Librem 5 Shipping Batches

At this point in time, I would have no problem waiting on the Fir batch so long as they might commit to such a production. The downside of the announcement is what delay they put those through who initially defer in favor of the Fir batch and then don’t have such a batch planned. Hopefully, they will quickly voice their ability to go in with the 2nd generation and not leave those adopting for Fir some months out into Evergreen before noting that there is no further iteration yet pending and they have delayed in the wait to no avail.


They wouldn’t state it if they were not pretty confident.
For comparison, during the initial campaign they did NOT commit to i.MX8 (but i.MX6), because of a lack of confidence.

The development of a v2 with a shrinked CPU is peanuts in comparison to what they did so far. Possibly they have a commitment from NXP that a shrinked CPU should be available by then. So, the worst I’d expect is the usual delay :wink:


PinePhone general consumer variant ships March-ish. Depending on how early you need a new phone, you could opt for a PinePhone over a spy brick which would hold you over for 6-9 months while waiting for the v2 librem5 to ship


Firstly: thanks to all the people working on this project. I understand that no one is as disappointed as you with this delay.

I can’t say I’m overjoyed. If I was writing a headline it would go something like “Librem 5 delayed until Q2 2020, pre-production units offered to placate angry mob”.

What really annoys me is the attempt to spin bad news as good news. Particularly galling is the claim of transparency when this delay must have been forseen some time ago. I suspected something had gone very wrong with the release schedule when the “runs on Librem 5” videos slowed, then stopped without a subsequent triumphant shipping announcement. Purism’s communication has been frustratingly bad, I still don’t know if video out will use HDMI or DP.

Having said that, Purism deserves credit for finding a way to (technically) live up to their promise to ship Q3 2019. I can imagine the panic that led to this somewhat bodged solution. I wish them well and urge them not to lose sleep over this. Purism seem to be genuinely trying to live up to their promises in the face of set-backs, for that they deserve our understanding and respect.

Me, I’ll probably opt for Fir and make do with my aging Jolla until then. More RAM in Fir would make that worthwhile (hint hint), in 15 months 3GB will be approaching laughable.


IMHO this announcement is a nice try to gain more time to finalize the Librem5 phone since I would expect most buyers to wait for a stable and mature phone hardware and only some early adapters in need of a phone hardware will jump in to get the first batches.

A free phone is not an easy thing to develop so i think it is OK (to me) and somehow not surprising to need more time to finalize the phone.

I hope they have enough money to pay the production :wink:


My assumption is that the first four batches will be much smaller than that. Together, I think they will account for less than 10% of the total shipments. They have individually-milled cases, and mechanical design iterations. The first two have PCB design iterations.

Hidden details: rampant speculation on batch sizes.

To me, it would make sense for Purism to order as few as possible of the first revision PCB. Judging by the recent pictures of the PCB, the first revision is panellised 2 per panel, so depending on the supplier they might have as few as 20 of those individual boards. I’d be surprised if Aspen is more than 100 phones.

Birch has another new PCB, so I think that will be a small batch too. It would be crazy to order 1000 new revision PCBs without first ordering a smaller batch to verify that they work correctly. Again, I’d expect closer to 100 than 1000.

They’ll also be refining the mechanical components; the case and the switch caps. Early revision PCBs can potentially be modded by hand to correct design errors, but if the outer cases of the phones turn up warped or with screw holes in the wrong place or something, then it might not be economical to modify them. An expensive error. So, they will definitely need to order small quantities of those sorts of things first.

Maybe the batch size of Chestnut and Dogwood will be based on small batches of mechanical components from a supplier? Or maybe they will be using them to ramp up their production processes and figure out how to assemble these phones efficiently in large quantities. It’s hard to guess. I don’t think they would just release two arbitrary batches of phones that aren’t driven by any particular requirement.

Edit: I assumed that the first two batches had PCB design iterations. It’s just occurred to me that this is not necessarily true. It could be that they are just different batches of assembled PCBs. I’m not in the mood to think it through again based on different assumptions.


Me too please (Aug 25 2017) because the not knowing is killing me!!!


Ah, you’re adorable :slight_smile: Ordering on day two of the campaign and wondering whether that will entitle you for Aspen. :grin:
Even if you are not, it will entitle you to fill a slot somebody leaves.


