Fairphone lessons

Bernhard E. Reiter bernhard at fsfe.org
Wed May 15 10:51:36 UTC 2019

Hi Paul,

Am Dienstag 14 Mai 2019 13:24:28 schrieb Paul Boddie:
> I think my criticism is harsh,

> > If we had more manufactures trying to go in the Fairphone direction, it
> > would foster much more Free Software usages on mobile devices. It is fine
> > to point out how they could do better, but I think we should even more
> > applaude them for the advances.
> Yes, I recognise their achievements. And they have improved with regard to
> the software, meaning that I look forward to what they produce next.

the way you wrote about them had be left with a different impression.

To change the world, what someone can do is to change their own behaviour
or to convince others to behave differently. In this light: Wouldn't it make 
sense to promote phones by Fairphone even with all the still existing 
drawbacks, just because the vast majority of other manufacturer are 
significantly worse?

It seems many more people can be convinced to buy their phones compared to one 
with replicant for example from https://tehnoetic.com/ as it stands today. Of 
course I could point people to 
https://tehnoetic.com/tehnoetic-s3-phone-replicant, but just the drawbacks 
like wifi not working will be an unstandable no-buy for many.
Of course I do all people to replicant and companies supporting it, because we 
need even more of their work financed.

> These are presumably the same apologists for phone
> manufacturers trying to cut warranty terms where I live: people who openly
> said that they bought a new phone every six months, that longer warranties
> would make phones more expensive, and that nobody needed them anyway
> (presumably because at six months, they would sell their phone to some
> hapless buyer or fake up some kind of insurance claim).
> The problem is that we have to share a planet with idiots like this,

There are many reasons why using Free Software with phone hardware last lasts 
longer is an advantage. I believe that some of those people can be convinced 
or persuaded to buy more Free Software and open hardware based products. 
However calling or thinking about them as "idiots" won't help with this.
I can understand if this comes out of frustration, though.
From my point of view a guiding principle should be to explain better if not 
enough people seem to understand.

> with their behaviour validating the destructive and wasteful actions of
> corporations who are not being held responsible for the consequences of
> their "need" to make money. 

Note that this is a common missunderstanding: Organisations (like companies 
and even charities) have to be economically viable to be able to persist and 
fullfil their "tasks". Just "making money" (or a profit) is **not the 
purpose** of most organisations in the narrower sense. Income maybe a 
necessity, though. Owners, customers, employees and other stakeholders all 
have an influence on how a company acts.

So if we want other companies, we have to found them, buy from them, work for 
them. And convince others to do so. If we happen to get a majority, we can 
additionally make common rules.

Best Regards,

FSFE -- Founding Member     Support our work for Free Software: 
blogs.fsfe.org/bernhard     https://fsfe.org/donate | contribute
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