Librem 5 Investor Question Thread

As most of you likely know, last week Purism announced that the Librem 5 phone was shipping to customers. Since then not a single backer / customer on this forum or the /r/purism subreddit has reported receiving an email asking what modem they’d like, a shipment notification or an actual shipment. People seem to be growing increasingly concerned and I think it’s time we come together and ask Purism to clarify a few things.

First off lets discuss what this means, Well in my humble opinion, it can mean one of several things:

  1. Perhaps the first shipments were internal to Purism only. Okay great. But that’s not what the PR said. The very first line of the post said, “The first Librem 5 smartphones roll off the assembly line and ship to customers.” If this was an unfortunate mistake then ultimately its a forgivable slip up as they have until the end of October to technically ship units from Aspen to actual paying backers / customers. We’ll know soon enough.

  2. Purism has run out of money. This option has the advantage of simultaneously explaining the last minute Aspen batch case switch out that rubbed a lot of backers the wrong way. However it hints at a much deeper problem. If Purism has run out of money, then the inevitable conclusion is that they spread the news in an effort to encourage more people to buy in so that they can deliver on earlier commitments. I sincerely hope that this is not the reality of the situation.

In any event I think Purism needs to answer some questions in order to allay the legitimate concerns which are now swirling around. Remember, we aren’t just customers, we are investors. Its long past time we started acting like it given the situation.

  1. What is the projected size of Aspen? How many units have been produced in the last week? How many of those units have been shipped to external backers / customers? How many of those units have been shipped to influencers / reviewers? How many to employees and family members of employees?

  2. Is Purism depending upon future orders to finance the completion of existing orders?

  3. What is the status of the required regulatory hurdles? Has the phone been FCC certified yet? If not, is it even legal to ship / use it yet?

  4. Are the suppliers for the non-hand milled case close to producing a finalized version of that case and will they be ready to start delivering them in en masse by late October when Birch production is scheduled to start?

  5. Are suppliers for all of the other components ready to go when Birch production is scheduled to start in late October?

  6. If phones are shipping, when can we expect an up to date wiki with basic instructions for reflashing the unit with a fresh firmware image in the event any of us run into issues? How about basic assembly and disassembly instructions? Oh and maybe some basic specs so that some of us could start working on figuring out what to do about accessories like screen protectors and fitted cases?

  7. What is the expected lead time between receiving an email asking what modem we’d prefer and when a unit will be shipped to us in regards to Aspen assuming the backer / customer responds right away?

In any event, as an investor who has been largely content to let this process continue unsupervised for the past two years, I believe the time has come for Purism to start providing real answers to real questions. Let’s band together as a community and encourage them to spend some time answering a few reasonable questions. If they don’t have time because they are too busy working, that’s perfectly understandable. Feel free to assign the task to the marketing guy, Bryan Lunduke if need be.



P.S. If this post comes off as harsh, then I apologize. However at the end of the day, I’m doing this to protect my investment and promote an atmosphere of responsible, productive and ultimately helpful conversation.


Employees can be paying customers of their own company’s products. To say otherwise requires knowing that Purism did something special for them.

Also, crowdfunding link may have been spread by employees prior to the general public seeing the crowdfunding announcement. We do not know what size the batch is. Does anyone know how long it takes to mill an aluminum case for a smartphone by hand? Or what tools they are using? They are probably not going to ask for an address confirmation until after that part has been made in sufficient quantity. It is probably difficult to change an address after the confirmation, so that window of time between that and printing the label needs to be short.

We tend to be updated on things days after they happen. In the recent videos, compare the published date with the date being displayed on the phone in the video.

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I agree and I was thinking about that too. I wouldn’t mind funding Purism if they are in financial trouble as after all I would prefer spending a bit more money than not getting my phone at all - especially since we are right on the finish line. I understand that building it is a hard and expensive project, given what a niche market it satisfies and the small quantity they sell compared to other smartphone manufacturers.


Internal distribution is not shipment, it’s QA.
Internal review is not a review but product description/placement.


Seems like splitting hairs. As @matt2 said, employees buy phones, too. In fact, I would expect them to line up first, essentially betting in favor of the fruits of their labor. Of course, they may be subject to an NDA, and so can’t really tell us anything (yet).


It’s not about NDA, it’s about having internal processes. When you find a defect you don’t post a review about it, you file an issue on internal tracker. Otherwise you’re a bad employee.

Uhm… no you’re not. Speculating about bankruptcy is a very good way to get a company there.
So thanks for that.

As I said before: Whenever Purism gives real answers, it backfires.
For example, when they say the first cases will be individually milled, people don’t understand that this is more expensive than a molded case (but faster to bring to market), and therefore somehow conclude that the company ran out of money and will give us a cheap case.

Hint: cheap cases are made of plastic. Not Aluminium.


nitpick: backfire is again mostly due to the poor communication, not due to communication itself :slight_smile: It should be more interactive as the clarification followed only after it hit the fan.