My notification E-mail ended up in the spam folder.

Be sure to check yours!!


Oh, honestly it was so long ago I forgot when they even started past being some time in 2017. I remember faking shock with my human resources department on the phone and making “I don’t want to talk about it, but I need my vacation pay released immediately” sound really convincing (well, it is my money).
Oh yeah, I’ve decided I’m going to take the aspen model if I qualify (yup, as per my previous comment, that’s what qualifies as serious thought for me: half an hour of listening to random happy hardcore and then just doing what I know I really want to)


I’m surprised at the people complaining about Aspen. If it’s essentially the phone in the pictures from the Mastodon announcement, and the overheating issue is fixable with software updates, I’d be overjoyed to get one of those.


I’m a little confused by the different batches shipping in different months. Is a “later” batch a more complete product than and earlier batch? Is an earlier batch phone going to be just as good as a later batch with just software upgrades as time progresses? Is the phone going to come assembled?


I have ordered on October 2017, and I hope to have at worst Chestnut or Dogwood and beyond but not before. In any case, I hope that those who have the batches before Evergreen will receive special attention/privilege from Purism. Except in a case of volunteering, I think that a customer should benefit from the best quality (the final product from the qualified production line) and not from a product made in a protoshop.

When I read “Can I buy a better case later”, I find that abnormal. To buy or to replace free of charge ?

Pre-series beneficiaries should be able to be upgraded if they request it, as they have given the same amount as those who obtain the finished product, while having taken more risks at the start of the project, participating to the group effect that encouraged other backers to fund the project.


SteveC: When did you buy your phone? It would possibly help others to know when they will receive their devices.

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Sorry! Excuse me. I think I confused you with a troll! Next time I’ll ask before shooting, I promise.
About the “unfinished” business, that word was used to describe the “switch caps (hand crafted).”, no the device itself. I assume (if I could) we may ask for replacement later, I would pay for those if I had to, the same for a better protecting case.
I insist: this is a project in development and we should be asking how Purism expect us to help. I hope I receive instructions in that sense so I could help.


Nah. Most likely, everybody before Evergreen only paid $599.
Also, as you can choose to wait for a later batch, how can you still demand a free case upgrade?
“I paid less, I get it earlier, I demand a free case upgrade with free worldwide shipping on top”


In the mean while… I was gone for few hours, since nothing was happening… And come back to this… :roll_eyes:

Some seem unhappy, because there wasn’t a pre-pre-announcement to this pre-annoncement to give partial info about the info that will and would have been given in full later on when they’d have enough time to work on it. But it seems Purism was feeling pressured to announce now what they had on that. Yes, maybe a more nuanced communications plan could have been used.

Sure, it would have been nice to have a contemplative blog post last spring about this possibility of shipments in waves and, sure it would have been nice have even more info. I’m pretty sure those were not and have not been decided yet. I think they are on plan C with this and previously only had A and B, so couldn’t. It’s often said there needs to be plans C through F too, but that’s not realistic when doing new stuff.

This seems not to be what many were expecting. Was the expectation that all would be shipped at the same time and fully ready? Well that’s unfortunate. The only thing I could read was, that some of the early ones may have some unpolished minor details, but they work and every group of trees can be updated to same standard. Some less than perfect wording aside, isn’t this so?

Beyond that, what seems to be troubling some, is the question of time vs. possible future potential and investment. If one takes one “too early”, will they miss out on something that the later batches have? Such horror! What will that be? Or will they invest time as payment for possible future improvements and is that worth it? Interesting conundrum at this point and fuel for much speculation.

Based on the info we have, I think the only benefit will be in the eyes of the individual and how they persieve it. With tech, there will always be something more, something newer. The model v1 can’t be very much different in A through E or there would be much louder griping and other bad things (for Purism). If early models have problems, they can be replaced anyway, so I doubt Aspen for instance would be any serious risk (although, in essence, you’d be a beta-tester). Possibly the improved mechanics/case could be offered or sold to the ABCs later - this info would even the perception of A-E much. Software will upgrade and mature to same level with all - everyone will get LTE (or install what they want) eventually.

