Librem 5 shipping email

About development of free software:

I care. The development of free software for smartphones is important.

Even if shipping of Librem 5 hardware is delayed even more, the software is already there for everyone to use, and it gets better all the time. If you buy and use a Pinephone today, most likely you will be using Phosh, developed by Purism. At least that seems to be what most Pinephone users are doing.


All I know, that I’ve ordered 5 things from them, and 4 of those were delivered on time. L5 did not, but given the other items, I’m sure it will find its way to me.

Also, since you are at the low personal attacks level now, you @ozpi, are an unscrupulous FUD spreader and need to go calling your mom a liar.


I was really keen to hear from people who had received their email, so thank you for letting us know. I hope all goes well. I can’t wait to see the final phone get out into the wild! :sunglasses:


Yeah, no problem. We wanted to get a few more of the phone accessories in the store before the first email went out, so those backers would have a chance to get accessories in the same shipment instead of two shipments, so that delayed things for a few days.

Now we are off to the races. Once we get a few weeks of shipping behind us we’ll be able to gauge our output with our expanded team and make more accurate predictions for people. Output from the previous small batch phones unfortunately isn’t a good indicator of our output at scale.

I’m guessing it will take 4-6 weeks to for things to stabilize into a steady rate of shipping such that we can then have the missing piece to the formula of when a particular backer will get their phone. Until that point it’s just a bad guessing game with incomplete information, that would lead us to estimate far too conservatively.


I find the criticism in this thread odd. We have been asked to provide more information, more frequently, even when it’s incomplete, so we went to extra lengths to write up a shipping FAQ to explain what we know and more importantly, what we don’t yet know and why we don’t know it. We assumed, rightly, that once we start shipping people will want to know when theirs will arrive, so we wanted to explain the missing pieces of that equation that make it hard to calculate shipping beyond the very first set of orders. We also explained when we thought we would have that information.

On one hand I keep hearing from the community that “more information is better, we are adults, we can take it” and on the other hand each time we give more information, which by its nature ends up always being somewhat incomplete and imperfect, we get criticized for any questions left unanswered.

We know our throughput when it comes to laptops, as we have prepared, tested, and shipped laptops en masse for years now. This is the first time we will be preparing, testing, and shipping the Librem 5 en masse, instead of in small batches, and while we have expanded the team in preparation for this, until we actually start shipping phones out, we simply have no way to predict the weekly output in any way that would be useful to predict when a particular person would get their order.


I received my shipping email this morning, asking to confirm address and add the order number of any purchased extra accessories from the Store.
I estimate that I was somewhere in the low 300s in the original crowdfunding campaign (based on comparison of my order confirmation date/time stamp and the archived web page for that date). I had also delayed from Chestnut to Evergreen when given the option.


Were you asked about modem choice?


Don’t let the trolls get to you. You could wave a magic wand and put a Librem 5 in everyone’s hand right now and they would still find things to complain about.


Yes. There are 2 modems available in the store at the moment, both Broadmobi. I’m in the US, so I want the US version.


First of all thank you for you 2 posts. Especially the frist one clearing things up why shipping email (that most of us do not have to wait for) delayed. And also thank you for your thoughts and your view in your second post.

As being one of those critics you mentioned, let me please add my view.
As written in another post of mine a lot of people were expecting that “start of shipping” means a huge batch of phones is shipped out within short time, because you well prepared for that. So did I. And therefore Evergreen as a whole batch (I do not know how many pre-orders you have on hand) will be send out. Adding the fact, that you (not in person but your company) somehow gambled your credibility with constant delays communicated in an (for most of us) improvable way w.r.t. point of time and content, this again feels very uncomfortable and like some kind of lie. Because you said “shipping starts in November”. But MY shipping does not. And I do not get informed when this will be the case.

