Another delay in the delivery of the Librem 5

my bb q10 is 2gb ram as well and it never was a problem. i just wanted to avoid the constant nagging of the update notification after bb clearly said they were not investing any more development. so now it’s 50 megabytes of updates waiting to happen that i just can’t verify what they are and i probably don’t care since the phone works the same. probably just my local “big-brother” pushing proprietary crap down my throat. well keep pushing soon the recycle bin awaits …

Some people want to use librem5 as a desktop replacement, with nextcloud, syncthing, mycroft, Wi-Fi Display and so on. See several posts on this forum (even purism advertised it in the sense to replace a desktop - bundled with a screen).
All these applications use some/a lot of RAM. Not to forget the gnome desktop environment, which is heavy on resources…

Just some examples:
fresh loaded gnome (nothing else): 200MB + gsd_*(50MB)
libre-office document with a few pages: 500MB
Wi-Fi Display (if supported): 400MB
and all other apps, daemons, and so on. I don’t know how this should be possible with 2GB.

I think too little RAM and bad video driver (i.e. sluggish and laggy UX) will prevent librem5 from being successful. The first point (RAM) can be solved quite easily. I recently bought 16GB for 80$ high quality ddr4. So 2 GB more should be 10$ max for purism. For the second point (etnaviv driver) I hope they (or anybody else) will get it done.

And in the sense of future-proof: What is the sense of an exchangeable battery if the ram is much too little for future use-cases and can not be upgraded at all?

So, in sum, I hope for 4GB. Four or more. The specs still say “RAM: 3 GB minimum (subject to change)”


I think the bigger memory limitation is not cost of the ram chips but rather space on the board itself. Also I believe the memory will be soldered on to the board not a DIMM/SODIMM so I don’t think that’s a very fair nor relevant comparison.

As I am not an expert when it comes to board and chip schematics this is all my understanding of second/third hand information; that said…

With a phone form factor chip space is always at a premium, by having a smart card slot and m.2 for the baseband there is an inherent inefficiency of space used for those devices compared to having them directly on the board. This is a plus for repairability and upgradeability bit does mean less space for other chips. I believe so many phones on the market have 3GB of RAM for these exact reasons. I’m curious if the next jump will be to 4GB or 6GB or ??? though I think this will be more based on what Samsung/Hynnix/etc can produce than anything else.

Just something worth considering.


Isn’t the ram discussion a bit off topic to this thread?

Regarding how much memory, sdcard or whatever is needed from my point of view it would be important to have it exchangeable on some kind of level. There was once a thread with the idea to partner with fairphone which created phones with replaceable components.

I hope that apart from the CPU, which will be on the mainboard I guess, we could maybe exchange components later - maybe even drop the baseband (in case we don’t need it) and use the m2 for other things like a gpu or ssd - ofc depending on the form factor.

I mean this is purism and not apple sticking their components with glue so that you can’t do anything :smiley:

Ontopic: Better a late phone than some hardware bugs apart from that I also believe in the Software MVP approach purism has chosen

PS: I am still using my first smartphone the Galaxy S3 which looses against the librem 5 specs in most of the specs :smiley:


It’s also worth recognizing that adding new features will add more delays, which is why things are pretty much fixed already within the rough constraints given in the specs.

Even adding more memory comes with risks - and every change has to be tested.


You’re not looking at this from Purism’s perspective. They need to sell the phone to make money. They have employees to pay. Another delay is a PR nightmare.
If/when Purism releases a second phone we can expect more improvements.


Here’s a nice holistic explanation for what’s going on. Not affiliated with Purism, just a PMI certified PMP.

This project is way off the roadmap. Any time a project misses deadlines the costs go up. The problem is that Purism is a small company and most of their revenue for this project came from pre-orders last year. Sure, some orders are still trickling in, but their burn rate is much higher than their cash flow from new orders at this point.

They can’t charge us more for the phones than we’ve already paid. Most of their costs are for labor, since they haven’t bought the hardware yet - they can’t ask their employees to give that back. The pile of money they got from pre-orders only starts getting spent on the phones we ordered AFTER they’ve spent all the money it takes them to figure out how to build the phones we ordered.

The lack of communication and loose hardware specs gives Purism flexibility. As their development costs rise they can skimp on hardware to make up the difference. I wasn’t expecting a flagship phone, but it looks like we’re going to get a lower mid-tier phone from 2017 sometime later this year unless they blow another deadline. For the fanboys/paid shills/psychedelic mushroom users (I can’t really tell the difference reading your posts) who insist that 100mb of RAM and 2G is just fine - save your keystrokes - no sane person wants to pay for a year of overruns when they buy a cell phone.

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Well, since I’m still using a Samsung Galaxy S5 (a 2014 flagship), it’s an improvement for me. Not that I actually need it, this 5 year old device is plenty fast enough without any Google spybloat in the OS.

The latter part there is actually the one part which is 100% future-proofed. The modem is a replaceable unit in standard M.2 form factor. There’s nothing stopping you from sticking a 5G modem in there later on if you so desire. Sure, the antennae won’t give you access to the 26 and 50 GHz (it’s in that region, I forget the exact numbers) bands, but it’ll still work on the “old” frequency bands once they get re-allocated from 2-4G purposes. Note that “mmWave” is a subset of “5G” - the existing frequencies will still be used because this new higher frequency spectrum has at the absolute best 300-500 metres of range and requires direct uninterrupted line of sight.


Hear hear, a lunatic expert on the matter.
You are missing a few points.
First, they made quite a lot more during the campaign than the minimum.
Second, is $60000 per month “trickling in”?


