Ethical smartphone company Fairphone said its second-generation smartphone had sold out but, while stating it is “preparing for its next big steps, focusing on the roadmap and development of a new product”, remained tight-lipped about its future plans.
While Fairphone 2, launched in 2015, is no longer available (although some units remain with channel partners), the company committed to having spare parts for “a minimum of three years” after the last unit was sold.
It is also continuing customer support, and working on further development of the Android 7 platform it currently uses in terms of security patches and big fixes. It also mooted support for a “higher version” of Android, although this may prove a challenge for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801-powered device.
In a blog post, the company said the smartphone has shown there is “clear demand for sustainable electronics”. Its achievements in delivering “the first modular, repairable smartphone, with a user-installable camera upgrade, two software system upgrades, and a supply chain containing fairtrade gold and conflict-free tin, tungsten and tantalum”, shows the industry that a “different production dynamic is possible”, it said.
But, while Fairphone said it is “only just getting started on what a ‘Fairphone’ truly means and focusing on our product roadmap”, it is yet to detail its plans.
In December 2018, it closed a €7 million funding round which it said would “help finance Fairphone’s growth, stabilise production, professionalise our organisation and further establish our social impact in the years ahead”.
This will be combined with an additional €13 million loan provided by partners including a consortium of ABN AMRO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund.