Feeds

back to article Politically-correct 'Fairphone' goes on pre-sale next week

Fairphone, a social enterprise aiming “to bring a fair smartphone to the market – one designed and produced with minimal harm to people and planet” will next week offer pre-sales of its first handset, and if it can find 5,000 buyers the phone will become a reality. The Fairphone's design calls for it to use minerals sourced from …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Recycling isn't necessary for minimal impact on the environment

When it comes to long life devices, who gives a toss about recyclable?

What matters is that every part can be replaced easily and cheaply and that replacement parts will be available as long as the owners want to go on using the phone. As long as it's usable and useful recycling is an irrelevance.

1
0
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Recycling isn't necessary for minimal impact on the environment

When it comes to long life devices, who gives a toss about recyclable?

Long life is quite an assumption here. Even assuming that the device will function for over 5 years, will the technology in it be relevant by then?

What matters is that every part can be replaced easily and cheaply...

This does nothing to help the environment. Imagine for a moment that such a modular phone does exist. Say the screen breaks, so you replace that. Now instead of just having a phone to recycle, you have a phone and a broken screen to recycle. Even if you want to keep using the phone for some time, the recyclability of the broken parts is an issue.

... and that replacement parts will be available as long as the owners want to go on using the phone.

Here's the crux of the issue. Every mobile phone I've had to date has been replaced while it's still functional. Three of them were replaced not because I wanted to replace them, but because my network would no longer support them. Two of them were replaced because my employer decided I needed a newer, more capable device.

As long as it's usable and useful recycling is an irrelevance.

No, as long as it's in use recycling is irrelevant. But so is throwing it in a landfill.

Long-life is great and all (however unlikely for a mobile phone) but everything comes to an end. And if we can design things which can be put to other use once their current use has ended, why wouldn't we?

5
3
Silver badge

Re: Recycling isn't necessary for minimal impact on the environment

"Long life is quite an assumption here. Even assuming that the device will function for over 5 years, will the technology in it be relevant by then?"

This is why it is essential that we finally outlaw closed boot loaders and have common hardware platforms. If you look at a 5 year old PC you can still use it. Sure it'll be slow, but you can install the latest and greatest operating system on it since it's standardised and requires no porting. Plus PCs have no locked down boot loader.

On mobile phones you need to port your operating system for every platform individually. And virtually every phone has it's own totally different platform. That's a lot of effort and one of the reasons why there are so many Android devices stuck on some 2.x version of Android.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Recycling isn't necessary for minimal impact on the environment

Dd I just see the new design for an iPhone, those rounded corners.....

0
1

I say fraud

These things don't exist yet. The history of 'invest in our amazing not-yet-in-existence and yet soon-to-be-mass-produced cheap laptop/tablet/etc' is a history of massive cost and time over-runs, bankruptcies, and outright frauds.

If you're selling a mass-produced consumer item which doesn't exist yet, you sell it to resellers or rebranders or investors. If they don't want to buy then it's probably for a good reason.

If you sell to end-users, that's a whole new business entirely.

You as retailer have to spend the same money again for marketing, customer service, sales, aftersales, repairs, replacements. The sheer unaffordability of that alone should put off anyone from buying a phone from a clearly soon-to-be-bankrupt company.

0
0
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: I say fraud

Not to mention the price is small considering they won't be able to use most of the COTS hardware around. After all a lot of it will have rare earth's and things from the likes of DR Congo and other warzones. Then again they may make wishy washy claims like:

"The war lord we bought it from says he totally owns the mine and does not use child soldiers, he pinky sweared it"

"But $4 a day is a really good wage in Burma so its totally ethical"

A small normal phone start up would struggle to deliver at those prices in that volume let alone one that would need to police a supply chain a mile long (not an easy job at the best of times)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: I say fraud

@Aldous re price. Good points, however keep in mind that they're stating that they're selling them at basically cost price, so that $325 is simply the bill of materials for the phone. Considering that breakdowns of, for example, iPhone costing $400-500 show that the BOM total out at a bit over $200, I think $325 cost price is not unrealistic.

