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Phones

FairPhone ethically-sourced phone hits target, out in autumn

The FairPhone is built using ethically-sourced minerals, and using factories with a good employment conditions record.

FairPhone, the project to build a smart phone out of ethically-sourced materials, has hit its pre-order targets and will put the phone into production this year.

The morally-sound mobile will be built using minerals mined in areas without human rights abuses, and bolted together in factories that have a good record for employment conditions.

FairPhone was looking for 5,000 pre-orders before it could commence production, and has smashed that target with nine days still to go before its deadline.

The mobile itself is no slouch, offering a 4.3-inch display, a quad-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera, plus Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is currently the very latest version of Google's mobile operating system.

If you're keen to learn more, CNET's sister site ZDNet has a cracking interview with the FairPhone gang, who say they're trying to make it possible to make the smart phone's casing out of recycled plastic.

Having hit the 5,000 pre-orders mark, FairPhone will make a down payment to start development. The organisation says it will start delivering phones in the autumn. Pre-orders are currently limited to Europe, with the phone costing €325.

The FairPhone shines a light on the issues of where mobile components are sourced from. The project admits its not there yet, saying, "We are not 100 per cent conflict free. We have never said that and we cannot say that, because we use 60 different suppliers and those suppliers have suppliers. That's the main issue for the mobile industry -- that the supply chain has become so difficult."