Free ethical upgrade offered as Fairphone launches mobe No 2

Now you can rip it up and start again

Fairphone, the crowd-funded mobe maker, has launched its second model, and in marked contrast to others (a sideways glance at you Apple) has literally taken the lid off.

Fairphone launched in 2013 with the aim of creating a mobile that was free from conflict minerals, and was generally more ethical all round.

More than 10,000 people each put up €325 for a device that didn’t even exist at the time. Since then, more than 60,000 Fairphones have been sold.

For the first mobe, the company used a design template. This time around it's been designed from scratch.

“This design approach allows us to take our ambitions for fairness even further, paving the way to start gaining greater oversight of our supply chain, including improving our ability to select suppliers and increasing transparency,” said Olivier Hebert, Fairphone chief technology officer.

Along with increased ethical sourcing of raw materials, one aim of the second model was to extend the longevity of the product – a total joy to anyone who has ever become frustrated with designed-in obsolescence.

As well as an impressive six-foot drop test, the new Fairphone can be taken apart by anyone to repair or replace parts.

“Our goal was to re-invent the phone’s architecture to make it easier to assemble and service. We wanted to make it fast and easy for anyone to do basic maintenance, bringing it back to full functionality without professional support,” said Hebert.

And it’s not just the functional inside that can be refreshed. “Changing the case enables the user to effectively get a complete cosmetic refresh of their entire phone, without having to change the costly internals,” said Hebert. Perfect for tech magpies then.

There are some downsides. The phone is chunkier than the slimmest smartphones on the market and for now, is only available in the EU.

Pre-orders start this summer, with the first phones expected to ship in autumn. The retail price will be €525, including VAT. To date, more than 50,000 community members have already signed up to show their interest in the new phone. ®

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