Target audience for the Librem 5?


That’s not my fault if people are confused. People should be able to have any discussion they want so long as it’s respectful and is not just a big flame war. If people are confused they can ask any question they want for clarification. If technical or hypothetical discussions are off putting to some people they should just ignore them. Or there should be subcategories on the board to break those out.

As an aside I wouldn’t necessarily use the term normies for people who have interests that are different from mine.


We had Debian Day yesterday in our Linux group to celebrate the release of Debian 10. I started talking about the Librem 5, because it is my favorite thing to talk about. :wink:
The general conclusion among the group was that $649/$699 was too much to pay for a phone, but many were interested in getting the $150 PinePhone, so the price is significant for some people. However, this is in La Paz, Bolivia, where $649/$699 represents the monthly salary for most people.

Two people have asked me to bring them the Librem 5, the next time I’m in the US (because dealing with Bolivian customs is a nightmare), so there are some people here who are willing to pay the price, but not many. I’m happy that the PinePhone will be coming onto the market at the end of the year, because it gives price-conscious people a choice, and having both together will really grow the mobile Linux ecosystem.


Such an interesting point. I completely agree. There are many emerging markets where this price is out of the reach of many people. In the US it’s fine because people regularly pay 1000$ here for a flagship device. Maybe down the line there will be a few different options in terms of price. For a first go around I think the price is fairly well balanced given the R&D that went into it.


+1 for the debian 10 celebration and i agree in general to your points but …

  1. the L5 is not just a phone - it’s a smart mobile device that respects (largely) user freedom and ON TOP OF THAT is also a phone.

  2. it’s unfair to say that the L5 is priced to high and use a very limited personal motive (650 $ dollar beeing the mothly salary for most people … somewhere/anywhere) when the L5 is not just the result of Purism’s work for a few years it’s the culmination of the effort of each and every free-software user since RMS (that’s almost a lifetime of work and philosophical polishing)

  3. the L5 is not JUST a product - it is a statement and an ideal (not yet reached tough but still very close)

  4. is it the ultimate ideal ? no - but it’s an intermediary step towards a different kind of future (hopefully) thus it is priced not only right it’s also very low IMO.


I expect I owe you (@DCMike) an apology, however I usually see a post like that in the context of futility and dismissal. We’ve all seen the sabotaging nay saying posts:( Anyhow, please excuse my misinterpretation :slight_smile:

Yes, I do see how tech enthusiasts have a majority interest in guiding the hand of technology (that’s a very good thing when it’s to guide towards user Freedom and definitely appreciated!:)) but what I think is not necessarily noted is that the lowest wage earners are interested in taking the hand of technology off their necks. Our motivation is that of self direction and dignity, which I think Purism is going to discover is very strong (and there are a lot of us).

The following reads like a piece of despotic fiction written by RMS, it’s not. It’s a snippet of an actual email that was sent to me earlier this year by my employer:

The new application will have a number of features to help us manage site operations including time sheet management, guard tour, shift journal and incident reporting [==redacted==] Selected employees will receive a one-time expense reimbursement of $300 to compensate you for the use of your personal phone. To participate in this program, please contact [==redacted==] with your site number, site name, supervisor name, and operating system (android, iOS, blackberry) along with phone make and model no later than[==redacted==]. Only sites with full participation will be eligible to receive cell phone reimbursement (so encourage your fellow site colleagues to sign up if you wish to participate).

While participation in the programme is not mandatory to continue employment with the company (heh, at this time!), try explaining to your fellow co-workers (also earning just cents above minimum wage) that their software Freedom and right not to be tracked is more important than finally being able to say "yes’ to the brands of clothes their kids have been begging them for; Especially when we are constantly receiving messages of hopelessness and futility about having any semblance of control over our digital lives. That’s how exploitation works and, as throughout history, it’s inflicted upon the existing exploited first. It’s happening now; We’re the canaries. This is more than just a phone, it’s a statement of resistance. I sent an reply email that I loose phones all the time and I’m betting others did as well because this nonsense of using employees personal phones was soon ended…for now(?). As for the affordability issue, I make less than a dollar over minimum wage and I drained my vacation pay and savings to buy a Librem 5 as soon as I learned of them because I need this phone and what it stands for to succeed. Everyone does, and that’s why I get a bit defensive when referred to as an other (because we’re not, we’re all allies :)) Again, my apologies for harshness though :slight_smile:


wait so you are saying that you feel obligated to apologise for TEXT but digital tirany is excused because of what ? convenience ? imo you should not apologise at all since blowing some steam from time to time can be terapeutic.

