When pre-orders for the “ethically-sourced” Fairphone started last month, the company stated that it needed 5,000 pre-orders to begin shipping. Now, at the time of writing, 5,518 Fairphones have been sold, and the company has announced that it can now start the initial manufacturing run for the smartphone. The limited edition of the smartphone is still up for grabs and will be available for eight more days. The phone costs €325, which roughly translates to Rs 23,381. The price includes taxes.
The company also said that those who have bought the limited edition will find a hidden message in their smartphones if they open it up and look for it. The hidden messages will also be present in any Fairphone bought before July 14—the end of the initial pre-order campaign.
The Fairphone has reached its pre-order goals
The Fairphone sports a 4.3-inch display with a qHD resolution and runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. It is powered by a 1.2GHz MediaTek 6589 quad-core chipset and has 1GB of RAM. It has 16GB of internal memory, but there is no mention of a microSD slot. The phone is equipped with an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter. The phone runs on Fairphone's own custom interface, which the company states is as open as the rest of Android. All of this is kept alive by a 2000mAh battery. The display of the phone is made of Dragontrail Glass, which is said to be durable and scratch-resistant.
Fairphone had originally started back in 2010 as a project that aimed to highlight the use of conflict materials in the construction of electronic devices. Three years later, it has become a full-fledged company that wants to put its knowledge to use by building a smartphone that has been “ethically sourced”, which means a smartphone manufactured using processes that don't use conflict materials.
Conflict materials are defined as raw materials sourced from mines controlled by violent millitia. Fairphone opts to use conflict-free materials that have been sourced from artisanal mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fairphone says its main aim is to hold the electronics industry to a higher ethical standard.