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Fairphone reveals the true cost of producing mobile phones

Sep 10

Written by:
10/09/2015 16:09  RssIcon

Cost breakdown for latest Fairphone model


Fairphone has today published its innovative cost breakdown for the new model of Fairphone due out later this month.

In a move to highlight the need for transparency in the electronics sector, the campaigning business has shared detailed information about how it calculated the retail price of its latest smartphone, the Fairphone 2.

The infographic below shows consumers the true cost of creating a mobile phone, including taxes, production, investments and operations.

Click on the image to see a pdf of the full-sized infographic


Transparency a key issue

Transparency is one of the guiding principles behind Fairphone’s philosophy for more responsible consumer electronics. In addition to increasing traceability and working to improve industry practices, the organization wants to give consumers greater insight into its business model, including what it costs to make, sell and service a phone.

For example:

  • For each phone sold, €118 goes to taxes such as VAT, levies like WEEE (a European Community electronics recycling directive) and discounts for reseller partners.
  • Well over half of the phone’s retail price (65%) is dedicated to making the actual product. Besides components, manufacturing and logistics, the product cost includes premiums for social innovation projects like the Worker Welfare Fund in China and e-waste collection in Ghana.
  • One of the key investments for the Fairphone 2 was the creation of an original design that makes the phone easy to open and repair, alongside setting up and running projects that contribute to a more ethical supply chain, like sourcing conflict-free minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



Crowd funding costs 

Like the first Fairphone, the new phone is being sold using a pre-order model to ensure that the organisation can operate without external investment. Fairphone aims to sell 15,000 phones by the end of September to kick-start production of the Fairphone 2. To date, over 10,000 phones have already been purchased by Fairphone supporters.

The new phone also features what designers say is “a game-changing modular design” to improve longevity and repairability.


Fairphone's Director of Communications, Tessa Wernink, will be speaking at Ethical Consumer's annual conference on September 25th.
Find out more and book your ticket now >

You can see the Fairphone rated along side other mobile phone handsets in our special report on mobile phones. This includes an interview with Fairphone's Tessa Wernink










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