haha. this reminds me of my time beeing a student in my country. in the winter we were used to waiting a few hours in the cold at the train-station for the train to arrive (it had huge delays regularly in the winter). and we were talking about how the transport-ministry rarely offered some semblance of apology to the media regarding the local delays but the Japanese were always offering deep apologies (cupled with a solemn bow) regarding their few minute delays (happening CUMULATED over a whole year). We were laughing so hard about the differences between our countries and at the same time we couldn’t help but feel the cold slowly seeping into our bones.


Well, no, I meant personally. I do realise I was somewhat harsh for communications in a forum with @DCMike. Harshness just what I’m used to (as security I usually only see people who have a problem or are a problem and present the deportment of " bitch who will pull a weave" to the junkies who like to frequent the loading dock at work).Ha Ha! Not appropriate conduct for these forums and that’s on me and not him (or her) :slight_smile:


So they aren’t supporting Linux then? You should put in an early request. Give them something to think about. :slight_smile:

Seriously though it does show the insidious winds that we will be running against e.g. if participation did become mandatory.


Head office is in another city so requesting a meeting with someone in IT is a no go. I did, however, send an email and ended it that they should feel free to email me if they wanted to discuss software Freedom. They haven’t (can’t really say I really expected a response though :frowning: )


In thinking about this topic some more (it’s been rattling around in the background for a while now) there are two parts to this answer.

The target audience for the Librem 5 is everyone, and the goal is for it to be useful for children/adults/specialists.

With that said, the primary market for the initial release is the early adopter market. Now there are a few different groups that fall under early adopters, but this is the group that should be, in my opinion, the group buying the phone this early in it’s lifecycle.

Long term the Librem 5 appears to be headed down the path of the Librem laptops, improving over time as revisions are made and newer versions are released. I would wager the first Librem laptop on initial release was not as user friendly as the Librem 15v4 is today.

By that same course of logic, I expect the Librem 5v1 which is best suited for early adopters/tinkerers/etc is not going to be quite the same device as the Librem 5v4 when we get there. The long term goal of being for everyone should not be lost, but neither should it prevent the release of the initial and interim products that help get there. (v4 chosen arbitrarily, I’m not trying to make a prediction as to when that crossover will happen)

I see the Librem 5 as a series not a single device.


I agree with your other points. But this one is not true. It is not unfair to say the Librem5 is priced too high.

Only critic about the statement that the Librem5 is priced to high might be a missing explanation.

The idea behind the Librem products is to change the world, to change how all people are treated.

Essential to this idea is that all people are able to take part in this change - including all those people who are not able to spend 650US$, but are bound to buy a smartphone for 150US$ running the worst android version and bloatware out there.

It is important to acknowledge that Purism products up to know are to expensive to change the world. Until now they just give an advantage to a low percentage of priviliged people.

I really hope that our buying these products will support development and progress toward the point where Purisms products can be produced cheap enough to be a choice for everybody.

I really hope that with buying for a high price I support the openess that will lead to cheap clones and maybe even to ports to hardware already being around, being available really cheap (nevertheless the existing hardware might not be following the same high ideals).


You’re turning the problem around.
The L5 is not too expensive, given the work it has required to be developed and given the success of the fundraising campaign.

I don’t see how Purism could have been cheaper.

The problem is that with current market rules it is more profitable to make an android smartphone with lots of bloatware than to respect users.

The problem is that the $150 smartphone actually hides many costs. You pay for your private data, through a short lifespan and an unsustainable economic system.
You pay by renouncing your own liberties.


I completely agree. However it depends on which market we are talking about. Certainly for the US/EU market the price is fairly competitive. But to change the world as @ChriChri said there will need to be future iterations that have either a) a lower price point or b) multiple devices/specs at different price points to support emerging markets.

Also to change the world we would need international character sets supported (which they are not currently) This would lead me to assume that the target markets for this device are really limited to the EU/US at this time