In the last few years smartphones have have become ubiquitous, connecting people worldwide and becoming an everyday, multipurpose tool. Yet, non-ethical sourcing of materials and worker exploitation has left a sour taste in consumers’ mouths. In 2013, Fairphone unleashed a game-changing, socially- and environmentally-conscious smartphone – and they just unveiled the new Fairphone 2, which features a modular design that boosts longevity and repairability.
The design and production of Fairphones will continue to include sourcing of conflict-free tin and tantalum from The Democratic Republic of the Congo for its parts, extend its partnership with a worker-controlled production company in China, and continue their efforts with an e-waste recycling program in Ghana. Beyond these progressive endeavors, they also are steadfast with their intent to keep the design for Fairphone 100 percent original. This will allow for the progression of the product to always align with the company’s values by closely controlling materials used, choosing reputable suppliers who share their mission, and ensuring consumers are receiving quality, long-lasting products.
The durability of the Fairphone is one of its finest features. Each device is designed so it can be completely disassembled and repaired by the user, with the help of tutorials. This means less consumers impatiently trashing their year-old phones for a new device, which takes quite a toll on the environment and laborers. The Fairphone 2 will also feature a back cover so sturdy that a case is not needed, extending its life and decreasing the need for replacement parts. Other features include a full HD 5-inch display, dual SIM capabilities, and the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 platform.
Sales since the first model was released hit 60,000 and Fairphone is taking preorders for the second model this summer, which are planned for distribution in the fall. While they will only be available in Europe this year, hopes are high this crucial technology will hit other continents soon.
Images via Fairphone