Swisscom boosted its sustainability credentials after announcing that customers can pick up a new Fairphone 2 device for less than €1 ($1.08) with a contract.
The operator said it will sell the Netherlands-based social enterprise's second smartphone for CHF1 (€0.92/$1) -- far below the €525 at which Fairphone is offering the device -- as it opened advanced orders for the device. Swisscom said the low price is available to customers who sign up to its Natel Infinity Plus XL tariff, which costs CHF179 per month.
Torsten Brodt, head of marketing and product design at Swisscom, said the company is "leading the way" in terms of meeting consumer demand "for sustainably produced products".
Features of the LTE-capable device include a 5-inch, full HD, LCD screen, dual-SIM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies, and an 8-megapixel main camera.
In a statement, Swisscom explained that Fairphone focuses on producing smartphones that meet fair trade principles. The Netherlands-based organisation focuses on ethical extraction of the raw materials used to produce its smartphones, and socially responsible production conditions.
However, a key aspect of the Fairphone range is the ability to easily repair the devices.
Swisscom noted that it is "virtually impossible" to fit spare parts to modern smartphones, with similar difficulties found in terms of upgrading the devices -- for example replacing components. In contrast, Fairphone devices feature a modular design, which Swisscom explained means customers can easily replace the battery or broken screens.
Fairphone CEO Bas Van Abel said Swisscom's participation in the Joint Audit Cooperation -- a telecoms industry initiative designed to promote safe and fair working conditions, and a sustainable product supply chain -- "fits our commitment like a glove".
Swisscom's announcement it will stock the Fairphone 2 comes a week after Finnish mobile company Jolla announced that it had successfully ported its Sailfish OS onto the device, and has now begun evaluating the possibility of a full-blown commercial collaboration with Fairphone.
While the Fairphone 2 currently runs Android 5.1, CTO Olivier Hebert said the potential to use an "open development platform" such as Sailfish "has been one of our major ambitions from the start".
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