Bullshit, here we are a year into the actual development of the hardware with multiple iterations of beta phones produced. They know very well how much of what hardware will be available and when. It’s amazing how pine64 can produce thousands of phones in a run but purism can’t even produce a few hundred.
This is the underrated take. Purism has gone through multiple iterations and batches they should have their supply chain figured out by now, they should also have the surrounding processes in place to deliver.
This isn’t a super huge complicated never before done kinda of thing. There are NUMEROUS companies whose product is a board (Turing, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Nvidia Jetson, Pine64) So it’s not like this product category is being spun up like the, say, the iPhone in 2008 when it was literally a first-of-its-kind invention. this industry exists.
If it’s a staffing issue, that’s on the leadership of purism, its literally their job to organize labor to achieve a result and they drop the ball at literally every turn, down to not being able to send an email out on time.
Every email is laced with language that snakes them out of a commitment. With the New PinePhone boards coming from Pine64 matching the spec of a librem 5 IDK how Purism is going to attract customers when:
fail to meet deadlines, consistently
fail to issue meaningful communications, consistenly
fail to provide transparent/meaningful customer service.
I don’t blame anyone for being upset with how this has turned out.
I think they know the order and have a rough guess as to dates but that much transparency doesn’t sound good to them. So mum is the word. I’ll wait patiently for mine even though my note 4 is literally falling apart and can only read half the screen. I’ll have to use something else to tide me over. This thing has been though to many repairs.
All this discussion leads to nowhere. If you can’t wait or are unwilling to wait for your device, you should leave and reclaim your fund. You will not put forward this project with that ongoing crying. And, please use other words when talking about other opinions as “bullshit”. Thanks.
I don’t like this flagging stuff, for a company that is concerned with your digital rights, it kind of smacks of censorship. Free speech means you will encounter people with opinions that make you uncomfortable, grow up and become an adult. Good ideas and opinions survive by natural selection, not censorship.
Purism isn’t inventing new interface concepts like the first iPhone in 2007, but the Librem 5 requires original board design (without a reference design), kernel work to support a new SoC, and the creation of a new desktop environment (i.e. the interface with associated apps). The Librem 5 should be compared to phones like the original iPhone, the Nokia N9, the Microsoft Lumia 950 and the HTC Touch (P3450), which required a lot of software development. (By the way, I count 6 innovations in the Librem 5, compared to the 7 innovations in the first iPhone, so Purism is doing more innovation than you think.)
Designing the Librem 5 is much harder than designing an SBC, because you have have lots of extra things to worry about, such as the cellular modem, battery charging, GNSS, the proximity and light sensor, the IMU (gyrometer, accelerometer & magnetometer), image sensors and lens for the cameras, RGB front LED with PWM control, smart card and its extra microprocessor, the flash LED and its controller, and hardware kill switches.
The Librem 5 is a particularly complicated design, which requires 10 layers in its main board, and it has about 3 times as many electronics components as the standard smartphone. It uses 6 chips in place of one integrated mobile SoC, like a Snapdragon or Exynos.
The Librem 5 uses a new SoC, the i.MX 8M Quad, that doesn’t yet have good mainline Linux support, so Purism has to do some of the kernel work and is having to do a lot of testing and debugging. Purism doesn’t have a reference design that it can follow to make a phone, so it is having to figure out a lot of things on its own, which is part of the reason why it has gone through so many iterations.
Let’s take the problem of the cameras as an example. NXP has poorly documented its MIPI CSI2 interface. I have found several posts on the NXP forum from engineers who were having problems getting their cameras to work with the i.MX 8M. The last time I asked Guido Gunther, he told me that the mainline Linux driver for the i.MX 8M still doesn’t support the MIPI CSI2 interface, so I assume that Purism is having to pull MIPI CSI2 code from the NXP’s Linux driver and insert it into the Librem 5’s kernel. Then, Purism has to go through painful trial and error to figure out how to get the image sensors to work with the MIPI CSI2 interface. People who criticize Purism for taking so long don’t seem to have a clue about these sorts of problems.
Purism only has 10 programmers currently working on the Librem 5, whereas Apple probably had ten times that number of programmers working on the original iPhone. People seem to expect Purism to be able to perform miracles with its tiny number of developers.
You mentioned PINE64, but PINE64 selects old components that already have good Linux support for its hardware, so it can minimize the time and cost to develop its devices. PINE64 has been designing boards around the A64 since 2015, so it wasn’t that much work to adapt that design for the PinePhone. For its WiFi/Bluetooth, PINE64 selected an old chip, Realtek RTL8723CS, that required proprietary blobs in /lib/firmware, whereas Purism paid Redpine Signals to do firmware development so the RS9116 could run without blobs in /lib/firmware. The fact that half of PinePhone users report using Phosh and Mobian/Phosh and Manjaro/Phosh are considered the two best distros for the PinePhone shows how much the success of the PinePhone depends on the software development being done by Purism.