1
0
Silver badge

THere is no such thing as fair

It is unfair that those with the connections can preregister and get one before everyone else.

It is unfair that these will not be given out on a whatever-you-can-afford basis. eg. $1 for a poor person, $1000 to a well employed person and $100k to an Evil Corporate Bastard.

Truth is that this world never has been fair and the electronics industry is about the least fair of any industries. Calling anything Fair is just greenwashing - or whatever the Think Of the Starving Masses equivalent is.

2
5
Bronze badge
WTF?

Re: THere is no such thing as fair

"It is unfair that these will not be given out on a whatever-you-can-afford basis. eg. $1 for a poor person, $1000 to a well employed person and $100k to an Evil Corporate Bastard."

What in the world is fair about that idea? Items have a value, the value of that item does not change depending on how much money you have.

The phone is not being produced as a charitable commodity to be given away. The organisation is not, and not aiming to be, anything like the One Laptop Per Child scheme.

No-one NEEDS a mobile phone many people, including those who could afford one, live quite happily without them.

This phone is only intended to be "fair" in the sense that it doesn't cause excessive damage to the environment to produce, and doesn't depend on or support forced/slave labour or fascist/totalitarian states. It seems to be making decent efforts in those regards.

Are you suggesting we also do the same for bread? 1p a loaf for the poor and £500 a loaf for anyone with money (convert to currency of your choice). Heck why not do it for everything, water, milk, gas, electricity, internet access. I can see one benefit to the last two in that it might keep fools like you from posting nonsense.

6
2
Headmaster

Re: THere is no such thing as fair

Items may have an unchangeable value but in this case you're referring to price.

Price most definitely changes depending on how much money you have. That's the whole underpinning of inflation, money supply and macroeconomics among others.

0
0

Re: THere is no such thing as fair

"WHOOSH"

That's the sound of the point flying right by you.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: THere is no such thing as fair

Inflation, money supply and macroeconomics are irrelevant. They relate to the price of something varying over time as the economy locally and globally changes.

The point that was being made, that I was countering, was that the phone should be sold at different prices to different people at the same moment in time depending on the contents of their wallet.

Certainly the factors you mention will alter the price of the phone, but they would and should alter the price for everyone.

0
0
Silver badge
Happy

Waitrose Fairtrade Organic Hippy Phone

I'm not knocking it, Just saying!

0
1
Bronze badge
Holmes

"Differences"

Apparently minor colour variations count:

* white/black back, and

* black/blue side strip (easily missed between 1&2)

1
0
Silver badge
WTF?

What does this have to do with "political correctness"?

PC is simply mindless avoidance of "offensive" terms or, at least, in the view of some idiot, words which could conceivably cause offence to someone of a particular racial/ religious/ whatever group, and usually done without even *asking* people from that group whether or not they'd be offended.

I see nothing in this that has anything to do with PC.

1
0
Go

Political Correctness gone sane.

Actually, Graham, PC is much more than that. If we avoid its literal interpretation then the aspiration of political correctness is to be mindful of the unintended consequences of your actions and words, and taking reasonable steps to minimise the harmful effects those actions and words have on others. The fact that it has been co-opted by - on the one hand - those who wish to ban words that are even tangentially related to what in the U.K. we call protected characteristics and - on the other - those who wish to carry on acting without regard for others is lamentable.

In this respect, the fairphone *is* politically correct; in a good way. Its design seeks to reasonably minimise the harm caused by the sourcing of its components and raw materials. I fail to see why this is a bad thing.

5
2
Thumb Up

great idea!

i think this is an excellent idea! i was just readin the other day about how Samsung has decided to look into some of the aluminium/tin sourcing they do from Indonesia in regards to cases of child labour/maltreatment of workers/etc. It's great to hear that another organisation is working to create a phone with ethical production and sustainability!

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.