New Post: Librem 5 Update: Shipping Estimates and CPU Supply Chain

This was also discussed in my post in this very thread and a couple of the replies around that same time.

The other big variable is that the current shipping estimates appear to be based on approximately 500 fulfilments/month. It is a possibility that this rate will increase or decrease based on many variables, some of which are beyond Purisms control.

Being as these estimates were just released I think it is reasonable to wait and see if the provided estimates prove accurate; something purism has a shaky historical track record on from what I’ve seen, but also something that they currently appear to be making a good faith effort to improve.

I hope that the currently set expectations are exceeded (or at least met); I won’t do more than hope at this point, but I do hope.

I also hope that if these estimates appear to become untenable because of supply chain issues (or any other issues) purism speaks up sooner rather than holding off and hoping things improve then making a last minute announcement (as appears to have been the historical method).


Ordered: 2017 october 4
Mail got: yesterday (2021 jan 29)
Shipping estimate: 2021 april
Maybe the rabbit bring it to me when my family celebrate the Easter fest. :slight_smile:


Looks like estimate times are very sensitive to exact order dates. My data point:
Ordered Sep, 20th 2017, shipping estimate: second half of February, 2021.

Might also be no deliveries in March due to Chinese New Year.


Don’t you call it “alternative facts” over there (across the pond)?
And by the way this is the main reason, why I think misleading communication (as discussed very often in this forum) is done intentionaly. All other broken promises have been justified in various ways that can not be proofed from the outside world. But this is so obvious…

MIne is October 7, 2017 and one can calculate:

September 20, 2017


October 07, 2017


guru@c720-r368166:~ $ bc

1272531 - 507815

(1272531 - 507815) / 599

If your shipping estimate is “mid February” and mine is “April” (let’s say “mid of April” too) this means they have to ship roughly 1276 in 60 calendar(!) days.

That’s not an accurate calculation, you have to count the devices, not divide sum by one of the options.
Device numbers per day are listed here:

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Even with this devices per day table you get 1745-759= ~1000 devices in that time period. And taking in account what “April” means (1st of or 30 of April) the rough calculation is valid: 1000-1200 in ~60 days. Only Purism has the exact numbers.


Ordered: 2017 october 15
Mail recieved: 2021 january 29
Shipping estimate: 2021 may (no window given)

I was hoping recieving it earlier but at least I know the date.


Which as I pointed out above they could choose to release, but don’t, because claiming to be transparent is easier than actually being transparent…

And before anybody else says “Duh, You did not buy a phone. you backed a project…”
No, I bought after release, I bought a product that already hit market, and was promised to be delivered in a “few months”, I bought a device on back order, and a promise was made that there would be updates on the state released ~ mid Feb. (middle of Q1.)

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It’s mass production, Jim. But not as we know it…


Also there are bottlenecks in the supply chain.

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This has been discussed a fair amount in other threads in the past. Purisms stance historically has been to the effect of:

Purism never said that by being transparent they were going to disclose every detail of their business.
Purism is more transparent than their competition.
Purism does not disclose order information as they view their financial information as private.
Each customer has a different interpretation of transparency and they aren’t going to be able to be transparent enough for everyone while also keeping private information private for their customers.

At least, this has been my understanding based on what I have seen thus far. My opinion is that Purism could more clearly articulate what they mean when they say things.

But I also think customers should consider context (not saying this necessarily reflects you, I’m making a general statement here). I’ve seen Purism talk about being transparent in posts about their operating system. Then get attacked for having order numbers be non-sequential so that sales quantity can’t be extrapolated by customers and competitors alike. In that example context purism is right to claim transparency as their operating system and related software is all open source (can’t really get more transparent than that).

To me, it seems they are trying for a balance of transparency and privacy and they can never please everyone with that, but they could be more clear about their intentions to reduce confusion/misunderstanding since I think more frustration comes from this than from people whom understand and just think purism isn’t transparent enough. Setting the expectations correctly is the first part of being able to successfully meet expectations, at least in my experience.


Apparently. :wink:

“Lie” has implications that are beyond the available information.

