Fairphone should officially sell FP3 with a Free Software Only option

Carsten Agger agger at modspil.dk
Sun Mar 7 16:26:40 UTC 2021

I just bought a new Fairphone 3, and the experience inspired me to write 
the following on their official forum. I think I was called to do this 
mainly because I really like th project and think it's a shame they 
focus so little on free software, now they've apparently got so many 
other things right.

"I just received my FP3, and it’s a lovely device, following suit on FP1 
and FP2, both of which I’ve owned (the FP1 is bricked, the FP2 reboots 
randomly and needs a new mike - I suppose the mike could be fixed, but I 
dont know abt the restarts).

Anyway, I really like the device and the work Fairphone is doing for a 
fairer production cycle and a fairer product in terms of repairability.

However, in one respect I believe the phone is /not/ fair: It comes 
preloaded with Google’s Android including the full Google Apps suite - 
i.e., with a proprietary OS and a set of proprietary and very 
surveillance-heavy apps. Negatively, one might say it by default comes 
loaded with spyware. I don’t get how that is fair. As a long-standing 
free software activist and current member of the General Assembly of 
Free Software Foundation Europe (talking here, though, solely in my 
private capacity) I think that “fair” software is free - as in freedom, 
i.e. with all source code available.

On the other hand, I get that many users want the comfort and efficiency 
in the Google App suite. The FP1 came with only free software from the 
AOSP project and a link to install Google Apps. I thought that was fair.

Alternatively, you - Fairphone the organization - could sell FP3s 
preloaded with LineageOS or Sailfish OS or one of the other Google-free 

I do realize that I can install one of those on the phone myself and 
will probably also end up doing so. But honestly, I don’t think it is 
reasonable by the standards of a project that declares itelf to be /the/ 
fair phone - to put it like that, I don’t think it is FAIR - that the 
general, non-tech-savvy public can’t buy a fair and ethical phone that 
doesn’t by default opt them in to Google’s global surveillance circus.

All the best and congratulations with all the cool things in the project,

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