We certainly love our smartphones, but it's easy to forget about how they were made in the first place — and the labor that went into sourcing the materials and building the components.
That's why a Dutch company called Fairphone exists — to raise awareness about where materials are sourced and to completely source a smartphone in an ethical way. In fact, after selling 60,000 Fairphones, the company has now unveiled Fairphone 2, which is also easy to repair.
"The Fairphone 2 will incorporate and expand upon the initiatives that were started with the first Fairphone, including sourcing conflict-free tin and tantalum from the Democratic Republic of the Congo ..." said the company in a statement. "Moreover, designing the new phone from the inside out gives Fairphone the ability to integrate its values into the phone itself, focusing on increasing the product's longevity and sense of ownership among users by employing a game-changing modular architecture."
One of the great things about Fairphone 2 (besides the fact that it's ethically sourced) is the fact that it is modular, with users being easily able to disassemble the phone and remove separate components by simply removing a screw and taking out the part. Parts are self-contained, clearly labeled and far easier to remove than using a warranty-voiding tool like would be the case with the iPhone.
As far as specs go, the device includes a Snapdragon 801 processor coupled with 2 GB of RAM. It also offers 32 GB of onboard storage and an 8 megapixel camera. The phone will also be a good fit for those who like to travel, offering dual-SIM card slots. While it's certainly not the most spec-intensive device, it should be plenty for those who don't plan on doing any intense gaming or other power-hungry things. Of course, who needs power when your device has been created using ethical sources of tin and tantalum from the Democratic Republic of Congo and when a portion of each sale goes to a Welfare Fund for workers.
The company does admit that not every material used in the device is conflict-free, however, the more devices it sells, the more power it holds over its supply chains, enabling it to create a fairer product.
Unfortunately, those interested in the device might have to wait awhile. The Fairphone 2 is set to go on sale in Europe during the summer for €525, or $590. The device likely won't make it to the U.S., however, until next year. For more info on the phone, you can head to the Fairphone website.
Image: Fairphone | Flickr