Curious When My Phone Will Ship?

Mass production is cheaper per unit than JIT manufacturing, but JIT makes sense if the design or parts may change, which could have been the case with a phone that doesn’t yet have FCC/CE certification. It is still possible that the dev team will discover new problems in the design, since the cameras, smartcard reader and GPS aren’t yet fully tested in the software and the SARS not tested, so maybe Purism was purposely limiting production. Technically, Purism is only allowed to ship development versions of the phone before it gets FCC certification, so Purism had reasons to limit the production.

I’m not sure that anyone outside the company knows for sure, but these are possible speculations for why Purism didn’t buy up the needed chips beforehand:

  • Purism didn’t want to buy a large quantity of i.MX 8M Quad, because it is hoping that NXP will release a newer version of the chip that fixes the 2 power management bugs in the silicon and the problem limiting the speed of the USB 3.0 bus to 150-170 MB/s.

  • Purism was waiting for the full functionality to be developed in the software, so it could get FCC certification, so it didn’t want to mass produce a phone on a design that wasn’t yet finalized. Instead, it decided to produce at a trickle until it was sure the design was right, but then it got caught in the global chip shortage.

  • Purism didn’t have the funds on hand to buy the chips beforehand, and was using JIT manufacturing and trickle shipping as a way to stimulate more orders so that it could get the funds to pay for more manufacturing.

  • Purism was procuring the parts for the L5 USA, but letting the EMS company in China procure the parts for the L5, and the EMS company didn’t want to take the risk of buying up a large number of chips beforehand without firm order dates from Purism.

  • Lack of foresight or bad management prevented Purism from acting quickly to procure the needed chips when the global chip shortage first started.



  • Mistakes happen all along the supply chain on through the Purism side of things. It’s just how the world works. The modern expectation of everything being available all the time for delivery next day is an illusion based on large amounts of cheap capital available for the supply chain to use to finance the JIT delivery of this magic.

The real world is much messier and less forgiving.


I am in the same boat. I am loosing faith about ever getting a phone. Nothing we can do short of legal action. That would cost more than the phone. So we do not have many options except to wait as they stopped refunds a while back. I requested a refund via several e-mails that went ignored for weeks and I had to finely post here to get a response to my e-mail request. The response was I had to wait until the phone was ready to ship. That might be never I am sorry to say.
They might not want to send e-mail updates as they would be only telling you the phones will be ready to ship very soon over and over again. Still they “estimate” shipping in 180 days. This give new customers false hope. I hate to be so negative, but it comes with the territory. I hope it works out for us all.


My solution was to request a refund… All these problems with chip manufactures… Bla bla bla are not my problem.

What I have a problem with is the USA Version is being shipped right now and is in stock… I can buy it this very second and have it shipped if I give another 1k on top of the 1k I have already paid…

Both phones same hardware and OS…

I sent an email as a courtesy… Lets see how they respond.

These problems affect even Apple and Toyota. These companies can survive that, but tiny companies which actually fight for the users’ rights can go bankrupt. In the latter case, no one will ever receive their phone and we will have to obey Google or Apple masters. This will be a problem of everyone then.


I understand what everyone is saying but I dissagree with decisions that Purism has made handling backorders from a business stand point.

This is why:

  1. Both phones Purism sells (Librem 5 & Librem 5 USA) Are the exact same phone, same hardware, same specs, same everything in everyway. The only difference is one is made in USA the other is made NOT in the USA.

  2. The (Librem 5 USA) is about one thousand dollars more than the (Librem 5) Remember BOTH PHONES ARE IDENTICAL IN EVERYWAY!

  3. I purchased a (Librem 5)(Not USA made) over a year ago. I still have not recieved a phone.

  4. I can purchase a (Librem 5 USA ) phone right this second and get it in six weeks.


If I decide to pay for a (USA VERSION LIBREM 5) right now I will recieve it before the phone I ordered over a year ago. Please try to explain to me how this is a fair business deal to me Mr. Customer? Remember BOTH OF THESE PHONES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME. THE DIFFERENCE IS ONE IS MADE IN USA THE OTHER IS NOT MADE IN THE USA.

Purism has pushed out delivery dates for the (Librem 5 NONE USA MADE) phones a number of times.

In regards to the CPU shortages… Namely the IMX8 Processors. I use these exact same single board computers for products my company builds. I purchase these 5000 sometimes 10000 at a time. These also can be purchased in singles or anywhere in between. I have had no issues purchasing or out of stock problems. There are several versions of this single board computer/CPU. Purism may use one of these different versions. All versions are available in high number with exception of two which are available in limited numbers. Either way I would be happy to help source any needed parts using my business contacts. Feel free to contact me. Link is below for CPUs and versions from Toradex.

