Birch Shipping Email Received

I’m suggesting that you could clarify yours.

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Oh of course, my bad. I’ll edit my original post. :wink: Fixed it, now I don’t imply anyone else. Just me. Point remains. The blog post didn’t indicate an extra fee, or the possibility of it. Any posts or emails since did not indicate this either. I read those as meaning we will get a choice between the two with no additional fees. Just @Kyle_Rankin reply on this thread announces such a fee. So what’s the deal?

?? When did you make the decision to back the project? What is your order date? What batch are you in?

The original project commitment did not mention any options and said “specifications subject to change”.

Is that OK? I was OK with that. I knew that I was buying something that was at the time non-existent and was being built from scratch from the ground up.

I don’t have any connection with Purism other than as someone who is an initial backer of the Librem 5, so I definitely don’t speak for Purism - but I have read in this forum that the Gemalto devices only come as BGA packages, not M.2 cards, whereas the Broadmobi devices come as M.2 cards. So Purism will have to mount the BGA package on an M.2 card, or get someone else to do so on its behalf, for the Gemalto devices. Perhaps there have been problems / delays with that part of the process. This is speculation on my part.


I see in this thread that some people have been on this journey with us from the beginning. For those that haven’t, when we first announced the Gemalto it was the only modem we were aware of that would be suitable for the Librem 5. Later on as we continued to source components we discovered we had another option with the Broadmobi modem that was already available as an M.2 card (the Gemalto modem needs to be mounted to a M.2 card in our US facility). More recently as we got final pricing for all of our components the Gemalto modem ended up being about twice as expensive as the Broadmobi.

At that point we had two options:

  1. Conclude the Gemalto modem was too expensive and only offer the Broadmobi option.
  2. Continue to offer the Gemalto but charge more for it.

We figured some people would want the Gemalto even if it cost more so we decided to default to the Broadmobi but continue to offer the Gemalto as an option and let each customer choose. We need to charge more for it though (we are still deciding how much more)–it’s a significant enough difference in price that combined with the number of orders we can’t just offer it for free.


@Kyle_Rankin Thank you for coming back to the thread to clarify the matter. Perhaps it would be of interest to others, those that don’t follow these threads. For example you could send a new message indicating the price difference BEFORE you send out emails asking for their modem choice. Rather than waiting until they receive the modem choice email with the additional caveat.

@kieran I appreciate you were just trying to help. As you don’t work for the company and could not speak on the matter in an official capacity, it just came across to me as confrontational. I am sorry if my frustrations filtered through to you. I used this thread, as this is the first time it was noted to be at a higher price. That notice and how it was delivered came across as disingenuous to me.


Currently the Broadmobi is the only option for early batches–we are still working on the Gemalto. We haven’t made big announcements about it yet because we don’t yet know when the Gemalto will be ready to offer and because we haven’t decided yet how much more to charge.

In general we try not to make big public announcements until we we believe we know things for sure and have enough information to answer the questions we expect will follow (otherwise our support team gets slammed with questions). Having to wait until we have all the information is both frustrating for us and for the community I’m sure, but since I did have some information I could add, I did so in this thread when it came up–I wasn’t trying to be disingenuous, instead I was trying to give as much information as I knew for sure in the interest of being transparent.


It wouldn’t be so bad if you guys didn’t constantly make all kinds of claims to your customers before you had all of the relevant information. But you do this constantly. Take for example the latest Birch delay. Six days ago Todd told the world that it was a non-issue and wouldn’t impact shipping. Yesterday Purism says that despite their best hopes, it will delay shipping.

Todd’s original post was clearly a lie just like Purism’s original statements on the modem selection were clearly a lie. When will the lying end? Does anybody at Purism care about their reputations? As far as I can tell the answer is no because the reputation of Todd and all those who continue to enable him appears to be going straight to hell and not a one of you is doing a damn thing about it.

@jaylittle from the statements I have seen I don’t agree with you. As I don’t want to get into a flame war can you provide proof to back you statements?

I wrote three blog articles on the lies they are telling right as Aspen was “finishing up”. You can read them here.

As for this Birch delay, lets look at what Todd told us six days ago:

This manifested itself into a non-working USB. We are fortunate to have incredibly talented engineers on our team who quickly traced this error down so we could add the resistor to the remaining Birch devices, restore USB, and keep us on track to ship all Birch devices to backers without changing the Birch shipping window.

Now let’s look at the latest update on the situation:

We had hoped, and expected, that the resistor issue (mentioned in this post last week) wouldn’t delay shipping, but it turns out it has caused a few days’ delay.

Hoped and expected? That is absolutely not what Todd said. Todd said that it was a non-issue. Now Purism is changing his statement after the fact. They don’t even have the courtesy to edit the original post which makes it exceedingly easy for people like me to call them out over the change.