Personally, when I ordered I expected a shipment within 4 months from the point of time I ordered. At least that was the advertised information at that time. Now I am waiting for almost 23 months still not knowing when to get delivered. And I think this is the least thing to be provided as a financier of this campaign: A more or less reliable information, when to get delivered. And I do not understand why it should not be possible to provide information like:

  • If you ordered between Feb 18 and April 18 your estimated delivery is CW5-7 2021
  • If you ordered between May 18 and Jul 18 your extimated delivery is CW8-10 2021

And what I do get delivered is not that was promised. A usable phone out of the box. 14 hrs idle, non-working smart card reader, base apps (e.g. calendar) not finished, Matrix not usable, constant hints to developer tweaks to get things running is not what I personally consider a usable phone by Todd’s daughters / non-developers out of the box according to specs you still advertise on your site.

This overall package of delays, improvable communication, changed refund policy and delivery vs. expectation / advertisement makes me of course feel disappointed.

Sorry for extensive writing. I decided to do this public and not via E-Mail, since some of us including me started this discussion all together and you reacted on that. So I wanted to have my thoughts public as well.

Nonetheless, go straight ahead and finish what you were working on so hard. After this marathon run you can now see the stadium to run the final round.


This calculation can be reduced to a pretty simple formula:

orders_ahead_of_you / average_weekly_shipping_throughput = number_of_weeks_until_yours_ships

We know orders_ahead_of_you. For reasons we explained in the Shipping post, and that I elaborated on here, we do not and can not yet know average_weekly_shipping_throughput.

Can we make wild and inaccurate guesses? Sure, but we are guaranteed to be wrong, which guarantees basically everyone will be disappointed, either because we erred on the side of being very conservative, therefore people think they will get their phone later than they actually will, or we erred on the side of being too optimistic, which then means people think their phone will arrive sooner than it actually will.

Given some of the criticisms you bring up around delays, we are incredibly sensitive right now about avoiding giving inaccurate shipping information to people, but once we know average_weekly_shipping_throughput (which we think will take 4-6 weeks) then we can complete the above equation and give people reasonably accurate estimates, if they haven’t already received their phone in the mean time.


Yeah Kyle don’t let the self righteous fanboy trolls get to you either. People will always complain , thats what they do in an imperfect world full of imperfect people. If customers/backers/etc complain about a product /service thats okay. I pray to win Powerball and don’t win but I am determined to get my L5 asap and complain about imperfections. And loving every minute of it. You took on an almost impossible task and are going to deliver despite well meaning customer/backer trolls finding ways to vent while waiting anxiously for the arrival of the magic L5. I’m just a little testy right now in anticipation of my shipping email. Don’t poke the dog if you don’t want a response (not you Kyle)


Why were you expecting that? Such thought never even crossed my mind. Did you not know the size of the company? Do you think every tiny team can deliver like Apple does without any experience in phone shipping (hundreds of preliminary units personally signed by Todd not counting)? See also:
Where did they tell that they were “well prepared for that”? What does it even mean?

Yes, Purism delayed the phone many times, but given the company size and lack of experience everyone could expect that from a crowdfunding campaign. It’s of course bad, but practically unavoidable. See also:

This is not what was originally promised. Basic functionality was promised for the first units. Everyone can get more apps later by the software updates. In this sense it has actually been overdelivered. See: Librem 5 — Promise Delivery Chart. 14 hours of idle time is already enough for a lot of people. With suspend we will probably have it at least doubled by the software updates. Looks fine to me. Still it can never be as efficient as Android phones due to its focus on freedom, see: Not a Purism’s fault, but unfortunate state of art.

True, but in the last posts Purism are actually trying not to overpromise. You are still not satisfied and demand precise predictions.