Based on the posts here claiming delivery in May for orders in October 2017, it seems unlikely that an order now would be fulfilled in any reasonable definition of “a few months”, particularly in view of the supply constraints that seemingly allow an estimate only for original crowdfunders.

Does that make it a lie? Not necessarily. Since the “May” estimate has only just been determined in the last day or so, perhaps the web site has not yet been updated.

The web site should be updated now.

Ok, let’s put it the other way around. When you don’t know something but you confidently claim that you do - is it a lie?

It depends on when that statement was added to the web site.

Unfortunately “few” is ambiguous in definition and in turn has different cutoffs before becoming “many” to different people in different contexts.

Lie does imply an intent to deceive and in my experience it is difficult to extract intent from words alone.

With those two things thrown out there, I do find it to be another example of purism cutting things close and hoping for the best. After all, if they ultimately reach shipping parity in under a year from when they started shipping I think a decent amount of people would say that “a few months” to describe under a year isn’t completely unreasonable; I don’t have a better way to word “11 or fewer months” then have that count down each month while also adjusting as orders come in at varying rates… but I do think if it exceeds 1 year from when they started shipping to ship orders made after they started shipping it is a very valid criticism to say 1 year is more than “a few months”.

Personally I would have made the choice to leave all orders as pre-orders until shipping parity was reached, or at least made very clear that “we cannot provide an accurate shipping estimate at this time”. In my view this is setting the bar as low as is feasible, so that I can at minimum meet the expectations if not exceed them.

So I don’t believe Purism intends malice when they say shipping in a “few” months but is rather being very optimistic, possibly to the point of not being completely fair and honest with themselves.

Some people outside purism will take the multiple instances of Purisms optimism not playing out in their favor as purism intending to decieve, and I think that isn’t an unfair conclusion based on the currently available evidence. Even in that context I would say the “deception” is born of optimism not of malice.

I think context here matters and I think intent is the key factor. Also I would say just because you speak confidently when you guess doesn’t necessarily make it a lie; and even if it works out that you guessed correctly doesn’t necessarily mean you were being truthful. For me this is a very grey area.


Well, see, in commercial world you usually make plausible estimates based on known dependencies and working assumptions. These other two are exactly to complement the estimates and avoid accusation in lies. It is very often that you cannot disclose all underworkings, especially when working in rfp/public tender area (to avoid tipping the competitors) nevertheless if you don’t put correct assumptions/dependencies which will back your estimates you will be disqualified due to “inability to deliver”


I would say, in that case: Place your order now, get it this calendar year.

The same for me…
Order Date: October 17, 2017
After ‘false’ dates for the pre-shipping e-mail (last one within the end of January), yesterday they updated an other time the shipping date: May 2021.

We do try to put reasonable estimates on our shop page based on our best information at a particular time of when we think a customer who orders at that particular moment will receive the product. I believe we last updated the Librem 5 shop page estimate at the end of November and at that time the best way we found to describe when we thought a person might get their order was “in a few months” again based on our best information at the time.

It’s also useful to remember that at the time we believed by the end of the year we’d have enough shipping throughput information to calculate when we’d hit shipping parity, and be able to send everyone a shipping estimate. At that point we could then update the vague “in a few months” to something more concrete because we could estimate the shipping parity date. Unfortunately we couldn’t (the blog post at the start of this thread elaborates on why).

So now we sit in limbo. At the moment, “in a few months” is still the best estimate we have, but we are hopeful that soon, as we navigate through some of the issues like CPU supply chain we talk about in this thread’s blog post, we’ll secure everything we need so that we can finish shipping estimates for the remaining backorders and calculate the date we’ll hit shipping parity. Then we can update the shop to something more specific.

Of course, you shouldn’t assume that’s the last time it will be updated. We continue to get new orders and also expect that to accelerate the closer and closer we get to the shipping parity date. These shipping estimates for new orders end up getting rolling updates from time to time up until the point we truly hit shipping parity (we already had to do that last week for Librem 14 in the shop due to incoming orders).