Email from Purism, thank you Purism 🙂

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Dear Veleno

Your contribution to Purism is continuously advancing the cause of greater freedom, privacy and security for the world. With the Librem 5 and PureOS we are creating a future where our alternative to big tech empire is a growing reality. It is with your initial support that we were able to develop and release PureOS and buy the components parts to produce your phone. Here is an update on everything important:

Where is my Librem 5 ?

While some have received their Librem 5 already, the balance of outstanding orders will begin shipping in September and due to the high volume will take months to reach shipping parity, where we hold stock for new orders being placed. We understand that even though we have invested millions to release PureOS and writing all the necessary mobile software parts, getting your hands on the physical hardware of a Librem 5 will be the most exciting deliverable Purism can make for you. We will send a separate email later in September to each of you with a firm delivery date for your Librem 5 order. We can finally calculate your delivery date more accurately since we have fully funded every single component in the bill-of-materials for mass production with varying lead-times, avoiding the risk of new supply shortages from Just In Time production.

Why is taking this long?

Like all hardware manufacturers, our plans have repeatedly changed due to challenges in the global supply chain. I wrote extensively about such challenges in this post. The continuing impacts of the pandemic have led us to confront:

  • A continuing global shortage of components
  • Rising costs of components
  • Increased lead time for components that need to be pre-paid for
  • Higher-than-anticipated demand compounding delays

Generally, some parts will be available within months, while others may not see full restoration to pre-pandemic levels of availability until after 2022. We continue to spot-buy difficult to find parts, currently have a good handle on procurement and quantities for the next six-months, and we will continue to procure to replenish our inventory as quickly as possible.

Is it worth the wait?

Besides knowing that your early discounted support for the Librem 5 saw the release of PureOS, there are other reasons it is worth the wait to get the mass-produced Librem 5; The software continues to improve, so the functionality of what you get in your hands will be leaps-and-bounds better than that early recipients would have experienced. Another reason is the Librem 5 is getting faster and better with age. Find out how we are investing your resources to make the whole of mobile computing better. And a final reason it is worth the wait, is that challenging a duopoly of Android and iOS and the monopolistic behaviors of those companies, is a long journey that we are still at the early stages of. While you may believe that getting your phone is the final stage, it is just the beginning of our multi-year long plan to iterate and improve to have the Librem 5 become a convenient alternative to Big Tech.

As previously announced, we will be increasing prices for all new orders of the Librem 5 in stages (the phone will be priced at $1199 from all orders received on or after Nov 1st, 2021 and we expect this price to go upward to $1299 in March 2022) as component prices change and as we deliver greater quantities of product.

We will deliver your phone irrespective of current market price, that means that even if you ordered your phone in the past, when you get your phone, it will have a greater market value.

We will continue to scale the development around the Librem 5 phone. Despite the systemic challenges outlined above, we are taking strides to improve the software and usability of the phone. With the immense support from backers like you, Purism was able to commit tremendous development effort upstream, detailed here .

Can I upgrade my order?

We can issue a coupon that you can use towards purchasing a Librem Mini or a Librem 5 USA at the current price. We regularly update the availability of our products here.

What about refunds?

Please read through our policy in detail. If you would like us to go ahead with refund, we can now allocate your parts to another order and refund your Librem 5 product in accordance with the policy.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.

As always, our hard-working customer service team is available to answer your specific questions.

Please feel free to contact support@puri.sm. We appreciate your assistance

Sincerely, Todd Weaver

Founder and CEO, Purism
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What do you think?
Personally I trust them, no hurry to receive it being not yet ready to be a daily driver, I know it isn’t their fault supply chain troubles so I’ll wait patiently!

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I suppose we’ll see shortly. Personally I hope they start rolling out soon.

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I thought the update was a really good update, explained everything in simple terms and didn’t appear to hide things.

That new price though!! - glad I ordered when I did!!

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I thought they weren’t supposed to start shipping until October. Shipping starting this month is excellent news.

That new price is… painful. Although I’m sure all of the chips for it have gotten ridiculously expensive over the past year and a half. I can only imagine how expensive the L5 USA will become if it’s affected in the same way.

This is going to be my daily driver as soon as I get it. Looking forward to it!

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Havent ordered mine yet. I don’t give out interest-free loans, so I’m waiting until they reach shipping parity lol.

The price is significant but nothing compared to the price we all pay for having these relentless companies and authoritarian governments continue snooping on us and our devices. I’d pay 3 times that amount for a phone as ground-breaking as the L5.

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I paid $599 in Jan 2018. In Mar 2022 price will be $1299! Investment sounding?

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This made my day. The wait was worth it as they had time to fine tune it and work out the bugs.

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  1. The more they raise the price, the more likely it is that I will drop it face down on a sharp rock within a week of getting it.

  2. The last section implies that one can get a refund; a couple of people here have claimed they want one, so maybe they can give it a try.

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l

Makes me wish that I had bought two… selling one would have bought my phone and put money in my pocket!

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Thank you, Purism, for that mail! I was very happy to read it and I’m very excited to get my L5 :slight_smile:

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Just wait to get it and then re-sell it. Easy profit and someone will buy it for the instant access for sure.

