like the nine years preceding it, 2023 did not disappoint when it came to teaching us what we are capable of. We’ve come a long way since our start as a conflict mineral awareness campaign. We’re five phone generations (plus two headphones) in, inspiring the rest of the industry to join our journey. Of course, we have a long way to go together. Here are ten lessons we picked up in 2023. Short and sweet.
- We can make a phone that can last 10 years. The Fairphone 5 that came out in August 2023 boasts a five-year warranty and at least eight years of extended software and hardware support. Plus at least five major Android updates. The way we see it, the Fairphone 5 is built to last well into the 2030s.
- People are interested in a de-Googled Android experience. We started selling the Fairphone 4 preloaded with /e/OS that prioritizes privacy above everything else. The response has been amazing to say the least, especially in the United States.
- People don’t always want shiny, new things. Refurbished is cool. Our Fairphone 4 New Life Editions have been selling like hotcakes ever since we announced them in November. Next on the agenda? A solid software upgrade for the Fairphone 4, maybe? Watch this space for more.
- Over-the-ear headphones can be sustainable from the ground up. Have you checked out the Fairbuds XL which we released in early 2023? It was our first foray into the personal audio space that prioritized sustainable design from the get go. Now to see if we can extend our learning to a pair of truly wireless earbuds. 2024 is going to sound amazing!
- All our products can be 100% electronic waste neutral. We are super proud of the fact that our entire Fairphone product family, including the Fairphone 5, the Fairphone 4 and the Fairbuds XL, are all 100% e-waste neutral.
- Our phones can be even more modular. The Fairphone 5 upped the modular game with ten swappable spare parts as opposed to the Fairphone 4. This time around, we have made the individual cameras easily replaceable as well.
- Our phones can have even more fair and recycled materials inside. Compared to the 40% of fair and recycled materials inside the Fairphone 4, the Fairphone 5 contains almost 70% fair and recycled materials inside.
- What we’re doing is inspiring other companies. Google’s latest Pixels are offering seven years of support. Of course, at this point, we’re offering closer to 10. But at least they’re trying.
- Ten years in, there is still a strong market for fair and sustainable electronics. Sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand. It’s all thanks to the millions of people who believe in what we do. Mother Nature would be proud. (Right, Apple?)
- We really miss Eva! Our former CEO has left some really big shoes to fill. We have found someone new to step into them very soon. Stay tuned for more.
Here’s to an even more enlightening, inspiring and exciting 2024! Happy New Year!