Phone prices, delivery, and parts

  1. So, what is the real price of the Librem 5? The site says (top of page) it’s $749.00 as and $1,999.00 at the bottom of the same page.

  2. Do I need to buy a new phone every time there is a hardware update?

  3. Part of the site says shipping in 6 months! Is the process a wait for enough orders, build then ship?

I think the 1st question is most important one.

Apologies if I asked this before - maybe the answer was not something :grimacing: I could fathom.


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No problem about the questions. Although the answers can be found in the forum, from time to time, maybe a recap of the story/situation is needed… :wink: I’m sure others will add more, if I’ve forgotten something:

  1. As you see in the shop there are two identical phones, each with different price. The more expensive one is assembled in USA, if you value that. Both should be equally scrutinized and secure, but I suppose it depends on potential customers feelings which they prefer (which they trust more… or less… etc.). Conversations about it: Librem 5 USA edition

  2. I’m not sure about what you are assuming here, but it is a phone and most parts are integrated, so mostly they are not upgradable. That being said, the battery is changeable and it’s possible that in the future there could be a better one available. The radios (wifi, cellphone) are changeable too (with a bit of effort) and there has been talk that you could use a bit different combinations (radios better suited for different parts of the globe, different networks), but that’s not really an upgrade - more like an optional feature. Unfortunately memory or processor can not be upgraded (more space with a memory card though).

    Edit to add (related to radios): In the official FAQ, it says: Will the phone support 5G networks? Librem 5 will have M.2 slot for a baseband module, so it is a potenital for “upgrade”. But when we first start shipping Librem 5 this probably won’t happen, as 5G is relatively new and still in testing.

    Then again, if you were referring to the batches (Aspen, Birch, Chestnut, Dogwood, Evergreen… and Fir), “A” through “D” can be thought of as development stages (“betas” or “release candidates”, if software terms can be applied) which some have opted to get, despite knowing that there will be unresolved issues. Evergreen is supposed to be the final version of Librem 5, sold to the public (the “normal” and “assembled in USA” variations - I’m unsure where the “A” through “D” were assembled). So, no, you do not have to buy all of them - in fact you can only get the “E” now (unless second hand).

    The Fir batch is a different thing and for clarity, in my mind, shouldn’t be named a batch, as it’s a different version and probably an upgraded design compared to L5 (as it has different processor and probably other updated design choices). Best thought of as a possible new future model. That one you’d have to buy separately as there is no upgrading to it from L5. But at this point, there is no certainty about if and when it’s coming.

    On a related note, upgrading should not be as necessary with L5 as with most phones as it uses Linux (and has that replaceable battery). Software updates should continue wayyyy into the future. Some discussions about that: How long is the lifetime of Librem 5? and Librem 5 Longevity: Solving The Problem of Disposable Technology

  3. Originally this was a crowdfunded project, so payments were made - can’t even remember anymore how long it’s been… - back in 2017. It was supposed to be finished 2019 (spring, then fall - and then the batches were announced, so technically Aspen meant it was shipped). At that time they started to sell it to everyone else too, but original backers are still first in line as most of us are still waiting for Evergreen. Which should arrive in August the earliest. That was the estimate a few months ago and since Dogwood is only now supposed to be shipping (next week, hopefully), a few months late, it’s likely that August is a bit optimistic (there is probably a need to do stuff after “D” version testing and feedback). Six months seems like a rough estimate, considering the delays and the queue of other customers/backers.

    There is likely (who knows) enough bought already, so Purism does not need to wait for more. More likely, when it does finally come out, there’s going to plenty of new customers lining up to wait, extending that estimate. But at the moment, as L5 is essentially “a first”, a prototype of it’s class of phones, from that perspective it’s understandable that estimates about development time to finalized product and shipping are more “guesstimates”.


The WiFi/Bluetooth and cellular modem are on M.2 cards, so you can replace the modem to support different LTE bands in different regions. It won’t be possible to upgrade to 5G, because requires twice as much power as 4G and more cooling than can be put on an M.2 card. Also there are new mmWave antennas that will be required in some places (like in the US) for 5G.

We have no idea if it will be possible to put a Fir PCB in Evergreen to upgrade it. Todd Weaver made a comment in this interview that makes me speculate that Purism might allow upgrading the PCB. Currently only the ShiftPhone 5.X allows the main PCB to be upgraded in a smartphone.

Really hard to know when the Evergreen batch (i.e., the mass production batch) will ship. Purism has to do FCC certification, get the cameras and video out working, and do a lot of work on power management. I’m predicting that Purism will ship in Q4 of 2020, but there will still be a lot of software issues.

These two links might help you:


Another perspective on this is … if you don’t need the update, why would you upgrade?

The real answer to the question would then be … you upgrade when you are forced to because the older spec of technology simply doesn’t work any more. So if the financial or environmental considerations are greater than your desire for the latest and greatest technology, I expect the phone to function for many years.

Every phone is limited in how much can be upgraded “in place”. The Librem 5 is better than most.


