The world's first ethical and modular smart phone
Often in design briefs we are limited to creating desirability and delivering utility whilst ensuring that it can be manufactured as efficiently as possible.
Fairphone's ambitions were far greater. To create a smart phone with longevity in mind that allowed owners to keep their phones for longer, reducing the impact on materials and energy consumption. A smart phone with social values that would start a conversation about the supply chain and ethics of consumer electronics.
We created a hardware design that could facilitate storytelling so owners could become advocates for the brand and it's objectives by opening up the supply chain and changing the way electronics are made.
We focussed on longevity and reparability to extend the phone’s usable life and give buyers more control of their products. We reduced the amount of components and materials that go into performing the functions of a smartphone by using a modular design that also allowed consumers to take control of their phones enhancing its desirability.
70% of phone failures are from screen breakages, but with our design the screen can be replaced in under a minute with no tools.
Key components like the camera, headphone jack and micro usb connector are replaceable within a few minutes using a single screwdriver - a far cry from the tool box of spudgers, suction cups, tweezers and opening picks you need for the open heart surgery involved in most of todays smartphone repairs.
The phone passed rigorous drop tests and is as simple to open and repair as changing the batteries of a child's toy. Whilst we looked to make the process of repair as understandable and simple as possible, we didn't want the experience to feel ‘toy like’ or dumbed down.
Our design aims to change the relationship between people and their phones to make them take pride in owning their phones for longer so they see the coolest phones as the oldest not the latest.