These might have been points to emphasize more. Unless, of course, Purism plans to skimp and intentionally plans to leave the early backers with sub-bar phones. I doubt that - no evidence of it. The V2 is another thing entirely and will affect the conundrum of waiting vs. having. Announcing it with V1 delivery was in my mind a big mistake - in the vein of killing off Symbian too early. 1. I don’t want to know you are possibly putting your effort to something new while this is still unfinished, and 2. there better be good explanation on why everyone should stay on V1 instead of waiting for V2 (besides time and such). It’s nice to know there is something new planned (and that was already surmised here also that eventually there would be), but wrong time bring that up and odd to mix it to the original delivery info. Should be considered a separate and none existent product at this point.

I know I often write long ramblings. Trying to summarize myself… We have more info coming, as this was only a pre-info, and the burning question (and possible new T-shirt slogan) of “which tree am I:evergreen_tree::deciduous_tree::palm_tree: will produce much of the writing here in the coming few weeks. Tiers will have some variation but [and I hope this is expressly and unequivocally confirmed] all will reach same level and any problems will be dealt with should they rise. Communication is hard and managing everyone’s differing expectations is hard - not many absolutely perfect examples - and nice try, keep up the work. It’s unfortunate that the big difficult complex project that is done against industry grain hasn’t gone the way it was imagined, but it’s still coming along and doesn’t look bad at all.

Anyone should always communicate more, I suppose. Easy to say. This kind of confusion is normal after any info dump as there is misreadings and unanswered questions. But it will sort itself out as more comes available. We will get more info - just not tonight or this weekend. I still suggest taking on that thick book to read in the meanwhile and not letting the wait drive anyone crazy. On the other hand, I thought of the crazy idea that a couple of the Purism folk could come to the forum to have a Q&A marathon - as separate of the announcements - at some point, if the servers can handle it.


A picture is worth a thousand words…

Do you have any idea how much that jersey is worth? (hint: a lot)

Howwwwever…they are based in the the same state that makes See’s chocolate and can get it fresh…just kidding :slight_smile:


The phone will come preassembled, but I’m going to immediately disassemble it, because it is not fun to have a new toy without seeing what’s inside :wink:

According to the announcement, the fit and finish will improve over time, but you are getting the same hardware in Aspen through Evergreen. Only Fir in Q4 2020 will have different hardware. It sounds like Aspen and Birch will be more like prototypes, and they will only get to the finished version of the hardware kill switches in Chestnut.

I’m speculating here, but it sounds to me like their switches are a special order and it will take time to get them from the manufacturer, or maybe they want to evaluate how well different types of switches work on the Aspen before they commit to a large order of switches.

The second thing is that the i.MX 8M mini is 14nm, but it has a low-powered GPU and VPU, so I really doubt that it is what is planned for the Fir batch in Q4 2020. It must mean that NXP has told Purism that it will be producing a 14nm version of the i.MX 8M Quad.

I wonder if anyone will decide to sell their early Aspen version on ebay? How much will it go for? I bet there are people who are willing to pay $1000 just to get the phone early. Besides a prototype is a collector’s item.


I didn’t paid less. I paid the price for people who have be convinced to finance this project, this is different. It means, I have participated to pay R&D, prototypes and machine means. It is my opinion that I do not impose on anyone, of course. I respect people who want those batches, it is not a problem. Purism wants to get return of investment from prototypes, and on the other side, there are some customers wanting to get the first versions of this product so I have nothing to interfere about that, it’s an agreement.

From my experience in quality in the industry, I think the quality of protos before Evergreen can be fluctuating. Evergreen seems to be the production batch coming out from the final production line, therefore the finished product, with a reproducible quality (what is called Quality Assurance). Fir is what we can call Continuous Improvement based on the feedback from the 1 version of the Librem 5.

When I paid $599, I thought I was going to get the finished product with a promotion because I was supporting the project first and had the privilege of the price. I didn’t think I would perhaps have a proto version, with a machined case (aesthetic feeling), dimensions that may not be respected (even half mm can be humidity or mechanical risks), switches without caps, etc. This is why I said Purism shall take care about the customers who have the earlier version of this product and make a commercial gesture in case of design problems.