Fairphone has to adjust the support of its fairphone 1 phone of the same name. Reason for this is not pure business calculus, the manufacturer simply go the spare parts for the smartphone. In the same train Fairphone also however the development at the planned update on Android 4.4 KitKat.
Earlier this week, Fairphone had to tell its customers that the Fairphone 1 support would be discontinued. Now company founder and CEO Bas van Abel has said about the fairphone blog on the background of this decision.
For the fairphone 1, which is available in May 2013 and is available in December of this year, the smartphone manufacturer is now missing spare parts. Maintaining the hardware support for the company’s first smartphone has become increasingly difficult over the years, explains van Abel.
Minimum quantities as a financial hurdle
After the Chinese manufacturer Guohong first managed the bulk of the supply chain during the regular production, fairphone had to contact the individual suppliers of the components after discontinuing the production and ending the partnership with Guohong in order to continue to offer support for spare parts. Fairphone ordered a certain amount of spare parts, based on estimates for the most likely components, as well as within the financial capabilities of the company.
Over the years, however, this undertaking has become increasingly difficult in a fast-paced industry such as electronics. Several suppliers have now discontinued the production of the required spare parts, explains van Abel. Also the change to new suppliers, as it happened twice for the battery is no longer an option. The often required minimum order quantities exceed the Group’s financial potential.
Fairphone 1 stays with Android 4.2.2
In the course of hiring the hardware support, Fairphone has also discontinued the development of a new version of the Android operating system Fairphone OS. The fairphone 1 should be originally supplied already over the last year with Android 4.4 KitKat, but it has not come to this so far and will not be. The smartphone thus remains on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
More spare parts for the fairphone 2
At the same time, Fairphone wants to continue with its corporate philosophy, a smartphone from fair trade raw materials as well as with the option of independent repair by directly offered by the manufacturer offered spare parts. For the Fairphone 2, the manufacturer wants to invest a higher working capital in the early purchase of spare parts, in order to support the support at least for this smartphone even longer.