Another perspective on this is… UPgrade within the digital device arena a usually means that the upgrade fixes bugs, or keeping up with the Gate’s, or a part has become obsolete overnight because someone else invested a better mouse trap, or company is turning it’s back on customers and heading off in anew direction. And lastly, ‘upgrade’ usually means an improvement.

I don’t have to upgrade my old clunker desktop if I don’t want to use some of the new bells and whistles that surround a decent program. My ‘clunker’ can do what Win 10 does, except deprive Microsoft of using 40% of my system to tell on me. There are many reasons to uograde. And my question was not meant to be derided into something else, and it still stands…

I’ve come to feel that upgrading at $2,706.13 at today’s exs cenage rate, (AKA $1,999.00) to keep up to date with the …“latest and greatest technology” is a very expensive item to add to my right to privacy. If we don’t keep up to date with latest and greatest technology, we are deprived of some services - or get left behind. That’s OK for my desktop, but a $2+k phone should last longer than a politicians promise.

The website states but doesn’t say if hardware is included:

Lifetime updates that actually extend your phone’s life

When you purchase a Librem 5, you can be confident that we will continue to provide security updates, privacy improvements, bug fixes, and new features… for the lifetime of your device, without compromising performance. Your Librem will stay secure and responsive for years to come. Like a good wine, it will probably get better over time, not worse.

of that, I have no doubt that ‘‘Like a good wine, it will probably get better over time, not worse.’’ but at what cost.

Because it appears it will be 6 months before I’d receive today’s un-upgraded version of next years promo. And, no idea yet if carriers @ home would allow me to use a Librem 5 phone.

I’m sticking with taking back some of my rights to privacy with PureOS on a laptop.

I don’t have a *clever phone because of the rampant rape of our rights by companies so big that even governments, including the brash U.S. won’t go near them. The phone must wait until it is affordable.

Thanks for your valuable input @kieran - I’m sorry sorry I cannot see eye-to-eye with you on it, but that’s OK. Soon disagreeing will banned too… :wink:



That is not the correct price, realistically. The correct price is US$749.

That is still not a cheap phone by any stretch but it is a lot less than US$1999.

If you are in the US and you are made of money then you might put US$1250 value in having the same phone (Librem 5) but assembled in the US.

If you are in Canada (as you appear to be) and you are made of money then you might put US$1250 value in having the same phone (Librem 5) but assembled in the US.

Place of assembly might be important for: security reasons, environmental reasons, labor market reasons, …

Only you can decide that.

My personal take would be … if I worked in an industry in the US which had the highest security requirements (defense, aerospace, intelligence, …) and it is a business expense then yes go for the “assembled in the US” (USA Edition) phone otherwise I would accept the small additional risk of “assembled in China”, while still getting most of what I want (open source, modular, Linux-based phone etc.) and supporting the overall project and mission.

You mean zero seconds? When it’s a lie from the outset? :slight_smile:


Purism has at least 5k of preorders, so it isn’t a question of waiting for enough orders. The issue is getting the phone to a good enough state that it can be shipped. Nobody is expecting Evergreen to be a polished product, but Purism needs to be sure that the hardware at least is good, so all the rest the problems can be fixed with future software updates.

It shouldn’t cost you anything to get the future software updates (except the time that you spend downloading them). Software updates can make a huge difference in performance and battery life. For example, upgrading from GTK 3 to GTK 4 will bring hardware acceleration to the interface, which will make everything smoother and more responsive (and also more energy efficient).


I hope normal american people don’t take offense, but right now, I trust China more than I trust the U.S. government.

" the US which had the highest security requirements (defense, aerospace, intelligence, …)" is what U.S. news medium presents to the world. Double-reversing propaganda?

Lastly, you are partly correct - I do have a residence in Canada. Since 2 countries are already working at side-stepping the U.S. dollar and opting to use the gold standard, it may be cheaper to buy Librem for me (I’m not made of any country’s money - unfortunately :slight_smile: ) when the U.S. economy is out of the running; which I predict to be next March - April pending on who is president at the time, and whether or not the marriage of Beijing and Moscow is annulled or not.

Thanks for your personal take", as it is a valued ‘take’ on things. I appreciate you taking the time to sharing it.


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For clarity, by the quoted text I meant … comparing different industries within the US, which of them have the highest security requirements? In no way was it a comment about how any industry in the US compares with any industry outside the US.

Implicit in my comment is that all US technology is potentially compromised by the US government and all Chinese technology is potentially compromised by the Chinese government etc. …

but in that case it makes perfect sense for the US government, and allied companies, to select US technology because the US government at least knows where the bodies are buried, as it were. Likewise the same argument, with appropriate changes, applies separately in China etc.

If you are outside the US and outside China, your best option is to encourage local development of technology. Take control of your sovereignty.


to be sovereign means to understand history and have at LEAST a basic ability to speak/write in a second language (preferably one that is technology related) in this day and age … sadly most people barely speak their mother-tongue