Fairphone and /e/ team up to build open source, sustainable smartphone

Fairphone and e Foundation are teaming up and taking the rare step of selling a non-Google Android phone to the public. The Fairphone 3, a midrange smartphone originally released in September 2019, can now come pre-loaded with the /e/ OS, a fork of Android that replaces the usual suite of Google apps and services with open source options and /e/’s cloud services. The goal of the two companies is to produce a “privacy conscious and sustainable phone.” (It’s “/e/ OS” but, for some reason, only “e Foundation.”)

The Fairphone 3 was originally released in August 2019 for €450 ($493). If you buy the pre-loaded /e/ version from /e/’s website, the phone is 480 ($525). The Fairphone 3 build of /e/ is freely available no matter where you buy the phone, but if you buy it from /e/, you’re presumably financially supporting your phone’s OS development.

Fairphone was founded in 2013 with the goal of building sustainable smartphones that are environmentally friendly and fair to the people who make them. The phone is designed to be repairable by favoring screws instead of glue and having major components broken out into modules that are easily replaceable. The Fairphone 2 and 3 are the only devices with a 10-out-of-10 repairability score from iFixit. Fairphone even sells spare parts directly on its website: a new screen is €90 euros, a new battery is €30, and a replacement USB-C port is €20. The company also advocates for worker’s welfare in the smartphone supply chain, with a focus on sourcing non-conflict minerals and a paying workers a living wage. The Fairphone 3 is still made in China, but it’s assembled by Arima, which is working with Fairphone to improve workers’ conditions.

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Source: Tech – Ars Technica