Many smartphone companies and carriers offer subscriptions to get a new phone. But they all have some things in common. Sooner or later those plans will go up in price and the goal is to replace your phone often (two years or sooner!). Fairphone’s new subscription plan contradicts both trends.
Making a “sustainable” smartphone, Fairphone prides itself on being environmentally friendly. The Fairphone 4 is modular and can replace the cameras, the USB-C port, the battery, and even the screen. You won’t find glue or other tactics that make the repair difficult. Fairphone even uses Fairtrade certified gold, ethically sourced aluminium, tungsten, recycled tin, rare earth minerals and plastics.
Now Fairphone is breaking tradition with its new subscription plan. Like most subscription plans, you pay a small amount up front and then more each month you use the phone. But most smartphone plans offer upgrades to a new model every one to two years, creating more potential e-waste. Your phone from a year ago probably had a lot of life left in it, but now it’s out of your hands and who knows where.
The new Fairphone Easy plans continue to charge you a small monthly fee, €21.00. But the longer you keep the phone, the lower the price. After year one, you get a €1 discount, followed by €2 in year two and €8 in year three. The subscription plan also includes free repairs for anything other than water damage or abuse, including one free screen replacement per year.
Overall, you’ll probably still pay more than buying a Fairphone 4 upfront, but that’s true of most subscription plans, and you won’t necessarily get free repairs without the subscription (although the Fairphone 4 does come with a five-year warranty). years) .
Unfortunately, the Fairphone 4 isn’t available in the US (at least not yet), and as such the subscription plan is only available in Europe. But the concept is sound and it will be interesting to see if other companies take note and copy it.