Fairphone is a Dutch electronics manufacturer that designs and produces smartphones and headphones. It aims to minimise the ethical and environmental impact of its devices by using recycled, fairtrade and conflict-free materials, maintaining fair labor conditions throughout its workforce and suppliers, and enabling users to easily repair their devices through modular design and by providing replacement parts.[1]

Fairphone B.V.
Company typePrivately held company
IndustryTelecommunications equipment
FoundedJanuary 2013; 11 years ago (2013-01)
FounderBas van Abel
Tessa Wernink Edit this on Wikidata
Area served
Western and Central Europe except Malta and Cyprus
Key people
Websitewww.fairphone.com Edit this at Wikidata

As of April 2024, the company's most recent smartphone is the Fairphone 5, which it plans to provide with security updates and software support, including 5 OS updates, for 10 years.[2][3][4]


A Fairphone employee meeting tungsten miners at the New Bugurama Mining Company in Rwanda
Back of a Fairphone 2 with transparent cover, showing its modular design

Fairphone was founded by Bas van Abel, Tessa Wernink and Miquel Ballester[5] as a social enterprise company in January 2013, having existed as a campaign for two and a half years.[citation needed]

In April 2015 the company became a registered B Corporation.[6]

Since version two, the Fairphone is produced in Suzhou, China, by Hi-P International Limited.[7]

In November 2021, the Fairphone 4 was made available.

As of February 2022, Fairphone had sold around 400,000 devices.[8]

In 2023 a consortium of impact investors led by new shareholders Invest-NL, the ABN AMRO Sustainable Impact Fund, and existing shareholder Quadia, with its Regenero Impact Fund, invested €49 million in Fairphone.[9]


Name Release
SoC CPU GPU Memory
Display Camera Initial
Type Speed
Cores Type Speed
PPI Rear Front
Fairphone 1 Dec 2013 MediaTek MT6589 Cortex-A7 1.2 4 PowerVR SGX544MP 286 1 16 4.3 256 8MP 1.3MP 4.2.2 2000
Fairphone 2 Dec 2015 Qualcomm 801
Krait 400 2.26 4 Adreno 330 578 2 32 5 446 12MP 5MP 5.1 2420
Fairphone 3 Sep 2019 Qualcomm 632 Kryo 250
1.8+1.8 4+4 Adreno 506 600 4 64 5.65 427 12MP 8MP 9 3060
Fairphone 3+ Sep 2020 48MP (12MP output) 16MP 10
Fairphone 4 30 Sep 2021 Qualcomm 750G Kryo 570
2.2+1.8 2+6 Adreno 619 950 6/8 128/256 6.3 409 48MP OIS,

48 MP Ultrawide, (ToF + Color) sensor

25MP 11 3905
Fairphone 5[10] 30 Aug 2023 Qualcomm QCM6490[11]
(IoT/ind. var. of 782G)
Kryo 670
2.7+2.4+1.9 1+3+4 Adreno 643 812 8 256
+up to 2TB
6.46 459 50MP OIS,

50 MP Ultrawide, (ToF + Color) sensor

50MP 13 4200

Social impact and competitors


The phone is modular, which makes it easily repairable and customisable by the user. According to the company, increasing the lifespan of a phone by two years reduces CO₂ emissions by 30%.[8]

The gold and silver in Fairphone 4 has the Fairtrade label, also metals used are said to come from conflict-free mines.[12] The company promises a 5-year warranty period and long-term support for software updating and spare parts.[13] In 2017, Fairphone's founder Bas van Abel acknowledged that it was currently impossible to produce a 100% fair phone, suggesting it was more accurate to call his company's phones "fairer".[14][15]

In an interview with Will Georgi, Fairphone founder Tessa Vernink mentions:

“There might be a misconception that as a social enterprise, we don’t operate like a ‘normal’ business, but that’s not true. In many ways, most of our choices are the same — we still need to make money and sell phones — but the outcome and the goals are different. Our focus is investing in social innovation, instead of purely technical innovation. When other phone companies design a new phone, they research new technology — we research supply chain improvement.”[5]

A survey conducted by Franziska Verna Haucke in the Journal of Cleaner Production found:

Surprisingly, the findings show that alternative consumption seems to influence the involvement with the Fairphone and social commitment negatively seems to play a minor role in the model. These aspects point to the Fairphone as a technical artifact, centered on a choice for a sustainable lifestyle.[1]

Shiftphone is another small mobile telephone manufacturer with a focus on sustainability, and also developed a modular smartphone. The founder of Shiftphone considers that the two companies working in collaboration could have more influence on bigger competitors.[8]

Recognition and certifications

Tessa Wernink (right) receiving the Tech5 award at The Next Web Conference 2015

In 2016, Fairphone's founder and first CEO Bas van Abel was one of the three recipients of the German Environmental Award.[16]

Operating systems


Fairphones can run several operating systems, including CalyxOS, DivestOS, /e/, iodeOS, LineageOS, Ubuntu Touch, and more.[17] Murena, the company associated with the /e/ foundation, also sells Fairphones with /e/ pre-installed and offers a warranty for them.[18] As of 2023 the official /e/ support for FP3 is based on Android 12.

See also



  1. ^ a b Haucke, Franziska Verena (2018). "Smartphone-enabled social change: Evidence from the Fairphone case?". Journal of Cleaner Production. 197: 1719–1730. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.07.014. S2CID 157498710.
  2. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (8 September 2023). "Fairphone 5 review: could this be the first phone to last 10 years?". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Porter, Jon (29 September 2023). "The Fairphone 5 is less about what comes in the box and more about what you get over the years". The Verge.
  4. ^ Hill, Simon (22 September 2023). "The Fairphone 5 Is a Smartphone for a More Ethical World". WIRED.
  5. ^ a b Homerun.co (27 January 2017). "Fairphone: Calling for Change". Archived from the original on 22 September 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Fairphone - Certified B Corporation - B Lab Global". www.bcorporation.net. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  7. ^ Hebert, Olivier (19 February 2015). "The path to finding our new production partner: Hi-P". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Schweiger, Francesca (22 February 2022). "The mobile phones you can take apart and repair yourself". BBC News. Berlin.
  9. ^ "Impact investor consortium invests €49 million in Fairphone" (PDF). Fairphone. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  10. ^ Vonau, Manuel (30 August 2023). Vonau, Manuel (ed.). "The Fairphone 5 is here, and it's the sleekest repairable phone yet". www.androidpolice.com. Berlin, Germany. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  11. ^ Qualcomm® QCM6490/Qualcomm® QCS6490 SoCs (PDF), 2021, retrieved 30 August 2023
  12. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (15 October 2021). "Fairphone 4 review: ethical repairable phone gets big upgrade". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 April 2023. It includes fair trade gold and silver, ethically sourced aluminium and tungsten, plus recycled tin, copper, rare earth metals and plastic.
  13. ^ "Fairphone's latest sustainable smartphone comes with a five-year warranty". www.theverge.com. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  14. ^ Douglas Rushkoff (24 July 2018). "How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  15. ^ Bas van Abel 'Fingerprints on the Touchscreen', March 2017
  16. ^ Lomas, Charlotta. "Fairphone creator: Success is a signal to industry". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  17. ^ "✏ Operating Systems for Fairphones". Fairphone Community Forum. 6 June 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Smartphones". Murena - deGoogled phones and services. Retrieved 26 October 2023.

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