I find the criticism in this thread odd

What ever you say, what ever you do, you always will face criticism … it’s Internet: you have all ages, all social classes, all characters, all differents peoples with differents experiences of life (and probably competitors wishing your fail)

I greatly appreciate more informations about all this, please continue, and I’m sure a lots of people are appreciating this too (I have an automated daily check for news at

But in fairness, you have to understand that in the past Purism has made very disappointing statements, with postponed over postponed which has been very fustrating for many, and has created a decrease of confidence in Purism (confidence you will absolutely regain when the phone is out in the wild)

It has been a long wait, but now I feel confident about the next weeks / months that the Librem 5 will be the best smartphone :muscle: :iphone: in the market (according to my criteria)

Hit that sub…heart :sparkling_heart: button if you agree ! (youtube style)


I am patient. When I initially purchased an L-5 in January 2019, I hoped to have it sooner rather than later, but I also knew that I was prepared to wait given what the scope of what they were trying to achieve. Does it mean that I am happy about the delays, no, but they are not unexpected.

I have followed Purism since that time and, seeing the progress, was comfortable enough to purchase a Librem 14 almost the second it was announced.

After the first two boards (a preproduction board and Aspen), Purism certainly didn’t have a stable board design. Look at all the changes in Chestnut and Dogwood. They just announced that Evergreen will be 3mm longer for better RF reception and the battery size will increase from 3600 to 4500 mAh.

One of the problems is that Purism has not been able to test a lot of the hardware because it didn’t have good kernel support. Purism is just starting to be able to test the image sensors and the Librem 5’s kernel still doesn’t support the smart card’s microcontroller. At this point, Purism still can’t test whether the RS9116, BM818 and PLS8 are able to wake up the system to receive calls. It wouldn’t surprise me if more hardware tweaks become necessary, even after Evergreen is initially released, which is one of the reasons why I think Purism is using JIT manufacturing to allow for later adjustment of the hardware.

PINE64 has much greater experience in this area than Purism, and the PinePhone has gone through 5 board designs (1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.2b) and it still has a hardware bug with its backlight. Considering that the Librem 5 is a more complex device and it has a lot of new hardware that didn’t have good mainline Linux support, it is unrealistic to expect Purism to have a stable board design after 2 iterations.

You can get a stable board design for a phone after 2 iterations if you are working off a Snapdragon or MediaTek Tiger reference design, but Allwinner and NXP aren’t providing phone reference designs, so you have to expect a lot of board iterations to get it right.

Volunteer communities that take over the development of mobile desktop environments that have been abandoned by corporations (e.g. Maemo Este’s Hildon, Ubuntu Touch and WebOS->LuneOS) have a very poor track record. If you check all three of those groups, you will find very little development of the code by volunteers.

It looks like Phosh may do better, because it is designed to work with the GNOME community, but the goal is to have an interface that works for ordinary people so they can escape the Android/iOS duopoly, not just a toy for hackers and Linux enthusiasts. To do better than Plasma Mobile, we need some paid developers working on the Phosh code.

Purism has been communicating with us, but it is basically telling us that it can’t predict right now how long it will take to get through the Librem 5 preorders.

When doing dev work, it is really hard to predict when something will be ready, because it is really hard to know how long it will take to solve problems. If you talk to the Purism devs and ask them when suspend-to-RAM, the smart card reader and the cameras will be ready, I doubt that anyone can tell you. Sometimes a problem can be solved in a day, and sometimes it takes months of trying things. My experience doing microcontroller programming in the late 1990s gave me a real appreciation for how hard this stuff is.

The other issue is that I suspect that Purism doesn’t have the funds on hand to manufacture 10k phones all at once. Maybe it is trying to raise more venture capital (like it did last year when it raised $2.5M in capital), or trying to get a loan (or use Kickfurther), or waiting for more Librem 5/14/Mini orders to pay for more manufacturing.

If it is a cash flow problem, then Purism can’t say that publicly, because people like you will tell everyone to cancel their orders and you will raise a public stink about it. That guarantees that Purism doesn’t have a chance to make this work.

