Fairphone to ship first batch of smartphones on December 23

Some users will have to wait for their smartphone until the beginning of next year

Despite production problems, Dutch company Fairphone is getting ready to ship the first batch of its green smartphones, which have been developed with as much conflict-free materials as possible.

The first group of around 11,000 phones will leave the factory on December 23, and will be sent to people who bought them during the pre-order campaign, CEO Bas Van Abel said in a blog post. Fairphone will then ship a second batch on January 10 to "everyone else who joined us along the way."

"We know it's been a long journey (it feels quite long for us too!), and so we're really excited we're coming into the final stretch to deliver phones to our most committed supporters. Thanks again for your patience," Abel wrote.

The company's original goal was to ship the 25,000 phones it has sold this year, but in the end that wasn't possible due to manufacturing and administrative issues. These included capacitors that got stuck in customs; a month-long wait for a certificate needed to transport batteries by airplane; and a major mix-up by a supplier that accidentally sent Fairphone's order to someone else.

The struggles highlight how difficult it is for a small vendor to make its way in a sector that's dominated by big companies like Apple and Samsung. But it isn't alone. Last week Geeksphone killed its Firefox OS-based Peak+ smartphone because of problems with components and its manufacturing partner.

For its first smartphone, Fairphone has sourced conflict-free tin and tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company is still working on a way to make sure the tungsten as well as all the gold it uses is conflict free, according to a spokeswoman. Fairphone's low volumes make it difficult to ensure that all the gold used in the printed circuit boards is conflict free. But the company is working to change that, she said.

The dual-sim Fairphone has a 4.3-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 960 by 540 pixels, an 8-megapixel camera and quad-core 1.2GHz processor from Mediatek. There is also 16GB of integrated memory and 1GB of RAM. The smartphone costs €325 (US$440) without taxes.

On the software side, the phone runs a customized interface on top of Android 4.2. An upgrade to Android 4.3 will arrive soon after the phone has shipped, according to Fairphone.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Android OSconsumer electronicsFairphoneAndroidsmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?