BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 18 June '15

The social enterprise’s upcoming phone is another step towards fairer electronics

Fairphone released the first images of its new smartphone design yesterday, officially marking the much-anticipated launch of the Fairphone 2.

This is the second model developed by the company, which aims to create a fairer electronics supply chain through the production of its phones.

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The Fairphone 2

 

Fairer phones for a fairer economy

Established in 2013, Fairphone has already produced and sold 60,000 first edition Fairphones to buyers who believe that their purchases can contribute to a fairer economy.

Their commitment allowed Fairphone to start making a positive impact across the consumer electronics value chain in mining, design, manufacturing and life cycle.

The company’s first step was to prove that social values and profitability can be combined to change business practices for the better.

Thanks to these initial sales and the ongoing support of its community, Fairphone is now poised to increase its impact and influence through its own original design.

Fairphone 2 design

The Fairphone 2 will incorporate and expand on the initiatives that were set in motion by the first Fairphone, such as conflict-free tin and tantalum from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, investment in a second worker-controlled welfare fund with its new production partner in China and improving the e-waste recycling program it started in Ghana.

In 2014, Fairphone took a major step by deciding to invest in an original design, allowing the company to expand on its ambitions for fairness.

This improves Fairphone’s oversight of its supply chain and the company’s ability to increase transparency and positive social impact. Key areas include improved use, control and traceability of materials, the possibility to select and build stronger relationships with individual (‘second-tier’) suppliers and the opportunity to gain more influence over production processes.

Designing the new phone from the inside out has also allowed Fairphone to integrate its values into the phone itself, focusing on areas such as increased product longevity.

Designed to last longer

The Fairphone 2 features a number of innovations designed to extend the usable life of the phone. In addition to a high-quality Full HD 5-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 platform and dual SIM capability, the innovative back cover protects the phone without requiring an additional case.

Users can easily open the device, remove the battery and explore the different ‘layers’ of the phone. It can also be disassembled to allow owners to repair the most commonly broken parts themselves, including the screen, camera, speaker and receiver.

User control

By combining this unique design with tutorials and the sale of spare parts, Fairphone wants to encourage users to have a deeper relationship with their phones and take more responsibility for keeping them in working condition. On top of that, Fairphone plans to collaborate with developers to offer users more choice and control over the operating system.

As part of the product launch, Fairphone has created an interactive page to introduce the first prototype and highlight the elements in the phone that link directly to the company’s ambitions for fairness. The page also includes a list of technical specifications, and reveals information about the suppliers of the key components.

Cost and availability

Pre-orders for the Fairphone 2 start this summer, with the first phones expected to ship in autumn.

In the coming months, Fairphone will continue to release additional information about the new phone, including a cost breakdown and an expanded list of suppliers. The company will once again use a pre-order model for the initial sales, asking customers to pay for their phones in advance to help finance production and ensure Fairphone’s independence.

The retail price will be €525, including VAT. To receive the latest information about the phone and the pre-order process, subscribe to the Fairphone 2 interest list.

To date, over 50,000 members of the public have already signed up to show their interest in the new phone.

Click here to find out more about the Fairphone 2. To register your interest, click here.