Fund Your App isn’t going to raise much money. I doubt Purism can pay more than 1 developer with the funds that it is raising, and it certainly won’t pay for 10 developers. The purpose of Fund Your App is mostly to tell Purism where the community wants Purism to focus its dev work.

If you think that volunteer developers are going to do all the work and community donations are going to pay for all the software development, then you aren’t being realistic.

Read my article about Phosh’s advantages. I don’t think a mobile desktop environment can succeed without some paid developers to work on the code. UBports only has 9 volunteers who are registered in its github account, and they are doing almost no work on the code of Ubuntu Touch. UBports has a lot of trouble just updating its code to a recent version of Qt. Look at how slow has been the development of Plasma Mobile after 5.5 years vs Phosh after 3 years of development. Look at the state of oFono vs ModemManager, because oFono doesn’t have much corporate sponsorship, whereas ModemManager does.


Recently, I’d say Purism has indeed improved on communications. There is still room for improvement (example: if you think you might have unforeseen additional delay for a day or two, hint about it before, rather than after - no biggie in it self but acted as a catalyst this week) and most definitely now it’s about facts, as Kyle says. With those however, audience need is now temporarily morphing to not just about announcing the facts but announcing when those facts may be announced and what those may or may not include. And afterwards analyzing what they mean (like what’s happening here). May feel annoying but it’s happening all the same, as can be seen. It could be worse, as there are examples out in the world of preparatory pre-announcements to announcing when something will be announced - just to match the need the audience felt to get any info when there wasn’t any to give. Some big corporation pre-order campaigns come to mind.

What’s making this difficult is that some of us are not “adults”, unfortunately. Or, to be more accurate, some are only now getting their anxieties aired. We all are not in sync with the rest on the mental cycle of expectations game. Many have had time to get used to this and have had their anguish moment already - on or off the forum. I think the steps go: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance… (it’s not linear with everybody). :slight_smile:

Go read a book while you wait. This is the equivalent of watching a coffeemaker drip to get coffee faster. It’s ok to glance every now and then, but if you are staring, you may have a problem.


it’s kinda’ hard breathing through the mask though … :mask:


I thought about letting this slide, but I see that nobody else has bothered to critically examine the allegations in the TechRights article written by Roy Schestowitz, so I might as well do it.

According to one unnamed source in the article: “Their laptop campaign had over 65% return rate, I heard closer to 70%.” The source didn’t identify which laptop campaign (Purism has had many of them). This allegation is ludicrous on its face. No company could stay in business, if it had a 70% return rate on its products.

The same unnamed source says:

“When employees went to San Diego to the fulfillment center, they noted all the concerns – return rate, quality, etc. They wanted to work with Weaver for improvement. He would not meet F2F from what I heard but online. During that session, he went around to see what concerns people had. Quickly, 5 were fired. Another quit within a week or so.”

Purism does have a fulfillment center in Carlsbad, which is a suburb of San Diego, but this incident purportedly happened in April 2019 (according to Jay Little). If you look at Purism’s Team page for March 2019, and the Team page for August 2019, you will see almost the same people. Who were these 6 Purism employees that supposedly were fired or quit in April 2019? I don’t see 6 employees that were replaced between February and August. Todoric also mentions that some sales people were fired, but there weren’t 6 people who were replaced at the company, so it seems that the source was exaggerating about the number of people involved.

According to the same source:

“From what I heard,” she said, “Purism money is now going to Forbes and social media campaigns without the transparency of what is really happening. Phoronix is one of their media outlets.”

This is another claim that can be easily debunked. Forbes has only had one review of a Purism product, and it says quite a few negative things that indicate that the reviewer wasn’t being paid by Purism:

The keyboard is exponentially better than any recent MacBook as it’s more tactile and has more travel, but falls just short of the newer XPS 13 or any modern ThinkPad.

The touchpad feels just slightly sluggish compared to XPS 13 or MacBook (but this can improved by tweaking acceleration), resulting in tracking that isn’t quite as smooth as its competitors out of the box.