It’s pretty simple. The community wanted us to present them with more information more quickly, so when we found out about the resistor issue, we decided to write a post. At the time we made the resistor post, we believed that it would not impact the shipping as that was the information we had a that time. Then later on we found out that it would affect shipping. The moment we found out when we would receiving the final components (we had real shipping information) we wrote the new update.

Changing the original post would be rewriting history, and I’m sure people who are critical of us would call that out as some kind of deception too.


Either way it’s deception. The right move here would’ve been for Todd to simply say, “We are still evaluating what impact this situation will have.” That would’ve been honest and transparent and largely unimpeachable from an honesty and transparency perspective. From an engineering perspective, that’s a different discussion however.

Lets be clear: I don’t want Purism to edit past posts because yes that would also be deceptive. I want Purism to be honest and forthcoming, but that also means not being overly optimistic and giving sober assessments of the situations at hand.

My guess as to what actually happened is pretty simple. This issue came up. Todd and the engineers had a discussion and at least one engineer suggested that this could possibly be fixed by soldering the resistor on the board by hand. At that point Todd decided to run with it and put up a blog post. Then further down the road, whatever engineer drew the short straw and had to tell him that wasn’t in fact going to solve the problem probably got skewered.

I feel bad for that engineer. I really do. I don’t feel the least bit bad for Purism here. Purism desperately needs to learn that honesty and transparency are not mutually inclusive and start adapting their approach to accommodate that. People want both of these things, not just one of these things.

I already explained the scenario. If you’ve decided you’d rather not believe someone who was there, and instead believe a scenario you have imagined based on some sort of malicious assessment of us, I don’t think there’s much more I can add to the discussion.


How about if it is just: We wrote the first post based on the information we had at the time and as soon as realized that was not the case we corrected it with a second post?


Okay say I want to believe that. Help me get there. What exactly was the new information? As far as I can tell the condition was binary so it was either:

  1. Manually adding a resistor to the board resolved the issue.

  2. Manually adding a resistor to the board didn’t resolve the issue.

Okay since 11/15 when a statement was made affirming #1, something changed. What was it? Well there are a few possibilities:

  1. On 11/15 this fix was purely theoretical and subsequent testing showed that it wouldn’t fully resolve the issue.

  2. On 11/15 this fix had only been partially tested and appeared to be legit and further testing revealed that it wouldn’t fully resolve the issue.

Which one was it? Keep in mind that both possibilities imply that Purism simply didn’t test the fix enough (or at all) before making a definitive statement on the matter. Maybe there is a tertiary possibility, but in that case you are going to have to spell it out for me.

I want to believe that Purism has the best intentions here. But given the nature of the issue and the firmness of Todd’s original statement on the matter, it’s really hard for me to get there.

Please help.

I don’t believe this is true, based on your past statements and how you react to new statements, so if you don’t believe the words I’ve already said, I don’t see how adding more words will help and I have to be thoughtful about how I spend my time.

For everyone else, you can see my previous posts in the thread for an explanation of what happened.


Thanks a lot for your answer.
I perfectly understand the lose-lose situation: if you keep waiting until you are sure of the informations you have, people are pissed off because they feel ignored or, worse, they believe the entire Purism team is running away to some tropical island with all of their customers’ money.
On the other hand, if you give us “nightly” updates on the current state of the project, the risk is to give incomplete or even wrong informations, just because that’s all you had at the time of writing!
Either ways, somebody is going to complain about it. I trust you.



May we see your business degree? You seem well informed on how good and bad decisions are made in the business world. Could you explain to us how you’d set up your supply chain so as to eliminate delays?

If you were the CEO or Purism, you would never develop the Librem5. You’d make another spybrick, because what seems most important to you is that products get promptly into the hands of customers. We do not want it that way, and that’s not what this is about.


Fair enough:

When we made the resistor post, we had identified the problem, discovered the missing resistor, added a resistor and found it fixed the problem, and every indication was that we would be able to apply this fix and have the remaining components shipped to us in time.

Then we waited for shipping confirmation, and waited. Then we finally got shipping confirmation, and discovered it would fall outside the Birch shipping window. Then we wrote the post about the delay.


I do not like at all what jaylittle is doing in this forum, but here he has a point.

When I preordered my phone, the tech specs of the preordered product were: “Gemalto PLS8 3G/4G modem w/ single SIM on replacable M.2 card”. There was no hint, that I have to pay a higher price later on. And the faq site told it all of us (use wayback machine). The land of origin of the Gemalto modem was even used to advertise with.

What is certain at the moment is:
Baseband: Gemalto PLS8 3G/4G modem w/ single SIM on replaceable M.2 card

And there were other things which did turn out wrong, e.g.

Do you have a German or UK/EU Reseller?
Yes, we have partnered with a German reseller, and will be shipping all German (and hopefully EU orders in general) from Germany.

Nevertheless, I wish you, the pursim team, and us, the backers, good luck.