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

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).


Would “Current estimate: about Q3 2021 or later” not be more appropriate?
I mean… original backers will be done in May. No way you will clear the rest of the queue in June.
And those who don’t follow the progress closely will not understand that and might very well feel deceived.


At this point it wouldn’t be an estimate, it would just be someone making a guess, and we truly want to avoid making guesses however much some people want them (or else we would have sent everyone a shipping estimate already and just guessed when we’d hit shipping parity). We will update it to something more specific when we know something more specific.


To me “in a few months” is also a guess, because people typically understand it as something between 3 and 9 months (12 is a stretch). If it’s longer than someone will rightfully complain that it’s a lie…

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But as you move from vague language to more specific language, you are also indicating (perhaps without meaning to) more confidence in an estimate which then could also lead someone to an incorrect conclusion. Compare:

  • “in a few months”
  • “Q3 2021”
  • “August 2021”
  • “August 15 2021”
  • “August 15 2021 10:51:27”

They could all be describing the same date, but as you get more specific, you subconsciously communicate to someone that you have more confidence.


Kyle, that’s exactly the thing:
You NEVER had to say “January 2019”. That was absurdly specific. If it had only been “2019”, you’ve had much less backlash, because the first “correction” to April 2019 would not even have been needed. And nobody would have not ordered because of “January” omitted.

Also, note that I didn’t write Q3. I wrote “current estimate: Q3 or later”. You’ll not hit shipping parity in Q2, and you know that. Please say so.

We all who are rooting for the success of your company and the Librem 5 just wish it would receive more press / comments on it’s awesomness and not defend it against needlessly bad press.


Why don’t you use the same English language you used here in the blog:

Chinese New Year, which cause essentially everything in China to shut down for a few weeks.

That few means 2 weeks in normal year and 4 weeks in pandemics.

So you cannot give an estimate. you say any estimate would just be a guess.

But still link to the shipping FAQ in the store today (I literally just went to the order page today.)
Purism knows the information is wrong, but still tell new customers it is right around the corner so they can secure the customers order??
it still says order now, and get it in a few months.
it still links to the FAQ release in november,
which still says shipping parity is expected for USA devices in a couple of weeks.
still says early backers should be fulfilled last year.
still says that you’ll have information to send out updates in two weeks.

I really like that this shipping update thread dissolved into questions of morality… and I agree with you deceptions appear to be borne from optimism rather than malice.

but there does come a time when a C level is saying in public We’ve got no idea when we can supply. but the company still keeps inaccurate information in their shop that optimism becomes malicious.

I’m happy to be generous and believe that the company perhaps forgot that an update from November is linked in the shop. perhaps they forgot the wording that was used in a shop that promises an inaccurate time frame, that Kyle says they definitely cannot commit to now.

But it’s been weeks since this was pointed out, and the information remains in the shop.
At some point inaction to remove false information does become a lie.
at some point telling people that devices are being mass produced (when you know they aren’t because you don’t have enough CPU.) stops becoming optimism, and starts becoming fraud.


I wasn’t aware that some outdated update was still linked in the shop. That’s a fixable thing. When information changes we do attempt to update things where appropriate but one of the downsides of trying to publish more frequently and with changing information, is that sometimes you cross-link to that “new” information that at some point is no longer new. Then you have to follow up and fix that and in this case it looks like we didn’t.


determiner · adjective

  1. a small number of.
    2.used to emphasize how small a number is.

Similar: a small number, a handful, a sprinkling, one or two, a couple, two or three, not many, hardly any

Opposite: a lot