In the Netherlands, Fairphone has launched a subscription offer accompanied by annual discounts if you keep your phone in good condition. A way to make the general public aware of the CO2 footprint of devices.
Fairphone wants their customers to buy as few phones as possible. The Dutch manufacturer, known for its modular and “ethical” terminals, has just launched – in the Netherlands only – a subscription that rewards those who keep their phone for several years.
Fairphone Easy is a subscription offer similar to those found at Apple or Samsung, except for one detail: it rewards those who do not change phones every two years. The principle is simple, for a minimum of € 21 / month, the subscriber can become the proud owner of a Fairphone 4 with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space. As long as the said subscription runs, repair or replacement of parts is free within the limit of one screen change or one battery per year. In the event of a breakdown, a new device is shipped within 48 hours where the old mobile is examined to recover potentially reconditionable parts.
Discounts every year
This is not the most interesting aspect. With Fairphone Easy, the longer you keep your phone, the less you pay. If the phone still works flawlessly after one year, the subscription costs € 2 less. After two years, a discount of 4 € per. month. And if after three years the smartphone has never had any problems, the subscription costs 8 € less. “Fairphone Easy encourages subscribers to extend the life of their phone by ensuring that they enjoy using it for longer”details about the company’s blog post.
The purpose of Fairphone Easy is to reduce the terminals’ environmental footprint as much as possible. The vast majority of a mobile’s CO2 footprint is actually created in its production phase. Keeping it as long as possible therefore makes it possible to dilute this footprint over time instead of encouraging the new market. With the current business model, approximately 1.4 billion mobile phones are sold worldwide. Users store their phones for an average of two to three years, but only 15% of the discarded phones are collected for recycling. This situation exacerbates the growing problem of electronic waste in the world. “, explains the company. By following up, Fairphone hopes to reduce the rate of renewal and restore devices that would otherwise be in drawers.
A less interesting business model
If a subscriber stops subscribing to the service, the phone will be reset for resale. And if it no longer works, it is each of the parts that we will try to give a new life. The subscription can be terminated at any time, and the minimum binding period is set at three months. The longest is 60 months (or five years). Financially, the offer is paradoxically not that interesting. Even with discounts, the subscription to a Fairphone 4 costs € 996 after five years, or almost € 300 more than the value of the phone and its accessories when purchased. And this without taking into account any round trips to after-sales service, which may result in the monthly reduction being lost, as it only applies to terminals that have not undergone repairs. At full rate, a Fairphone obtained via Fairphone Easy costs € 1,260 after a while. In sum…
As is often the case, Fairphone’s goal with this subscription is not to offer the cheapest product possible, but to ensure the best life for its devices while raising awareness among the general public about the issues of electronic waste. Fairphone Easy therefore seems to be a rather militant choice for those who want to respond to the manufacturer’s approach, while being sure to have a functional and more environmentally friendly phone.
Contacted, a Fairphone spokesman confirmed “that in advance the Easy offer is not immediately available to France”. Despite the shortcomings of the offer that Fairphone presents, it is interesting to see the emergence of initiatives aimed at slowing down our speed of consumption and reflecting on the ecological impact of our devices.