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Most of us have felt the exasperation feeling helpless when our smartphone breaks. Phone manufacturers seem to go to extraordinary lengths to deter consumers opening the back of their phones to try DIY repairs. Help is hand. Fairphone is a new company that has produced a self-repairable mobile phone. The founder is Bas van Abel, a Dutch design engineer who set to make "the world's first ethical smartphone". He started his company 2013 four basic principles. First, he wanted to use raw materials non-conflict mining areas. He also wanted to make a product that was recyclable, durable and repairable. The new Fairphone embodies these aims.

The Fairphone website outlines the philosophy that underpins the company. It says its mission is to motivate "a massive industry to take responsibility its impact the world, establishing a viable market for ethical electronics". It highlights the fact that many workers who produce technology are working unacceptable conditions. It also points the, "staggering amount waste the electronics industry generates". Finally, it says: "Communication technology is track to account 14 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions 2040." The Fairphone comes a screwdriver and is easily repairable. The plastic used is 40-per-cent recycled, and the minerals are ethically sourced.

Back to the smartphone repairs lesson.

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