The first modular smartphone, Fairphone 2 is available for pre-order now
Dozens of metals and minerals are extracted and assembled together to make those phones with sleek interiors in ways that may make you quiver. For instance, the materials for the phone could be obtained from politically unstable regions that have poor human rights records. The assembly lines could be dangerous for factory workers or the environment could be damaged by throwing a phone in the garbage.
Fairphone wants to lessen the number of “blood gadgets” in the market. In order to achieve this, it has created a smartphone with some conflict-free minerals and manufactured them in factories that pledge to behave towards their workers fairly. Additionally, it has discovered a way to lessen the amount of dangerous waste their phones generate when they are got rid of.
Having sold 60,000 of its first generation smartphone, this Netherlands-based company has come up with its second-generation device, the Fairphone 2, which will go on sale in Europe later this week.
Let’s have a look at how the Fairphone makes the Fairphone 2:
The production of the Fairphone uses somewhere between 30 and 40 minerals, of which materials like tin, gold, tungsten, and tantalum are likely to be mined from conflict zones.
The conflict-free mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) provide tantalum and tin for Fairphone. Tantalum, is taken from a mineral called coltan that is used to make capacitors in printed circuit boards.
80% of the world’s coltan supply comes from the Congo, where rebels extort money from many miners, according to Fairphone. They say that it works with Solutions for Hope to get conflict-free tantalum.
The soldering paste that uses tin is sourced from the South Kivu province by Fairphone. The company in association with the Conflict-Free Tin Initiative finds, attests and supports fair mining conditions. (Apple (AAPL, Tech30), Blackberry(BBRY, Tech30), Nokia and Motorola use the same program.)
Fairphone says it’s working to bring gold and tungsten from more responsible mines now.
“Making a really fair phone is, we believe, impossible because fairness means different things to everyone,” Fairphone’s Daria Koreniushkina told CNNMoney. “The supply chain is very complex. It’s not a 100% fair phone…But we can always make fairer and fairer and fairer products, so we’d love to compete with others on the fairness of the phone.”
According to Fairphone, it says that it’s production factories must make certain that they give quality manufacturing, safe working conditions, fair wages and the ability for workers to become members of a labour union.
For some of its supply chain workers, the company also made a special bonus pool that are tied to the number of smartphones produced and sold. Fairphone added $2.50 to the fund for each sale of its first device, which the factory matched dollar for dollar.
Reuse and recycling
Fairphone includes recycled plastics and materials in its parts whenever possible. The company donates money from sales to support programs that disposes e-waste in the right way. It also collaborates with nonprofits such as Closing the Loop, which provides no longer used phones to people in Asia and Africa.
Design and product longevity
The Fairphone 2 can easily be taken apart and fixed, as it is modular. You may be able to upgrade memory and other components to extend its life or easily repair it in the future. Fairphone expects that this will help people keep their phones for a long period of time, lessening the amount of e-waste that enters landfills.
The Fairphone 2 features a 5-inch full-HD display, Qualcomm quad-core processor, Android 5.1 and 4G LTE.
The modular smartphone is available for pre-order now. The company is gunning for 15,000 pre-orders and expects to start delivering them in November this year. It will cost you €525 including tax (about $575). Fairphone says it will issue details on exactly where the money has been used in a few weeks.
However, the device would not be available for purchase outside of Europe during 2015 and the company has not yet affirmed when it would be available at some other place.
You can pre-order the Fairphone 2 here. You need to hurry because 888 pieces out of the scheduled 15000 on offer have already been sold.