Purism provides pretty good customer service. When it fails, it is often because it can’t get parts (which is a result of doing small-scale custom manufacturing), so I don’t think your last point is merited.
Doing original dev work, especially with a tiny staff and limited funds, almost always means that deadlines are not met. Having worked in companies that develop new hardware and new software, I’m pretty impressed by Purism’s progress on the Librem 5. If you think another company could have done better, then you haven’t looked at the history of all the companies that have failed at Linux on mobile phones (MonteVista, Motorola, Nokia, Intel, FIC/OpenMoko, Samsung, Mozilla, Canonical, Palm->HP and arguably Jolla as well). Companies with far more resources than Purism have done far worse.
I agree that Purism should be more upfront in its communications with the public, but I also understand that Purism has to generate new orders to pay for the dev work it is doing. Purism has gone way over budget, and it will take Purism many years to recover its development costs for the Librem 5.
For example, when Kyle Rankin writes an article about how the Librem 5 will use an OpenPGP smart card, I wish he would say “look at all these awesome new security features, but expect to wait at least another year for them to be implemented.” However, Rankin knows that the Librem 5 needs more preorders to pay for the development, and he can’t give a realistic estimate anyway when these features will be ready, so he doesn’t say anything about timelines in the article. Then, people who don’t bother to look at the public bug reports say that Purism is being deceptive in its marketing, because it doesn’t inform the users that these features won’t be ready when the Librem 5 is released.
In terms of transparency, purism is very transparent in its software development, but most people don’t bother to look at the bug reports or download the Librem 5 images and run them in Qemu. Not many companies allow you to directly ask the developers questions on social media like Purism. Sebastian Krzyszkowiak (on this forum, r/Purism and social.librem.one) and Guido Gunther (on social.librem.one) go out of their way to answer questions from the community about the current development of the Librem 5, and Purism allows anyone to talk to the developers on its Matrix channels.
The issue is the disconnect between the marketing of the phone and its current state of development. Generating funds to pay for dev work is not an easy needle to thread, but it has to be done if we want mobile Linux to succeed in the real world. The i.MX 8M is the only real platform in my opinion that can be used to make decent RYF devices. The other options, i.MX 6, A64 and RK3399, have major drawbacks, so Purism has to pay the costs of being the early adopter that creates a debugged i.MX 8M design that other Linux companies can use to make RYF devices. Likewise, Phosh is the best shot we have of making mobile Linux into a viable alternative to Android and iOS, so some company has to pay for its development.
Sure, this was valid the first two iterations. Now they have a stable board design, manufacturing rounds behind them etc. It’s not like each time they ship a batch they’re walking in to something new, They’re not, they should know better by now.
a design that should no longer be going through massive, complicated iterations. They’ve supposedly been working on the same board design in every batch. as an organization purism should be familiar with their design by now and have sufficient talent to work on it.
they are, so is the community. They’re not doing it single handedly and the phone shell already exists, even in rough form. I can’t think of a single reason why this should cause procedural isses like shipping phones or sending out communication.
no one cares, they have to be a lot of their stuff is open source so no duh it’s transparent. We care about hardware and shipping.
No, they dont, that’s why “fund your app exists” This is something I and other community members have VOLUNTEERED in the past. We’d rather directly crowd fund core apps and necessary software than deal with purism trying to play business bois and miss dead lines and try to deflect from their failures by announcing yet another change or initiative they DONT need to be focusing on when they’re failing to smoothly execute on their current commitments.
True to their pattern, they screwed up shipping of the evergreen batch and announced a larger battery out of nowhere. if we build a timeline backwards from here the pattern will be the same.
I couldn’t agree more. Pine64 is somehow managing to what purism is failing to do and now that they’re releasing a new board for their pinephones that makes the specs competitive to an L5 for only 80 bucks (if you’re a BH or UBPorts backer) people are going to start running towards that in droves. a privacy respecting phone doesn’t do you any good if it doesn’t ship.
Given that the month is about half way over, and they’re still failing to even send the email my guess is this will be the case. I wouldn’t be surprised if they ship a token number of devices for appearances but people who have backed the project as far back as '17 have no idea when they’re getting theirs which is disgraceful.
weird cause article after article comes out detailing return rates, internal morale, and leadership at purism not being great. so who’s the liar, you or the people doing detailed write ups (like the one I posted Previously)?
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.