Fairphone Android Smartphone Designs In Free Trade, Eco-Friendly, and Open Technologies, Manufacturing

Here's something you don't see everyday: a smartphone that's sourced "ethically." With all of the hubbub surrounding Foxconn, sweatshop labor and questionable working conditions for the people producing the electronics we buy on a regular basis, Fairphone is hoping to do for phones what has already been done in the world of diamond mining and coffee trading. Based in the Netherlands, Fairphone began around three years ago as a means to produce a phone that was free of conflict minerals, and it has since evolved into an actual hardware start-up.

And as of this month, they're opening up pre-orders to those who would love to put their money up in support of such a cause. The company needs 5,000 people to place dibs on pre-orders for the 325 Euro phone ($436) to enter production. What's the phone going to be like? It'll be an unlocked, 4.3" device with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), a quad-core CPU, a 1.3MP front-facing camera, dual-SIM trays for international travelers, and a pretty slick looking UI.

But for as honorable as the cause is, here's the trouble: they're having issues getting just 5,000 people around the globe to buy one. Compare that to Samsung's Galaxy S4, which just sold 10 million units in under a month. It goes to show that while many folks will hold up pitchforks and support something vocally, putting their money where their mouths are is a different story.