In an industry dominated by short software support timelines, Fairphone, the pioneer of sustainable smartphones, continues to challenge the status quo. The company’s latest announcement reveals that the Fairphone 3, released in 2019, will receive an impressive seven years of OS support, setting a new benchmark for the Android ecosystem.

While even major tech companies struggle to match Apple’s software support for iPhones, Fairphone’s commitment to sustainability and consumer-friendly practices shines through.

Extended Support and Android 13

Fairphone has officially extended support for the Fairphone 3 until 2026, ensuring a remarkable seven years of updates for the device. This announcement comes alongside the release of Android 13 for the Fairphone 3, highlighting the company’s determination to provide users with the latest software features and security enhancements. In contrast, Google’s own Pixel 4, released in the same year, ceased support in October 2022.

Fairphone’s Commitment to Sustainability

At the heart of Fairphone’s mission is the goal to create sustainable smartphones. They achieve this by designing devices that are repairable and offering replacement parts for sale online.

A significant aspect of their sustainability efforts is the remarkable feat of providing consistent Android updates, even when faced with challenges such as component vendors like Qualcomm dropping support for critical core components.

Fairphone’s ability to maintain support for the Fairphone 3 despite Qualcomm’s limitations is a testament to their unwavering commitment to its users.

Overcoming Industry Challenges

In the typical update process, Google releases a new build to the Android open source repository, which SoC vendors like Qualcomm use to create a “Board Support Package (BSP)” for each SoC. This package includes essential drivers and proprietary code required for the hardware to function. However, Qualcomm discontinued support for the Fairphone 3’s Snapdragon 632 SoC after Android 11, leaving Fairphone to undertake the task of creating the BSP update independently.

Remarkably, Fairphone is the only Android manufacturer that goes to such lengths to ensure continued support when faced with a similar situation. Other manufacturers typically halt support alongside the SoC vendor.

Irregular Update Cadence

While Fairphone’s commitment to seven years of updates is commendable, it’s worth noting that the updates may not arrive at regular intervals. The company even skipped Android 12 to prioritize the development of Android 13 due to the significant work involved in building the BSP.

Monthly security updates may also experience slight irregularities. However, Fairphone’s ability to achieve this feat with a fraction of the budget of larger companies debunks the excuses often made by other Android manufacturers.

Who Cares?

Consumers who value sustainability, long-term support, and minimizing electronic waste should pay attention to Fairphone’s achievements. The Fairphone 3’s extended software support sets a new standard in the Android ecosystem, challenging other manufacturers to prioritize consumer needs over forced obsolescence.

Furthermore, individuals concerned about the environmental impact of e-waste will find Fairphone’s commitment to repairability and sustainable practices compelling.

For more information, visit Fairphone’s official website:

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