Does the average Joe "need" the USA edition?

It goes without saying that if you’re interested in buying a Librem then you have reasonable security/privacy concerns and/or buy American products whenever possible. Obviously I want the USA edition…but my phone will be for personal use and if there are upgrade options available (USA modem upgrade) I’m struggling with the additional $1200 for the USA edition. An additional grand really makes me weigh the option. What is everybody’s opinion, or justification if you will, for shelling out the extra cheese if you chose the USA edition?

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make America great again ?


I think its mainly a statement of what you want to support and/or a contract requirement. If I had money to throw at it, more than what I already have by buying the phone, I would do it, but not on the expectation that it would be more secure and/or private.


It already is MAGA FT: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter.

That’s exactly the boat I’m in. Of course I want to support American products made by Americans. I understand the attention to detail in the mfg would be significantly better. Even if a foreign “entity” were to compromise firmware or even hardware I have nothing to offer in the terms data harvesting or sensitive information. Honestly they would most likely be upset with how boring I am lol. But $1200 more???

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Stuff made in America just costs more. For reference, I recently got a set of wrenches that are made in the US from US steel. The set came with 18 wrenches and was about $300. I could get a comparable Made in China set for around $100, but I use the wrenches often enough and expect them to last for decades at least, so that makes the more expensive ones worth it to me.

With the same markup on the Librem 5, from the original $599 price that would put the USA edition around $1800, or at the current $799 price around $2400. There’s a big difference between hand tools and electronics, but it can give you a rough idea of the markup you can expect for Made in the USA products.

I should add, I’m getting the regular Librem 5. While I would like to get the USA edition if I could afford it, I can’t justify spending more on a phone than I spent on my entire desktop setup.


if the average Joe can afford a 2k bucks pocket PC that runs GNU/Linux on a non x86 CPU architecture and cares about isolation/compartmentalization of radio-components/cam/mic then why not …

It’s for businesses that need CMMC level 5 crtification and can’t do without a cell phone. Otherwise, there’s a certain degree of relative importance you need to reach before you’ll need a Librem 5 USA over a Librem 5. I just can’t imagine what it would be, not being important myself.
If you still want one anyway feel free to buy one.

“Does the average Joe “need” the USA edition?”

I suppose that I might qualify as an average Joe in the USA. I ordered it because I can afford it (fortunately), and I want to support local manufacturing, rather than ship more money to China. I suppose that I don’t “need” to do this, but I want to do it.

Is the L5 USA a more secure device? Who knows? This country has more than its share of spooks and spies.

I do wonder, if on examination of the guts of the L5 USA, if there will be any identifiers, maybe on the motherboard, indicating US manufacture, thus allowing it to be distinguished from the Chinese-made model.


Pretty much. I went for the USA edition as a political statement more than anything else. They idea of buying an American made privacy focused phone just appealed to me, even if the privacy features are no greater than their Chinese counterparts. Also, speaking as an American on this forum, I also like the idea of supporting domestic workers in an industry that is predominately internationally outsourced.


Guess I’ll be the first “no” without any qualifications. It’s an option we need to see more of and I hope it does well, but my opinion is firmly in the above category.

I could add disclaimers about how every situation is different and the like, but taking the title at face value I don’t feel thats necessary (since there’s already a lot of good discussion in the posts above over such matters).

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This looks like a narrow view. If every country acted in this way (in isolation) we wouldn’t be where we are now. I’m glad the Chinese work hard so Purism can provide me a libre phone.

Is there actually a breakdown list of which parts are different between the two models?

As I understand it, the default cellular modem in the L5 USA will be from Gemalto while the regular L5 will be from BroadMobi.

Other than that, I haven’t seen a breakout of component differences between the two models.

As far as the i.MX 8 processor, I don’t know which country will source that for the L5 USA. NXP has two fabs in Austin. NXP also has facilities in mainland China (unsure if these are fabs, however). I would hope that the L5 USA would have its processor fabbed in Austin.


I would not buythe USA edition

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Absolutely not worth the extra cost for the “average joe”

At this point I’m having a hard time justifying the regular price


So, two points. First off, your argument is reductio ad absurdum and completely not what I suggested. No where in my post did I ever say to live in isolation or to never buy foreign products. I specifically mentioned supporting a singular domestic business in an industry not commonly manufactured in the US.

Secondly, if by, “where we are now” you mean living in a world dominated by big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon, your right, why would we complain about that. :roll_eyes:

If you think this is narrow in view, ok, sure, I won’t argue the point. Consider me proud to be narrow minded.


As far as the modem its already in the store for purchase as an upgrade for the regular phone. The processor, if I read it correctly, will be someone elses but they have been granted permission to manufacture it in house to have oversight/security in the build process.

I understand even the regular phone is expensive but its under what main stream mfgs sell phones at. The new iphone or galaxy is easily over a grand… so I would have no issues spending $800.