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I’m SO glad I ordered 2 Librem5 costing me about ~650$ each. :hugs:

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My advice to Purism is that if it is going to charge that much for the L5, it should include 4GB RAM and 128GB Flash memory, so the L5 will function better as a convergent PC. There are some people who will pay any price, but most people start to do a calculation of practical utility, and they can’t justify that price for just a phone, but they can justify that price for a phone+convergent PC that gets lifetime software updates. Purism can save money by switching from 3GB of specialty automotive RAM to 4GB of standard RAM, and the cost of increasing from 32 to 128 GB NAND Flash is probably $20-$30, so I don’t think this change would be very expensive and the extra hardware costs can be recouped in higher sales.

The email focuses on how hardware costs have risen with COVID-19, but I suspect that most of these price hikes are due to the higher development costs and lower sales than expected. I’m guessing that Purism expected that it would have reached mass production by now that would stimulate more demand, but that didn’t materialize, so Purism has to recover its development costs with a higher unit price.

If we assume that the bill of materials for the L5 is $300, then Purism will make the same amount of profit selling 10k units at $600 as selling 3k units at $1300. I’m guessing that Purism doesn’t think that it is going to get that many orders for the L5 to recover its development costs, so it has to just focus on the niche market of people who are willing to pay a lot for its special features.

Frankly, these price hikes make me sad, because I was looking forward to the L5 becoming the next N900, with a large and active community of Linux enthusiasts, but I think that the L5 is becoming too expensive to attract the tinkerers and general Linux enthusiasts, and it will be limited to the niche users who are willing to pay extra for the L5’s special features.

I guess that we shouldn’t be too sad, since Purism’s dev work on Phosh is being used by PinePhone users and the PinePhone is reaching toward the mass market, so in the end mobile Linux is moving forward as a whole. I preordered the L5 as an investment in mobile Linux. From my point of view, it was a good investment, because Phosh avoids the major pitfalls of the other mobile Linux interfaces and I think Phosh is our best shot for mobile Linux to reach the mass market.

However, we need Phosh to be preinstalled in an affordable phone with a competitive processor in order for it to appeal to ordinary users. I had hoped that the PinePhone 2 with the RK3566 would be the vehicle to get there, but PINE64 chose Manjaro/Plasma Mobile as its default OS, which is a poor choice for general users in the mass market in my opinion.

My hope is that Purism will spend a couple years working on the software so that it gets good enough to appeal to mass market users, and then launch a future phone based on the RK3568 or RK3588 at a mid-range price ($400-$600) that allows it to reach the mass market. The other possibility is another company jumping into the market to sell the phone at that price point with Phosh, which is possible since it won’t have to pay for much software development. However, I would prefer for any profits to go to Purism, since it is one of the few hardware sellers willing to pay for software development.

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I don’t get it. The price just goes up and up. Perhaps it will be more tempting to buy if it becomes a well produced model. It does have a processing edge on the competitors, but it still isn’t exactly top of the range WRT hardware. With the device being a more serious contender as a workable computer I would have hoped to see something with a whole lot more ram. It isn’t exactly a photographer’s dream either. The thing it has going for it is honest software development and research in a world that desperately needs it. That’s why I put money in, but if I was someone buying now… I think the average person would be looking at the competitors at current prices - even if you say they are not quite the same market.

Why buy Librem 5.

I have to imagine that for many, they are pricing themselves right out of their market. One can buy 3 or 4 degoogled phone over the next 10 years of more for that money, upgrading each time, with everythig working out of the box. Not the same as a L5, I get that, but $1,300 and up (over time in the future if trend continues) is likely more than most will want to spend, and likely pushing those on the fence to look elsewhere.
Even now, it’s a $900 phone that still struggles for most to be a daily driver.

I’ll probably continue wait and see year by year how things look, for price, are they shipping within weeks of ordering, etc. before I buy.

But, right now, for me, and likely for most potential customers out there, the degoogled phone perhaps is the best affordable option.

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I agree that it is expensive, but inflation is also starting to kick in, at least here in the United States. If the USA keeps pretty money at its current rate, it wouldn’t be long before $1,300 isn’t all that much. Of course if that trend (inflation) continues, Purism may need to raise the price even more.

I’d gladly pay extra 30-50$ for upgrades like that. It would extend its lifetime considerably.

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If the story ends as you fear, at least it is going to have more significant influence on the world of computing than OpenMoko. Though, I also fear we’ll witness other technological paradigm shifts at just about the time-point where the world of free computing figured out the mobile phone platform. And the it’ll go again.

Anyone having trouble keeping ever bigger parts of their lives off the cloud lately?

I actually had hoped that, finally, they included some buffer to the October estimate… :upside_down_face:

sigh I had ordered two, then traded one for a coupon and got an L13.

The price hike… yeah mixed feelings.
Certainly not purely due to expensive parts. Also to compensate lost profit due to the pandemic. And to pay back the loans.
In addition it might reduce refund requests :slight_smile:
And fund development of a v2.
And of course push more people to order soon

But I really hope, the have a better plan for the future than “our entry level phone costs more than the latest iPhone”.
At some point, the current configuration should drop back to $700 or so, and then, if you want sell a model with more RAM for $1200.
Learn from Valve (and others).
Please don’t kill your market by not offering entry level devices.

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