It doesn’t pass my “can I open it using one finger without the base lifting off the desk” test."

Be warned, though. Purism is charging a hefty markup on some of its storage options. Their 512GB “NVMe Pro” option will run a staggering $649. You can snag a Samsung Pro NVMe drive with double the storage capacity (1TB) at nearly half that price on Amazon.

[talking about Bluetooth] This is the first laptop I’ve used with functional hardware that’s intentionally disabled. Now, the procedure to install and activate it took a relative noob like me about 10 minutes of research and an additional 2 minutes to get it up and running, but I feel this is worth pointing out.

To the company’s credit, they’ve hired to develop an open source firmware for this component. But principles or not, in my world shipping hardware that’s disabled – without an obvious way to activate it – is a questionable practice.

Phoronix has published several critical articles about Purism and the Librem 5 (1, 2, 3). The idea that Phoronix is being paid by Purism for positive coverage is ludicrous, when Phoronix articles say these things about the company:

[quoting Todoric] Purism is a not in a good shape and it was already in bad internally at the time I left. One example is inflating the numbers of Librem One campaign which I think Alan Pope noticed and called them out.

I am sad how things panned out, and I still have hopes in some directions but this is not what community should praise or rely on. Apple of FLOSS world will need to come another day.

From these indications as well as what I’m hearing privately still sounds like they are very tight on cash. While they often tout being a Social Purpose Corporation, they still haven’t been publishing reports or offering much transparency into their operations.

Update 12:37AM EST: The Purism Shop now is showing a $1999 USD price tag, not $1199… Ouch.

Going through FCC data there doesn’t appear to be any certifications in place for Purism yet and if there was they would have likely pronounced it loudly as they tend to do for such milestones.

So unfortunately there still is no transparency into the size of this current shipping window, if the window will be extended given the delay due to the missing resistor, if this batch will see any actual customers outside of Purism, the known issues with this batch, etc.

The idea that this is paid media doesn’t make any sense and even Roy Schestowitz questions whether Phoronix is being paid by Purism, but I have to question Schestowitz’s ethics when he is willing to publish unsubstantiated rumors about Purism in the first place.

Then, Schestowitz uses the example that Purism offered to lend him a Librem laptop to review, but then didn’t send it, and they promised an interview and it didn’t happen. Schestowitz says these actions have eroded his trust in the company, but this isn’t objective reporting. Purism has given its products to many media organizations for review and has done many public interviews, so Schestowitz should acknowledge those facts and tell readers that his experience with the company may not be representative.

Schestowitz concludes the article with this tidbit:

Tom Grz wrote: “I’ve always been suspicious, primarily because their products are high-priced, and if they really wanted to make a difference they should move down the population curve. Also, the president is a jerk.”

A decent reporter would not just publish a quote like that. He would examine how many developers Purism is employing and what it costs to do small-scale custom manufacturing to see whether it makes sense for Purism’s products to be high-priced. He would ask how Grz knows that Todd Weaver is a “jerk”. If Grz has specific information to demonstrate that Weaver is a “jerk”, then he should publish that information, but not Grz’s personal opinion about the man.

The fact that Schestowitz publishes rumors and personal opinions without trying to independently verify any of it tells me that he isn’t a reliable reporter. As far as I can tell, Schestowitz didn’t even give Purism the chance to respond to the allegations before publishing, which is another sign of poor reporting.


And since you quote it

Their 512GB “NVMe Pro” option will run a staggering $649.

I see no evidence that this is accurate, not for the Librem 15 and not for the Librem 14.

The true figure would appear to be $349 and while that is by no means a low price for such a disk, a $300 discrepancy from the author does suggest limited fact checking and is a fairly big difference in price. Storage comes down in price all the time however so I suppose it is possible that that was the price at some time in the past (when the market price would likewise have been higher).