The "world’s first ‘ethical smartphone’" hopes to "create a fairer smartphone economy," reports Sebastian Salek in The Independent (9/20/13). Available for order online, the $440 Fairphone is the brainchild of Bas van Abel, who crowdsourced funding for the device. So far, the Fairphone has attracted 15,000 customers who, as Bas says, "pre-ordered a phone that doesn’t exist yet from a company that’s never made a phone before."
What they’ve bought into is a brand that sources "raw materials from conflict-free mines," pays workers "a living wage" and uses an "open source operating system that anyone can modify." The Fairphone’s body is "made out of recycled polycarbonate" and its battery "is removable, extending the lifespan of the device." It "supports two SIM cards simultaneously, allowing users to merge their business and work phones, reducing the number of phones in circulation."
The Fairphone does not include "headphones or charger in the box. The company is banking on the fact that customers already own these accessories so providing them would be wasteful." Among its unique features is Mood Changer, which changes the color of the device’s wallpaper as its battery depletes and Peace of Mind, which "allows you to disable notifications for a duration of your choice" (effectively "encouraging people not to use their phones.") The Fairphone is set to ship in December.