Fairphone, a firm notorious for upsetting traditional OEMs, has announced the debut of its next-generation gadget, the Fairphone 4, which promises to be an upgradeable, repairable, and long-lasting smartphone that can be used without problem for many years. The company’s pledges and commitment to the ethical sourcing of materials and the right to repair movement, according to Mashable, is a break from the large traditional firms like Apple and Samsung. The Fairphone 4 has a modular design similar to the company’s prior models, but with more powerful internals and two major Android updates promised. The phone’s software will be supported until the end of 2025.
The phone’s modular design makes it simple to repair and alter.
The company’s effort to reducing the environmental impact of smartphone production, however, has been its most significant contribution. The company’s idea is that the production of a phone has the greatest environmental impact, and that being able to use the same phone for extended periods of time makes it more sustainable. The campaign for the right to repair has gained a lot of traction around the world. The Biden administration is also considering measures to ban large corporations from employing anti-competitive tactics to prevent consumers from repairing their products.
Google and Samsung have built business models that rely on heavy resource extraction and industrial production, which is largely supported by child and slave labour. As a result, every component of a common smartphone is highly damaging and sourced unethically. In 2019, a lawsuit was filed accusing big tech firms of benefitting from child labour in Congolese cobalt mines. In the factories where these phones are made, these extraction technologies also produce “cancer towns” and induce rare malignancies. Fairphone pledges to move away from this kind of production, insisting on ethically produced components free of exploitation and conflict. In addition, the company is collaborating with Arima, a Taiwan-based assembly partner, to improve working conditions.
(With Inputs from ANI)