Techies could soon text with a clear conscience as the world's first fair trade smartphone is unveiled in London on Wednesday.
Dutch company Fairphone is introducing its ethically sourced phone while industry leaders, including Samsung and Apple, continue to face criticism over factory conditions and mineral sourcing.
Over 15,000 Fairphone handsets, retailing at 325 euros, have been pre-ordered from the firm's first 25,000 unit production run. The prototype on show at the company's Soho pop-up shop will be the first customer glimpse before deliveries begin in December.
Though Fairphone CEO and Founder Bas van Abel stressed the phone isn't 100 percent ethical, the project took some crucial first steps.
Fairphone partnered with NGOs, like the Conflict Free Tin Initiative and Solutions for Hope, which provide a traceable supply chain for minerals essential to smartphone production—tin, tungsten and tantalum—that traditionally come from army controlled mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
A living wage review is also underway to ensure workers in China's A'Hong factory receive fair pay while assembling Fairphone's first 25,000 phones this November.
"What's important here is they didn't compromise on experience," said Francisco Jeronimo, IDC Research Director of European Mobile Devices.
Fairphone specs include a custom Android OS, quad core processor, 4.3 inch reinforced screen, and dual SIM capacity—allowing both work and personal phones to rest on one device.