Fairphone’s eco-friendly subscription service could save Earth, but will end up costing you
Fairphone has been known for its focus on a more sustainable future, delivering products that offer easy repairability. Today, the company announced plans for its smartphone subscription service, which will hopefully further its cause, while exposing its product to a wider audience.
Fairphone Easy will be first made available to those in the Netherlands, giving those curious, an opportunity to use a Fairphone 4 for a fixed monthly fee. The company touts its subscription service as worry-free, removing the need to replace a phone or having to worry about fixing it when it breaks. When subscribed, the company will take care of any maintenance required. The plan will also offer long-time subscribers a discount, decreasing monthly fees for every year the phone remains undamaged.
Fairphone states that with its new subscription service, users will be able to help with its cause, reducing the world’s e-waste problem. It can achieve this by having users hold onto their phones for longer. The company also states that even if a user decides to cancel its subscription plan, it will still be able to make an impact by refurbishing the phone and using it for parts or even assigning it to a new subscriber. If the phone cannot be repurposed, it will be recycled.
Interesting idea. But is it better?
With Fairphone Easy, you put down an initial deposit of €90 and pay a monthly subscription fee. This subscription term can be as low as three months or as high as 60 months. If you opt for the 60-month plan (five years), you will pay a monthly subscription fee of €21, which is €1,260 over five years. Of course, if you keep your phone in mint condition, there will be a reduction in monthly fees, but even with the discount applied, you are still going to pay close to €1000. This is quite a bit more than just buying the Fairphone 4.
Currently, the Fairphone is offered in a base model with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage that costs €579. There is also a higher tier model that packs 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage that costs €649. The phone comes standard with a five-year warranty. While we have reached out to Fairphone to get more details about how this plan can benefit customers, right now, it seems like it might be better suited to those interested in a short-term lease. Naturally, if you remove the cost factor, the main benefit for both user and company is that you are chipping in and doing your part in saving the planet.