I do understand business and understand Purisms decisions. New startup companies are extremely difficult to get off the ground. Its a 24/7 mental and physical grind every second. If I may make some suggestions for options?

  1. Communicate weekly with real info from the CEO. If its the same info then its the same info. Be honest, admit mistakes and provide solutions. Sometimes you just got to eat your mistakes and lose a crap load of money to make things right. However, if you are straight up honest and communicating regularly with your customers they will stick by you.

  2. I know the purpose of a USA made version and offshore made version of the phone has two purposes. One provides a secure chain of custody of all individual parts and is made in USA so labor etc…is higher. That makes sense. The other version of the phone is built offshore using same parts with not as high degree of chain of custody. So its cheaper to make. I realize sourcing parts, building a new phone design within standard compliances are difficult.

  3. Covid19 has destroyed countless numbers of businesses due to governments shutting everything down. Business ONLY WORKS FROM CASH FLOW. Key word is FLOW. Profits for any electronical devices are very small so biz makes up for it in selling high volumes of products. If this flow of money is interupted then business stops. Especially after being shut down for over a year. Any cash or profits any businesses may have during this time is most likely gone.

  4. Options for backorder of phones.
    a. Ship all backorders of the Librem 5 phone the LIBREM 5 USA VERSION and eat the loss. Time is money, deliver product and move forward.
    b. Give your customers the option to upgrade and pay more for the Librem USA Version. But give them a big discount. Dont be afraid to ask for more money. Dont be afraid to tell the truth, facts, or mistakes. The more open the communications the more your customers will ride and die with you. Over communicate and under promise. If I was given the option to pay a bit more and get my phone sooner I would do it right now.
    c. Go to bank and or investors and get more money. Keep the cash flow moving. Frankly im impressed Purism made it through the forced Covid debacle. Regardless if you need the money or not. Now is the time to establish or increase a businesses line of credit.

d. Get on the phone everyday with whomever the bottle neck or stoppage is. Bother them everyday. Do it politely. But do it everyday. Get creative, get to know them, establish relationships, be friends, but bother them everyday politely. Motivate them to be on your side and want to go out of thier way yo help you.

e. Get with your business team the people you trust and get and find creative ways to solve issues. Tell them to continue to ponder and provide ideas no matter how crazy they seem.

f. Dont be afraid of asking for money and why you need it. Whats the worse that can be said? No? Purism truly is the first and only company positioned to create a secure private linux product. Any bank or investor would be crazy not to realize and see this.

If I can be of help please feel free to contact me.
Best regards to everyone.

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Did you get an update ever? Thanks.

No not yet. To be clear… I would rather have the phone sooner instead of requesting a refund. I dont want to shell out another grand for a new android phone im going to use for a few months… My current phone is on deaths door. I would gladly pay an additional amount for a phone that would ship quicker.

same - October 6, 2017

This is something I have actually been wondering about.

On July 5, 2021 I upgraded my regular L5 pre-order (made in December 2018) to L5 USA. At that point, the “Now Shipping! Place your order now, get in approximately 6 to 8 weeks!” statement had been there for several weeks already.

Now, almost 7 weeks later the status is still “Awaiting Shipment”.

Should I keep fingers crossed that it will change to “Shipped” within the next week? Or am I being too naive?

Naive would be overstating it. There’s nothing wrong being hopefull but preparing for extending those time-limits, as you obviously seem to be doing. This is not normal times and normal expectations should not be applied, unfortunately. This also is not a binary thing - delivery just takes longer (no verified reasons not to trust that).

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If I don’t get my shipment notification within the next week, how could one expect me to consider it normal to keep the “6 to 8 weeks” bait statement on the product page? I agree though — it depends on what norm we are talking about. I can’t deny that BS has been the de-facto norm all around, and, if I am not getting my “In Stock” order within the promised (and still being promised) timeframe, then what I was naive about was to assume that Purism would be an exception not adopting that norm.

Maybe you can get the i.MX 8M Mini, but it is not a good replacement for the i.MX 8M Quad. The Quad has twice as much L2 cache and its RAM runs 100MHz faster than the Mini. The GC320 2D and GC NanoUltra 3D GPU in the Mini is frankly garbage and will provide very limited hardware acceleration. The GC7000Lite GPU in the Quad has 4 times more shaders than the GC NanoUltra 3D GPU in the Mini. The mini only provides USB 2.0, so the USB-C port will be 4 times slower than the USB 3.0 with the Quad. The Mini only has one video port for the internal screen and no support for HDMI and DisplayPort, so there there will be no video out and no convergence. The Quad supports using both of the cameras at the same time, whereas the Mini only supports one camera.

