For fanboys/fangirls: Did I make a mistake ordering the Librem 5 USA?

I would really appreciate if Purism haters find another thread to hate on Purism. I have already read many of your issues and/or concerns about the company, and I’m cautiously optimistic that you might be wrong. My question in this thread is for Purism fanboys/fangirls or Purism employees, and if you start hating on Purism here, I will request that your comments are hidden or split into a different thread.

I ordered the Librem 5 USA primarily as a consumer. I run Linux as my primary OS for my personal computers, and I like the idea of being able to get away from Apple for my mobile devices. Moreover, the idea of supporting manufacturing of a cell phone made in the USA is very appealing to me, as I believe most of us have gotten too used to purchasing products made by unethical means and even what amounts to slave labor (i.e. which I believe is most of what is manufactured in China).

I placed an order for a Librem 5 USA on November 5, 2021. The page for the L5 USA says it is “In stock” and the lead time is 90 days. When I emailed Purism asking about this, I was told “The current lead time is in fact up to 90 days so we can guarantee we will deliver your Librem 5 USA by early february.” When I asked Kyle Rankin about this in another thread, I was told “Guarantee might have not been the best word for them to use, since they can’t predict the future and sometimes things happen later, that affects lead time.”

Again, I ordered the L5 USA as a consumer, not a Purism fanboy. I want Purism to flourish as a company, but I’m not supporting a charity; I’m paying for a product (one that I hope will do the basic functionality that I need it to do). If Purism does not ship my Librem 5 USA by early February, what do you propose I do? Is it reasonable for a product listed as “In stock” to not ship in the time frame advertised, especially when that time frame is 3 months? Is is reasonable for a consumer to have no guarantee of when they will receive the product they purchased? If I don’t receive it in the timeframe I was told by the website and by Purism “support technician,” what should I do?

Again, I want to reiterate that I do not want replies from people hating on Purism. I want pro-Purism people to let me know what they believe I should do.

Thank you!


I still like the idea of the Librem 5 USA.

However, I must warn you, if your experience is like mine, you won’t be a fanboy for long.

I hope it isn’t.

   I think $2000 for the idea of a phone put together in the US by US workers with the same foreign parts is a bit much. But the idea of charging more I was hoping would be a way to get those willing to pay a premium on the device the phone sooner seems like a way to prioritize orders. But not delivering the devices when it was said is available is a bit shady.
   Anyway I ordered my standard Librem 5 from Purism for $800 about a year ago and still haven't received it, but I knew when I bought it that it was sold out and could be quite awhile. I did obtain a Librem 5 off of ebay for over $1000 a few months ago, but I had an issue, it had a European modem that wouldn't work in the US for phone calls/texting. I ordered the US modem and installed it, not a problem, took about 2 weeks to receive the modem part I needed. So I would have to imagine Purism would like to fulfill all orders it can, but this device is scarce. They even raised the prices on the standard model to $1200.
  I think if the site says the device was available and has an asking price for $2000, your order should be prioritized and you should raise hell as politely as possible with emails to Purism. So far I am liking the potential this device has, but lack of MMS and terrible battery life has prevented me from using it as a daily driver as of the time of writing this. Also many Debian based applications don't work properly yet on this device yet.
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I don’t consider myself a fanboy. Regarding Purism I’m merely a consumer. I am hoping (hopefully not foolishly) that my order is going to be fulfilled as I was told for an “in stock” product.

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You’re right, I shouldn’t have said that about “fanboy”

But if your experience is like mine…you will be disillusioned.

I hope it isn’t. On paper the phone is a good idea. That is, after all, why I ordered it.


I imagine @Kyle_Rankin was only pointing out that delays can happen due to unforeseen circumstances (especially in the current manufacturing climate), not that the 90-day timeframe is likely to slip. (Historically, Purism have been lambasted for perhaps overly optimistic projections, so now they’re trying to be careful with setting expectations, I think.)

Basic phone functionality (plus advanced computing functionality compared to mainstream phones) is probably the best you can hope for on delivery. But everything is improving rapidly, based on what is reported here in the forums.

Perhaps not, but only you know if you’re willing to make concessions for unforeseen circumstances (if any arise). In my opinion, if a company is not blatantly running a scam operation, then I’m willing to wait for them to get things under control, once I’ve decided to commit the funds.

That will depend on your personal circumstances and motivations.

P.S. I’m a “fan” of Purism’s mission and products (I own the regular Librem 5, having backed the campaign early on), but not necessarily a “fanboy” or fanatic. I would have preferred the L5 USA model, which was only launched sometime after the original model, but I probably would not have been willing to spend so much.


To me, “In Stock” means they have some on the shelf.

Clearly, if that were the case it wouldn’t take 90 days to fulfill the order.

“In Stock” is therefore a lie. “Backordered” would be more appropriate.


