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Fairphone showed off off its modular smartphone made from ethically-sourced materials at the South By Southwest Interactive conference and festival in Austin this week, where the Fairphone 2 was a finalist for an Innovation award.

Fairphone didn’t win the award, but this marks one of the first times the team has shown off the phone in the United States. It’s currently available in Europe for €529, and Fairphone says it could bring the smartphone to the United States in 2017.

lpx smallFor the latest episode of the LPX Show podcast, I spoke with Fairphone’s public engagement manager Daria Koreniushkina about the company’s goals, which include:

  • Using materials from conflict-free mines
  • Improving working conditions for factory workers
  • Building phones which are designed to last 3-5 years, and which are easy to repair and recycle

The Fairphone 2 has gotten a lot of attention since it initially launched for that last bullet point, and in fact it was the first smartphone to get a perfect 10 out of 10 score for repairability from iFixit.

So I also reached out to iFixit founder Kyle Wiens, who had some interesting thoughts about this modular phone… and why so many other companies don’t seem interested in making phones that are easy to repair.

fairphone_03We also talked about whether it makes sense to sell a phone designed to last 5 years if it has hardware that may not be state of the art (the Fairphone 2 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 2,420 mAh battery, and a 1920 x 1080 pixel display)

You can hear what Wiens and Koreniushkina had to say in episode 5 of the LPX Show by clicking the play button above or visiting the LPX Show website.

Also make sure to subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or via RSS if you want to make sure you don’t miss upcoming episodes of the show.

You can also follow the podcast on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook for the latest updates.

Oh yeah — I’m also curious to know what other podcasts you’re listening to. You can check out my playlist as the LPX Show website, and sound off in the comments there to let me know what’s in yours!

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