None of the i.MX 8 chips are energy efficient enough to be used in a phone and all the other i.MX 8M chips have disadvantages like the Mini compared to the Quad, and the Plus hasn’t been released yet, so there really wasn’t any option but to wait 6 months for NXP to produce the Quad.

The parts suppliers had the following inventory on April 2, 2021 for the i.MX 8M Quad (MIMX8MQ6DVAJZAB):

  • Mouser: 23 in stock, $58.91 for 1, $57.24 in lot of 10, 27 weeks lead time
  • Arrow: None in stock, $41.72 in lot of 90, 26 weeks lead time
  • Digi-Key: 26 in stock, $78.70 for 1, 26 weeks lead time

The normal price is $35.50, so it was possible to obtain 49 of the chips at double the normal price in early April. Based on that, I assume that Purism was able to buy up a couple hundred of the chips at elevated prices when it planned to start producing the Librem 5 USA, but it was impossible to obtain more. If Purism sent those chips to China, then it could produce a couple hundred more Librem 5’s, but so the people who preordered in Oct. 2017 would get their phones, but everyone else would still be in the same situation waiting for their phones. By the way, it appears that most of the people who preordered the Librem 5 USA are still waiting for their phones as well, and they are also complaining about the delays.

Purism just did that by raising the price $100 on the phone and raising $2.04 million in new investment in the company over the last month.


Unless you have performed a component by component check of that then you aren’t in a position to claim it (but then neither am I in a position to claim the opposite). However, as far as I am aware, they do have the same CPU - and getting CPUs is such a big problem that even Toyota can’t manage to do it (as already linked above).

As Amos points out, the CPU that you quote is not actually the right one.


If you continue looking at the link i sent it list all versions of the IMX8. The reason is as stated in my responses I wasnt sure which chip version. Thats why I sent a link to all versions including the quad version.

However, now my concerns and further research has uncovered a phone manufacturer in hong kong with strangely the exact same specs and exact same delivery time frame. This other manufacturer is also a linux phone.

Customers arent foolish and this is why communication is important.

I didnt provide links to mouser, digikey or any other chip providers nore do I care what or why they have or had stocks at any date or time. Simply put. I dont care about them. I dont use them as a supplier and I never mentioned them so bringing them up was pointless. I use Toradex and I offered any help in providing my contacts if that wasnt obvious in reading.


I doubt that either edition is being manufactured in Hong Kong.

Perhaps some manufacturer in HK has downloaded the schematics from the Purism web site and is selling their own edition of the Librem 5 (nothing to do with Purism of course). :joy:

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Perhaps… However why are the delivery times the same?

And Im also interested to see if Greendrake gets a Shipment notification this upcoming week? If he does not then everything Purism is stating regarding these phones and ship dates are questionable. Rightly so.

Either do or dont. Again, communication avoids all this. Everytime a delivery date or time is missed credibility is destroyed and confidence eroded.

As you didn’t provide a link to what you are referring to, it would be difficult for someone to speculate on that.

Another completely speculative option would be: intending to resell the actual Librem 5?

I can imagine a few customers in Hong Kong with a higher than average requirement for privacy and security. :frowning:

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I still cn not get my order nor my money back. This is the shittest company ever.

NXP used to not have public data sheets for the Plus, but I can now download them. I see that SolidRun is now advertising several boards with the Plus, so it appears to now be in production. The Toradex web page says that its Plus boards are: “Currently low stock level. More coming soon. Please contact us for details.”

At any rate, redesigning the Librem 5 to use the Plus at this point would cause far more delays than waiting till October for the Quad. Purism would have to add another chip to the board to convert from HDMI to DisplayPort if it uses the Plus, and it is going to be a while before the Plus has mainline Linux support. People ordering the Librem 5 also aren’t going to be happy with the Plus’s weaker GPU and VPU and reduced cache, compared to the Quad.

A link would be nice. When I do a Google search for Linux phones from Hong Kong, I only find the PinePhone.

Yes, it was obvious, but Toradex isn’t a chip seller. It is a buyer just like Purism, and I assume that the only reason why it is able to sell boards now with the i.MX 8M Mini and i.MX 8M Plus is because it placed its orders 6 months in advance. I really doubt that a small company like Toradex has any special pull inside NXP, when the company is having to delay chip orders to major auto companies which are its bread-and-butter.