@Kyle_Rankin why doesnt Purism offer replacement screens, keyboards, trackpad or any other spare part that someone would want to maintain their hardware with? From what I’ve read all product codes besides the battery, memory, HDD cannot be found. This make replacement difficult. Why would you choose this path? This is mainly aimed at the Librem laptops.
And while we’re here: please give your European customers a way to buy a battery.
As it stands, the $1000 Librem 5 that I’ve been waiting for is going to have a useful lifetime of maybe two or three years. After that, I’m going to have to throw the phone away anyway because there’s no way for me to buy a replacement battery.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to replacement parts.
The usual reason for most biz is whether they stock them or not. Although I worked at one place where they spun off one of their own warehouses into another biz just to sell spares. But they also sold generic spares for competitor’s parts. So it must have been the business model.
We want to offer replacement parts. It was only recently (beginning of this year) that we had enough actual Librem 14 laptops in stock to consider this in earnest. At the moment we have been handling this on a case-by-case basis. If a customer wants a replacement part they have contacted us and we have worked out a fair price. In some cases if a customer would prefer we do the replacement (and the hardware is out of warranty) we also work out a fair price for the labor involved.
We do want to start offering more Librem 14 replacement parts on our site, and support Right to Repair and other initiatives, we just don’t yet have the stock built up to offer it formally on the shop, just informally by contacting us. It’s also relatively early in the life cycle of the Librem 14 and many of the orders are still under warranty. This will be a larger need once more Librem 14 laptops in the wild are outside of their warranty.
We want to, and have in the past, however shipping companies have imposed strict regulations on shipping batteries recently that prevent us from being able to ship batteries by themselves. If we find a way to resolve this we will. We not only support the ability to replace the battery in our hardware (it’s why we designed the Librem 5 how we did), it’s in our interest to sell replacement batteries.
I should also note that some parts are easier to make stand-alone spares than others. If you review our Librem 14 disassembly guide you can get a decent sense of which things would be easier to replace, which would be more complicated, which parts would likely come as standalone parts, and which things would likely be sold combined with other parts:
For instance, the way that a lot of modern laptops are made (including the Librem 14) the keyboard is not necessarily easy to replace. Replacing it would likely require getting a full replacement C shell as the keyboard is strongly attached to that in a way that is difficult to remove without damaging things and even more difficult to replace. Other things like the screen would be simpler (as you can see in the video series).
I don’t see any replacement parts for the Librem 13’s and Librem 15’s except for power adapters and case screws+feet. Specifically I don’t see parts such as keyboards, screen, fan+heatsink, keyboard, case+hinge, etc for those older out-of-warranty laptops. What is different about the Librem 14 that one should expect it to be any different?
We do offer Librem 13 and 15 replacement batteries in the shop as well, because that’s the most likely thing that someone might want to replace over time, and there’s enough demand that we put it on our shop along with the other items (feet, screws, HDD mounting kits) that get significant enough demand to justify it. The rest we just handle on a case-by-case basis, because the demand is low enough that it’s not burdensome to us to handle incoming queries for those parts.
I suspect the Librem 14 will follow a similar path, where components are handled case-by-case at first, and then get their their own SKU in the shop when there’s been significant enough incoming requests to justify it.
My assumption has been that since there are no listed parts, they are simply not available. You’re telling me that this isn’t true … which is great news. So, supposing that someone had a Librem 13 with broken hinges/case, could they expect parts for that repair to be available at a reasonable price? Is the only way to find that out by emailing Purism support or are there 3rd party suppliers?
Someone who wants replacement parts would have to contact Purism, we make custom laptops and aren’t large enough (yet) for 3rd party suppliers to make replacement parts for our custom laptops.
I’ve not gone and looked, but if there isn’t a note on that page saying something like “for other parts, please contact support@puri,sm to inquire about availability” there probably should be.
You remove the battery, send the phone back to Purism, then they insert a new battery and send the phone back to you.
Think of it as a repair.
Does that sound extreme and inconvenient? Well, yes, but not as extreme and inconvenient as just throwing the phone away.
Alternatively, you should be able to buy a spare battery at the time you do the shipment email with Purism. With appropriate care and feeding that would approximately double the time before you have to face the lack of a working battery.
Also, you can use the phone without the battery, connected to the power.
Has anyone come up with a handcrank with a flywheel to power USB?
Sure. Here’s just one hit of many: https://www.survivalsuppliesaustralia.com.au/K-TOR-Pocket-Socket-USB-Hand-Crank-Power-Generator
NB: The 1A limit would mean a lot of cranking to get a full charge on the Librem 5 and you would probably want to charge with the phone powered off (if you are trying to charge the battery rather than operate the phone without a battery) but if it’s to save your life …
A small PV panel might be more pleasant, maybe a wearable, flexible panel.
Edit: I have a torch that operates like this and it is quite noisy. So if you are trying to crank in order to operate (not charge) and make a phone call then that could be a negative. For operation to access data it should be fine.
I also used to have one of those torches. It was marketed as a Soviet torch after the fall.
A better option might be an external battery bank that supports USB-C for supplying power and for being charged - and a crank with USB-C support.
Even without the crank, an external battery bank would solve the original problem.
Then there’s the new Apple self-repair service model:
With all due respect, and I truly mean it given your position and influence, this sounds to me like you are bending to the industry. Where there is a will, there is a way. You proved that with PureOS.
To be fair, I am new to this side of the market (privacy), so I don’t know the difference between my toes and my ears on some subjects. I am, however, an engineer who views such things with a degree of skepticism. I know you hire smart people. You wouldn’t be here speaking freely without these amazing people to support and protect you.
So I call “Cop-Out”. I’m still waiting on a shipping update on my phone (which I really really really hope is useful). Not asking for priority, just pointing out lack of feedback after 30+ days.
Own what you have control over. If you don’t want to admit anything, that’s cool. I get it, the masses don’t know the whole story. Just say we’re working on it, but at least try to give productive updates. "I heard you, we’re working on it the best we can. We are just as frustrated as you. "
If there are supply chain issues, then maybe your design was not ready for market and you need to shift some areas for vNext of your product(s).
Please forgive the armchair CEO here, but I truly hope you’re open for discussion and debate. The masses don’t know you’re pressures, so we assume a lot of details.
I hope this helps.
If one googles the part number stamped on the Librem 5 battery ( 1ICP10/57/53 ) one might be able to come up with the company that created the battery for Purism. But whatever the case, one can find alternate suppliers for those batteries. I’m in the US, but I get this ebay listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/255420693224 from a maker “Cameron Sino” . I also got a general reseller: https://www.interlightus.com/light-bulb/WX-RS0X-3 . You can probably find a reseller in Europe.
Although I asked this before, just so it’s not forgotten that there isn’t an answer yet, repeat: “ Hi. When do we get L5 repair parts available at the Purism store? ” I’d at least like to get an extra sim tray and a back cover or two - probably double on both. I’ll settle for stl-files for now, if actual parts are not available for a while as the phone becomes quickly unusable with out them (testing puts a lot of strain on them).