Unless they’re just being overly cautious in setting expectations.

unforeseen circumstances (especially in the current manufacturing climate)

I’m not sure how the manufacturing climate is a variable for a product that is “in stock.” That said, perhaps Kyle Rankin was merely making a generic statement that also covers items not “in stock” with lead times that could be affected by the manufacturing climate.

Basic phone functionality…is probably the best you can hope for on delivery.

Honestly all I currently need the L5 USA to do is have the switches for turning off turning functions (which it has), be able to make and receive calls (which it appears to be able to do), and text people (which it appears to be able to do). I’m hoping multi-person texting and/or MMS is figured out soon, but that’s less essential for me for the time being. I do believe that (assuming Purism continues to exist) that the Librem 5 will continue to get better and better for the next decade.

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@SteveC, while I think I understand your aggravation, you are not the type of user I am looking to reply to this thread. You haven’t been crazy hating on Purism here, but it’s starting to go that direction. Again, I think I understand your aggravation, but this thread is for Purism lovers to tell me what they believe is reasonable.

I’m making the same point you are:

“I’m not sure how the manufacturing climate is a variable for a product that is “in stock.” That said, perhaps Kyle Rankin was merely making a generic statement that also covers items not “in stock” with lead times that could be affected by the manufacturing climate.”


Fair enough, and thank you.

For the sake of clarity, those were my words, not Kyle’s. (In case anybody else focuses on that phrase later.)


Forgot to mention: VoLTE is still a work-in-progress with the BM818 modem, so especially in the U.S., the L5 might have connection problems until that gets figured out. Something (important) to be aware of.


I’m not an expert on cellular technology. It was my understanding that the Librem 5 was able to make and receive calls on a T-Mobile network (whether that be T-Mobile directly or a MVNO piggy-backing on T-Mobile’s network). Maybe this isn’t the thread to ask this on, but is the issue with VoLTE only a problem with Verizon (and MVNO on Verizon’s network)?

Sorry, I think I’m derailing my own thread. My apologies. Please ignore this last question.


No, it is, or soon will be, an issue on all U.S. networks and the MVNOs that run on them.

T-mobile has delayed turning off their 3G network completely until later next year, but has probably already started re-purposing their 3G spectrum in select locales. That will affect connectivity for users in those areas, if their phones can’t do Voice over LTE.

AT&T has said they’ll be shutting down their 3G network in February, but I don’t know if that means a hard switch-off, or the beginning of their own re-purposing schedule.

All the networks already are refusing activation for phones that are not certified for VoLTE services on their networks (i.e. certified by OEM/Carrier testing and certification). T-mobile is typically more BYOP- (bring your own phone) friendly than AT&T, which has already published a short list of “approved” devices, mainly the ones that they themselves have sold, I think. Verizon also has a whitelist, from what I understand, but I’ve read a couple of comments on the internet that some users were able to get certain other unofficially approved phones provisioned.

Discussion on VoLTE: VoLTE support progress


Actually, no. By your own logic your definition of “in stock” is incompatible with “90 days lead time”. So clearly Purism is using a different (and potentially confusing) definition of “in stock”.

I believe MMS is close. I think the adventurous can already do it but it involves grabbing third-party sources, building it yourself, integrating it onto the phone, … Not for the average customer.

This doesn’t make any sense to me. As I understood him, @SteveC was saying that because it doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) take 90 days to pick something off of the shelf, then (in his mind) Purism saying it is “in stock” is a lie. Personally, I’m trying to give Purism the benefit of the doubt and hope that it truly is on the shelf and they have such a backlog of shipments that it’s taking them forever to get to picking my L5 USA off the shelf and ship it to me, but even as I type that I realize how ridiculous it sounds.

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Nor to me. Personally I don’t think it matters what “in stock” means. What matters is “when will I get my phone?” and yes I think everyone would agree that Purism has not been good at forecasting that.

There are at least two areas of complication however.

  1. If there is a configuration and/or QA process after picking and before shipment and there is a fair number of orders floating around (including backlog), that could create delay even for an in-stock item.
  2. Even with no delay before shipment, with a sudden influx of orders an item that is in-stock could end up with a lead time. It would then depend on stock allocation policies and order ordering :slight_smile:

PS I don’t really see how anyone else can actually answer the question of “Did I make a mistake?”

All of the things that you mention in your original post are valid considerations but different people will give those considerations different weights. For me, price is a consideration and the price is too high.

check and check

Less relevant to me but I think we can all see difficulties with the current globalised manufacturing model and yet it is a complex scenario.

Arguable and in any case of variable relevance. Might be better off in Round Table.

For the record, I ordered the Librem 5 vanilla edition (as an original crowdfunder) and I have already received it and I don’t think it was a mistake for me to back this project. For sure, it has not gone as far or as fast as I had hoped - and there have been problems along the way.

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