Vodafone Group struck a deal to stock sustainable phone maker Fairphone’s devices, marking the vendor’s first operator partnership.
In a statement, Vodafone said it would put the Fairphone 3 model on sale in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Republic of Ireland by the year-end. Pricing was not revealed, but when it unveiled the device in August, Fairphone recommended selling for €450.
Vodafone chief commercial operations and strategy officer Ahmed Essam said the deal “brings together our expertise as Europe’s leading and largest converged technology communications company with the recognised expert in sustainable smartphones”.
The operator explained the move advances a goal to halve its environmental impact by 2025, adding to initiatives around renewable energy, recycling network equipment and helping subscribers to extend the life of their existing phones.
Fairphone 3 offers a modular design comprising seven parts which can be replaced. The vendor encourages users to repair their devices, even including a screwdriver to do so.
The Netherlands-based company first put the model on sale through online retailers in September. The previous Fairphone 2 sold out in April, around three-and-a-half years after its launch.
Fairphone 3 is a mid-tier device, featuring a Snapdragon 632 processor, 3000mAh battery, dual 12MP rear cameras and an 8MP unit up front.
Vodafone added the companies will also collaborate on best practice and share knowledge on key industry sustainability issues including “the circular economy, electronic waste and responsible sourcing”.
Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens said: “Fairphone is showing that there is a market for more ethical phones to inspire the rest of the industry to produce more ethically.”
“Working with a large operator such as Vodafone helps to bring sustainable electronics to the mainstream market and therefore this is one of the strongest signals we can send to the rest of the industry.”