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Mureno CEO Gael Guval

Sustainable Smartphone Arrives in United States: Murena Fairphone Comes to America

July 6, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

A niche smartphone designed with sustainability and customer privacy in mind is now available for sale in the United States. The effort involves Murena of France and Fairphone of Amsterdam.

Fairphone, founded in 2013, is based in Amsterdam, North Holland. The company develops a smartphone that typically runs Google Android. Fairphone strives to design, deliver and support the phone using sustainable technologies and green business practices. The company's partner program is listed in our Sustainable Partner Programs database.

Murena Fairphone 4

Murena, founded in 2018, is based in Paris. The company, led by CEO Gaël Duval (pictured, top of page), designs smartphones and cloud services that "put users' privacy first." Murena's flagship software project is called /e/OS -- an open source operating system for privacy-enabled smartphones.

Murena Fairphone 4 for United States Customers: Pricing and Availability

Fairphone and Murena have partnered since around 2020. Now, the two companies selling the Murena Fairphone 4 running /e/OS in the United States. Businesses and consumers in the United States can select from these options:

  • $599 for the 6GB/128GB; and
  • $679 for the 8GB/256GB across the United States.

The devices are recommended for use with T-Mobile and MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) based on the T-Mobile network in the United States. Using Fairphone 4 with other US carriers is not recommended, the companies said.

This effort represents the first time Fairphones will be available for sale in the United States, the companies said.

What Is A Sustainable Smartphone?

So what makes Fairphone a "sustainable" smartphone company? The firm notes that Fairphone 4 has:

  • A modular design -- which allows savvy customers to make repairs with a standard screwdriver.
  • The highest iFixit score on the market - 10/10 - and has received a 9.3 in the French Repairability Index.
  • Earned TCO Certification, a third-party sustainability certification for IT products.

Meanwhile, Murena's /e/OS software roadmap is designed to help customers "leave" Apple iOS and iPhone along with Google Android, according to Murena CEO Gaël Duval. "Our values: Privacy, facts over claims, sustainability, are going to remain the key drivers for the development of /e/OS and the Murena cloud in the coming years," Duval wrote in a May 2023 blog.

Apple, Google, Samsung and other smartphone makers have taken some of their own steps toward sustainability. The Apple sustainability effort includes numerous e-waste reduction moves and some self-service repair options. Someone similar efforts are progressing at Google and Samsung. Still, numerous critics believe the technology giants can do more to push circular economy business practices forward.

Sustainable Smartphone for United States Customers: Executive Perspectives

Eva Gouwens, CEO, Fairfield

In a prepared statement about partner-driven expansion into the United States, Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens said: “We know based on feedback we have received that there are many people interested in Fairphone in the US. However, currently our main focus is on the European market. This collaboration with e/OS/ is a great opportunity for us to pilot selling devices in the US market with a long-standing partner and learn more about the American market.

Added Gaël Duval, Murena CEO and /e/OS founder: “We are excited to bring high-quality sustainable phones with advanced privacy features to the USA. With the inclusion of our pro-privacy operating system /e/OS, we are proud to offer users a device that not only lasts longer but also protects people's personal data. At Murena, we are convinced that this is the perfect combination for a more ethical phone."

Duval's name and expertise are familiar in the open source industry. His earlier efforts included Mandrake Linux.

Fairphone CEO Transition, Version 5.0 Rumors

Meanwhile, the Murena Fairphone news surfaces roughly one week after Fairphone CEO Eva Gouwens announced plans to step down from the smartphone maker.

Also of note: Recent media reports suggested that Fairphone is preparing to release version 5.0 of its sustainable smartphone. The company has not commented on those product launch reports.

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