In a world of constantly changing technologies, ensuring the durability of smartphones is a major challenge. This is where Fairphone stands out, promising seven years of software support for its devices, challenging industry giants such as Apple, Samsung and Google. An ambitious promise, but an important step towards a more sustainable technological future.
The durability of our smartphones is an issue of growing concern. Committing to providing software updates over a period of 3, 4, or even 6 years is a real challenge, both financially and technically. However, some companies dare to take up this challenge. In this context, Apple stands out for its long-term software support. The iPhone XR, launched in 2018, will for example be able to take advantage of iOS 17, expected for next fall.
Providing software updates for a smartphone beyond a few years remains a difficult promise to keep. The main reason is the financial and time burden that this represents: developing and testing updates for a constantly evolving product line requires significant resources and a suitable organization.
In addition, the support of the components used can also be an issue. Take the example of Qualcomm, which guarantees software support for its processors for a limited time. Without up-to-date drivers for all components, it becomes complicated to implement necessary updates.
In general, the most generous manufacturers promise software support for 3 years, or even 4 years for the best. This is where Fairphone, a company that has made the fight against planned obsolescence its hobbyhorse, stands out.
Fairphone: a commitment to sustainability
Fairphone is committed to building a durable phone and has just demonstrated its commitment once again by announcing on Twitter that Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 3+ users can now install Android 13 on their devices. As usual, the update will roll out in multiple waves. Users who cannot yet download the patch through system settings should be able to do so in the coming days.
The Fairphone 3, launched in September 2019, initially shipped with Android 9. Although the manufacturer then promised only one major Android update, the Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 3+ also received Android 11 The omission of Android 12 is due to the fact that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor does not officially support newer versions of Android, which has increased the workload for Fairphone’s software team. To compensate for this, Fairphone has announced that it will extend software support for the Fairphone 3 for another two years, until August 2026.
It remains to be seen if the Fairphone 3 and Fairphone 3+ will receive any other major Android updates, or if only security patches will be released over the next three years. Either way, Fairphone’s software support is outstanding. With seven years of update support, the company surpasses even industry giants like Samsung, Google, and Apple.
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