Late last year we brought you news of a really cool mobile phone. No, it's not just another major wireless company launching yet another "eco-friendlier" phone. It's something completely new. It's Fairphone: the world's first openly-designed, conflict-free phone that's made with care and transparency.
At the time, the actual release date of Fairphone was uncertain. The creators were crowdfunding the entire effort through a pre-order campaign in an attempt to keep the operation out of debt and determine demand. Boy was there ever demand! The company recently announced that it reached its goal of 5,000 pre-sold phones and will soon begin production.
So what does 5,000 pre-orders mean for the Fairphone movement? "That we can now start production!" writes Community Manager Joe Mier on the company's blog. "Specifically that means, we can make a sizable down payment to really start the development process that leads to production, and move onwards with all our plans with software/hardware development, work on our support center, and so on. You know – everything in this video!"
The enthusiasm of the thousands of early backers shows that there is a large population of people who are tired of owning phones that they never truly own. If you have a phone that's glued shut, that can't be taken apart or modified without voiding your warranty, your phone belongs to the phone company, not you.
Being a slave to the big phone companies also means having no control over how your phone is made--of what and by whom. Many of today's phones contain hazardous rare earth elements and are made in factories where workers face dangerous and oppressive conditions. Not the Fairphone. And it STILL has all the bells and whistles that we've come to expect.
Because the Fairphone reached its goal early there are still 6 days in which you too can pre-order and receive a limited edition of one of these awesome phones. BUT! Only if you live in Europe. Better start packing.