In the interests of accuracy, here’s what the blog article says:
Another advantage to the modular WiFi card is that existing Librem 5 customers who have the original Redpine card have the option to upgrade. We are now offering the SparkLAN card for sale in our shop in case you want to upgrade the Redpine module in your Librem 5.
The language is measured: “have the option”, “in case you want”. I would not call that a recommendation or encouragement or suggestion that you do the upgrade.
For those for whom “purity” is everything, it is simple. Make the choice not to upgrade.
They have given you good information about the technical comparison between cards - but it is still your device and your choice.
That is certainly true.
Admittedly you have to click on the link from the blog post in order to get a full appreciation of the process for adding the blackbox firmware.
Probably, yes, Purism could do a better job of educating random customers about non-free in this case. (I don’t think any of the customers in this topic need education.) But the firmware is non-free regardless. If Purism added a line to the comparison table for libre status, it would just say that both are non-free. The distinctions being made about where the non-free firmware resides and how it gets there are fine ones that may well be lost on random customers. Whichever of the two cards the customer chooses, the customer is making a choice to support blackbox firmware.
It is unfortunate that so many WiFi client devices require a firmware file, and in particular the ones that actually work better require a firmware file - and the firmware is almost always non-free.
If Purism had a lazy $XX million then it would be great for them to bring a libre option to the world but even if they did, there is always the opportunity cost i.e. they would have to consider whether that use of the $XX million provides the most benefit to the world. Presumably the easiest way of achieving that would be to buy an existing company and then open source the firmware but this is a wild hypothetical.
For example as @Hristo is maybe touching on, using $X million to make the Librem 5 a better phone and put more libre phones in more customer’s pockets is also a benefit to the world.
Not in my opinion. This is the point of the modular design. I guess compare it with ordering any desktop or laptop. The ordering web page will typically give you configuration options (how much RAM? what number of and capacity and technology of disk?) but that doesn’t change the product that you are buying. Of course the Librem 5 is not at that stage yet. You can’t choose WiFi card and even though you can choose the variant of the modem, you can’t choose between modems either.
NB: It’s the WiFi card, not the cellular modem, being discussed in this topic.