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Yes. When I read the shipping announcement, I caught two things that I would have worded more carefully

  • “lose fit” in Aspen
  • the pre-announcement of Fir

But I would have never expected that these things could backfire:

  • “individually milled case”
  • omission of batch sizes

There are things one just cannot anticipate. People are too creative with their speculation :upside_down_face:


Always. But for some reason purism behaves as if they ordered a commercial on the TV and cannot edit it after it has been aired. Well it’s your site, come on people. You hear mis-interpretation - just post a clarification along the lines, otherwise it grows into speculation and conspiracy :slight_smile:
Same if you are not ready to make statement - make the statement about no statement. Like - come on guys just stop generating bullshit and don’t bother us for next x weeks, we’re too busy to make you happy so don’t spoil it.


I can’t help either way with your speculation but my impression is that the number of people active on this forum is some number of orders of magnitude less than the number of Librem 5 pre-orders. Statistically speaking therefore I would urge caution about making inferences about number of phones shipped based on forum posts.

I agree though that it will be a great day when the first person who is active on this forum is able to post that they have received their phone - and I hope that that person will be me. :smile:


Looking at the amount of posts about this it seems to me that the only ones actually working here are at Purism :expressionless:

I hope people in your lives treat you with more patience and yes I do know it might be nice to hear some more info, but people are mistaking quietness for a lot of things. As a developer I know that no answers/sounds or what not mostly mean that people are working their ass off.

If there is a shipping window between date A and B why would anyone assume that they start shipping the first day? It might be that they prepare a good-sized batch and are still waiting on some parts… get quotes on handling etc and then ship them all on the last day.

Trying to just make random claims is for sure not going to motivate anyone to give an answer.


I call BS. I’ve asked a few questions that shouldn’t be hard to answer. If this phone is rolling off the assembly line, actually being shipped to customers and everything is on the up and up, then answering these questions should be easy. If however its not, then answering these questions is going to be hard. Much harder once you realize that the answers furnished here today could be used as a basis for a lawsuit tomorrow.

In any event, I doubt we are at that point. At least I hope we aren’t. I’ve been a proud owner of a Librem 15 rev3 laptop for the last two years and I’m excited about this phone. If that’s a crime, well then by all means lock me up.

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In my professional existence as a software developer when I tell a client something is going to happen by a particular date and I miss that date, I’m expected to provide as many details as possible explaining why that happened. I am accountable to my customers and I’m simply asking Purism to be accountable to theirs. Keep in mind that these are their words:

Earlier this month, Purism announced an iterative, transparent shipping schedule for the highly anticipated Librem 5, security and privacy focused smartphone.

And so are these:

The first Librem 5 smartphones roll off the assembly line and ship to customers.

I’m only asking that the live up to the adjective of transparency they are so eager to claim in their press releases. By taking a few minutes out of a busy marketing guys schedule to answer some of these basic questions, they would go a long way to making the community feel a bit better about the whole thing. Surely we can agree on that much, no?


“Dear Purism. Instead of researching how rapid prototyping, CNC milling and mold production works, I’ll just assume that milling is cheaper and you ran out of money. I expect you to prove me wrong. Therefore, pretty please, I demand you to answer those 15 questions that look like 7. If, as a result of wild speculation, you’d have to file bankruptcy, that would be unfortunate, right? And we all don’t want that, so I think we have a common understanding that it is in the best interest of everbody (including the silent majority who’d rather see you get work done) to answer those few questions to the fullest as soon as possible. Note that those answers could be used as a basis for a lawsuit tomorrow.
P.S. If this post comes off as harsh, then I apologize”


If you think wild speculation causes bankruptcy you have got a great deal of learning ahead of you. In any event, you are entitled to believe what you’d like. If Purism goes out of business soon, you have my permission to lay the blame at my doorstep. Feel better now?


“ANYTHING you say can and will be used against you in the court of law !” that’s what they say when “they” put cuffs on you no ?

what are we 12 ?

And they save on shipping costs!

I work at a place with tri-axial mills, yes it can spit out parts real fast. But they should have made that batch a long time ago, if anything is holding up shipments, it assembly.

Actually, I’m at work right now and barring someone working late asking for an escort to their car, having to remove a trespasser or an emergency, I’ve really got nothing to do until around 2 ish, security is kinda awesome :slight_smile: But it’s because I have years experience in the field that I’m going to have to disagree with @Caliga s sugestion that purism pander to entitlement. If you give into a squeaky wheel once, they will just find another way to squeak later because it’s really just about power.

I agree with this 100% though and suggest this:
If Caliga (prolific on these forums) is in Aspen group, they should be shipped a phone as soon as possible to set an example of rewarding proper conduct as well as disproving some wild rumours and speculation. Whatever they do, purism should not reward negative behaviours.

If Caliga is not in batch Aspen, then someone else polite, Aspen, and fairly regular on these forums should be shipped to soon (not me, I’m in Toronto where the rent is too damn high so I might have to wait even more till payday to pay the duty :frowning: )

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