An Open Source Sustainable Cell Phone

May 12, 2020

The e Foundation and Fairphone have paired up to make a sustainable, open-source smartphone. It’s a non-Google phone loaded with the /e/ OS, which uses the Android OS but leverages open sourced apps and /e/ cloud services instead of G suite and its many apps. 

The phone is called the Fairphone 3; it was originally released in September of 2019. The companies say their goal was to produce a phone that was privacy conscious and sustainable. In line with those goals, the phone is repairable, environmentally friendly, and allocates more of the costs of creating the phone to the companies and employees that manufactured the components. Those components are laid out in easily-replaceable modules; the phone also uses screws instead of glue so those components are easier to remove and replace without breaking them.

The Fairphone 3 sells for about $500; the company also sells replacement parts on its website, including batteries, screens and replacement USB-C ports. The Fairphone company is based in Amsterdam; the phone is currently only available in Europe, but as its popularity grows it will likely become available in the U.S. At the moment, it’s a new innovation to the smartphone that retailers should keep their eyes on, especially in the face of the global recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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