Fairphone, the social enterprise designing, producing and selling smartphones that looks to change the industry and how products are made and puts ethical values first, and /e/OS, the privacy by design operating system that focuses on protecting user data, are partnering to launch the first privacy conscious and sustainable smartphone in Europe. 

With today’s announcement, thousands of people across Europe will have a chance to purchase Fairphone’s sustainable phone, the Fairphone 3 with /e/OS native, offering them a new and fairer approach to resources and their personal data.

In 2013, Fairphone launched a movement for fairer electronics highlighting major issues across the smartphone value chain in mining, design, manufacturing and life cycle. Since then, Fairphone has changed how phones are made, expanding the market for products that put ethical values first.

For many, fairer technology isn’t just about the device and its components, it is also about the software that powers the product; and when Fairphone community members were asked what their preferred alternative operating system (OS) was for the next Fairphone, the Fairphone 3, they voted for /e/OS.

/e/ OS is an open source operating system that provides a privacy-by-design environment. User data stays private by default, blocking unwanted data flows, saving battery power and bandwidth. There is no location or data scanning multiple times a day. Most Android apps can be used with the option for users to see how built-in trackers are hidden within each app, so they know in advance of any potential threat to their data.

For both Fairphone and /e/OS, open source software is an important means to achieve their goals. One of Fairphone’s main objectives is to create long-lasting products.  Open source software, such as /e/OS can help increase smartphone longevity. In fact, open source enabled Fairphone to successfully upgrade operating systems (without Qualcomm support), updating the Fairphone 2 to Android 7 using open source software.

Eva Gouwens, Fairphone’s CEO comments: “Our partnership with /e/OS is exciting because we both strive to change the way the tech industry operates in our own way. We’re happy to be able to provide Fairphone users with phones that are not only sustainable, but also take special care to protect their personal data, for those that want data protection. We want people to keep their phones in use for longer and in the past open source software has helped us increase the longevity of our phones, enabling us to provide software upgrades for many years. A fairer phone is about the materials used to produce it, the fair treatment of factory workers and its increased longevity.”

Gaël Duval, /e/OS founder comments: “Since the inception of /e/OS , we realized that many of our users were not only concerned about their data privacy and willing to reconquer their digital sovereignty, they also wanted hardware that would last longer and be repairable. Many adhere to the open source principles of transparency in their software and they look for a similar approach for their mobile phone. In general, they look for a more ethical approach to technology. It was therefore obvious to us that Fairphone would be a great platform for these customers, providing them with a phone that ticks the boxes of repairability, durability and ethical sourcing.”

The Fairphone 3 with /e/OS will be available to purchase from 6 May 2020 on the /e/ online shop for RRP 479,90€ across Europe.

Existing Fairphone 3 owners will also be able to download and switch to /e/OS from /e/OS website.