There’s no need for name-calling.

Remind me what PMI and PMP stand for. I know I could look it up, but I’m feeling lazy. :wink:


I heard this and don’t have time to investigate:
Is it true that cell service providers have direct memory access via proprietary GSM modem, even on Librem5? So the open hardware of Librem shares the same memory as the proprietary GSM module that your provider can run code on?
True or false?

Project Management Institute
Project Management Professional

First, I never claimed that they only made the minimum. I don’t have access to their financials. I stuck to universal truths. The longer a project goes over deadlines the more the costs pile up. Purism has blown two self-imposed deadlines on this project already and the current roadmap has them finishing up not on a date or a month, but a quarter of a year. As others have already pointed out that could mean late December. A year of unplanned costs with no additional revenue isn’t great for any project.

Second, even if your $60K figure is correct (doubtful) I can guarantee you that Purism is spending more than that to keep this project going. As a project blows past deadlines it starts to look more like vaporware than a viable project. As the months roll by cancellations and refunds will take a bigger bite from their revenue stream from new sales.

Not a pro here and I’m pretty sure lots of folks here knows this case much better than I do but I still will try to help you on that matter. (but you should have posted your question on a dedicated thread like this one)

I don’t know if CSPs have got this kind of access but on most modern cellphones the broadband adapter is integrated so it does have access to memory.

On the Librem 5 the broadband adapter is physically separated from all of the other parts of the phone and has got only access to what the CPU gives it orders on what it has to do atm and nothing else.


False. One reason to have the modem as a completely separated device (like a keyboard you plug in) is to be able to prevent it from having full access to system memory (which seems to be the case in the typical all-in-one-chip approach).


I wasn’t commenting on their choice of a modem.

The reason Purism is being vague on important hardware specs (amount of RAM, screen size, NFC, camera(s)) is because this gives them financial wiggle-room. Companies much larger than Purism have failed because they had projects run off the rails. The final specs for the phone will be determined by how much cash they have left. If the first gen guinea pigs are lucky, we’ll get a discount on a higher-spec’d gen 2 phone. As deadlines whiz by and costs mount Purism will be limited on what bells and whistles they can include on the first gen phone.

While you’re happy with a phone that can make calls and send texts, many buyers want their phones to do more. It doesn’t help that Purism is advertising convergence. How happy will someone who expected this phone to be a laptop/desktop replacement be when it only comes with 1 GB of RAM?

I think the user-replaceable modem is a good idea when you’re trying to sell a phone to dozens of countries with many carriers in each country. Unfortunately, users won’t be able to upgrade RAM, upgrade the screen size or resolution or otherwise fix bad hardware decisions caused by a cash crunch.


You are correct with the universal truths in case the following is also true:

  • the money which was planned until the planned timeline was used - I would also assume that there is a yes
  • after ending the project, Purism would fire or seek a different work for those developers to make more profits - here I would assume that this is not the case

You cannot truly see this project as a fix price project. As several comments state, there is additional money coming in and as I wrote I am not sure, if it was ever intended to drop developers after project finalization. However I am also sure they did calculate some buffer - they knew that there were high risks and the timeline we saw initially probably was the best case - I also was very skeptical about the timeline from the beginning as you can see here: Librem 5 Delivery - Project on track?

So maybe - and most of the posts in this thread are speculation - the earned value of the dollars spent via the developers put on this project, are not as high as if they would work on other stuff, but currently I don’t have the feeling purism is lacking progress nor innovation on other parts of their company - they just deployed librem one, have continously progress with the librem key and from time to time have a new revision or less expansive version of the laptops. So fire developers once the librem 5 is delivered? I don’t think so. It was also planned to maintain the librem 5 after the launch - so I assume that for now everything is fine.

In any case - you should always think that Purism is a SPC and not a profit oriented organisation. For purism maximizing profits is not money but making us as a society profit - at least thats my naive view on this company and that’s also why I trust them and back this project (honestly since Sunday knowing all this despite the fact that I didn’t want to buy a new phone until my current one breaks). That’s why I think that Purism can do decisions you could never do in a profit oriented company - they can do e.g. deficits in the librem 5 or another product and cross-financing it via e.g. the librem one, the laptops or vice versa. More or less like a company owned by the state which is serving the people and not their stakeholders to generate interests. Example: Is it economic to have a school bus which is passing by a town in the hills? No. Does this kid have to pay more? No. Is it the right thing for the government to do so? Yes!

Again off-topic:
I agree that is vague on the specifications - hell look at the first lunduke interview with Todd - there we heard about a fullhd display, I think 128gb sd-card and such stuff - they changed to the lower resolution display and less disk space relatively soon not now - I think that this is the best deal could make. I am convinced that once the final word about cameras has to be spoken, that they will get a good trade off and have mainly freedom and our interests in mind.
Having a tbd there is mostly there because I assume that they don’t want to make false promises - you as a pmi certified pmp should know what’s this about - expectation management :slight_smile:

I have no intention to start a flame war nor am I affiliated in any way with - as I said that’s my naive view on what my impression of purism is after everything I read and viewed on this site and interviews I saw. :slight_smile: If I’m wrong in the end that’s ok - but from what they did in the past, I know that they support my idealistic view of how I want the world to be and if my money would not be on that - how could I deserve to live in the world of my dreams?


i guess if it’s an electric buss and it’s operated on a RISC-V/free-software then yes.


I think a little bit of that legal california marijuana isnt a bad idea to include with these phones… holy crap.

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Purism will be limited on what bells and whistles they can include on the first gen phone.

turns out they weren’t as limited as you speculated they would be.

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