Valid argument @rcu but this time the inaccurate estimate is by a margin of 3 - 4 years. I understand the delays in CPU heating problem and chip-shortage etc. the sad part is this list is growing.
When Canonical attempted the Ubuntu phone, they asked for tens of millions. When Purism attempted the Linux phone they asked for 2 - 3 millions. This confidence was based on their already established capability in delivering hardware (laptops). That implies a well-established and well-oiled supply chain, doesn’t it?
There are areas where I think that Purism deserves to be criticized, such as changing its refund policy and its marketing in 2019 that claimed that it would be shipping in Q3 of 2019, when it knew that it would only be shipping development prototypes to a limited number of customers. However, you have unrealistic expectations if you think that any phone manufacturer is stocking its parts 6 months ahead of the date when it expects to start manufacturing. Not only does it cost the company to store parts, but it is a financial risk to order parts for a phone design that isn’t yet finalized. I’m not sure when you preordered the phone, but when Purism was saying that it would ship in 6 months, the phone did not have FCC/CE certification and hadn’t yet verified that the cameras, GPS and smartcard reader would work, so it would have been risky to start stocking parts at that point for a phone design that may have to change. Aside from the financial risk, there is also the risk that the component manufacturers will upgrade the parts or a better option will appear. For example, the i.MX 8M Quad has two significant hardware bugs with power management (e11174 and e11171), so it would have been a bad idea to Purism to buy up a large lot of the processors when NXP might decide to release a new revision of the chip that fixes those bugs. At that point, the Broadmobi wasn’t saying that it would support VoLTE, so it would have been a bad idea to buy up 5k-10k of the BM818 M.2 cards, especially when Purism says that it was investigating the possibility of using another modem that would provide VoLTE.
The auto industry is expected to lose $60 billion this year due to the chip shortage, and the i.MX 8M Quad is a chip marketed to the auto industry. If you are going to criticize Purism for failing to foresee a global chip shortage, that you have to also criticize GM, Ford, VW and every other company that didn’t have the foresight to see the global chip shortage coming.
Yes, I agree and probably everyone on this forum wishes that Purism hadn’t changed its refund policy. You have a legitimate complaint, and it is precisely because it is legitimate, I am urging you to think about the consequences of filing your complaint with the authorities.
I think that it is one thing if you need your money back and you take individual steps to force Purism to pay you a refund, but it is another thing to publicly urge a large number of people to file complaints with the authorities or organize a class action lawsuit, because that may force Purism into bankruptcy and will probably force Purism to lay off developers.
I also think that we have to ask what options Purism had in February 2020. Was the proper course for Purism to lay off 10 developers instead of 5? Was the proper course for Purism to cancel the project, when it had already gone way over budget and didn’t have the money on hand to refund all the people who preordered the phone? Yes, I’m speculating because I don’t know the financial situation, but I think that Purism must have been under real financial stress if it would take such a drastic step as to change its refund policy, knowing how much it would hurt the reputation of the company and the legal problems it might cause. As I see it, Purism took the course of action that causes the least harm to its customers. Eventually it will have developed the Linux phone that it advertised, so it can deliver the pre-orders and it should be generating enough new orders by that time to be able repay the people who cancelled their orders. That is a far better situation than the alternatives in my opinion.
Honestly, it would be great if big companies with deep pockets would do mobile Linux development for us, so we wouldn’t have to deal with risky crowdfunding campaigns to finance development, but the big companies have already tried and failed. I think Purism has a decent shot of kickstarting the Linux phone market, so that other phone makers adopt Linux, but it won’t happen without serious dev work, and I see Purism as the only company currently willing to do the work required. Lomiri is a nice interface, but I can’t see any company willing to invest in its development after Canonical abandoned it. Phosh has already been incorporated into more distros (Debian->Mobian, Arch, Manjaro, Fedora, openSUSE, postmarketOS, etc.) and is getting more commits from outsiders (postmarketOS, Mobian and GNOME devs) than any of the other interfaces.
I’ll respond to the other points that you raised, when I have some more free time. I think that many of the criticisms of Purism are valid, it is just that I don’t think that we have a better alternative, and I don’t see one arising in the near future. Pick your poison, because all the options on the table have serious drawbacks.
I have to agree that filing a complaint or whatever will get nowhere in terms of the presumed objective of a refund. As someone pointed out, lots of people will be paid before us guys.
I’m in the “hang in there” crowd because there really is no other realistic option.
But, here it is again. If only Purism spoke more rather than keeping silent, I suspect that a lot of the angst would be quelled somewhat. Even if nothing has changed, reassure people. It looks to me that people bringing state depts regarding consumer stuff into the mix may be a very bad thing for Purism and thereby everyone else here.
I asked them via e-mail and got the response “not until your phone is ready to ship and then we will give you options”. What does that really mean. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just refund those who request it than defend themselves in court. What more can I do to get a refund. I believe they would just ignore me if I begged for or demanded a refund. I did remind them in my refund request about their policy at the time I purchased the phone. I would have to hire an attorney in California and file a claim. I will let my States Attorney enforce the contract as written. They will have to listen to them.
I bought the phone with the understanding “If, for any reason, you want to cancel your order before it was shipped, we will issue a full refund.” This policy was very clear with no wiggle room. This assures me this transaction would be safe even if there was a delay in producing a phone in a timely manner. If they stated I could not get a refund until they could produce a phone, I would not have given them my hard earned money to hold for many years. If they never produce a phone, does that mean I will never get a refund? If and when they produce a phone will they just change their policy again and say you are stuck with a phone and by that time it might be outdated?
After reading the web pages from 2018 I remembered why they seemed so capable of producing a phone. In fact they bragged that they have all the resources to make it happen. I feel swindled and just want out. My 180 days have been over many times.
I understand that you are angry, I wait for 3/4 of a year for my L14, but that won’t change anything!
Yes, I also think that Purism is loosing money. But what do you expect when the cost of something increases sevenfold and more? You can’t predict that! It was not only a short time peak, but it stayed that high. That’s not Purisms problem, but of all Hardware manufacturers. They have, compared to Purism, more luck, as they can put much more pressure on their supply chain than Purism. Most of them are multibillion-dollar companies that have much more scope for action.
But even they struggle. A German car manufacturer even asked the German Ministry of Economic Affairs to intervene in Taiwan on ministerial level to get more chips. Unfortunately, even this company had to shut down some production lines (these companies literally produce hundreds of thousands of cars and have immersive amounts of money).
No company can produce something when the things they need do not exist, or at least not in the quantities they need.
I bet that Todd and his employees are not sleeping well.
If possible, try not to request a refund because they need the money now. It’s not their fault. I understand, communication could have been better, but that does not change the fact that supply chains have gone crazy. All we can do is to wait!
Here is a thought but before that let me start with a disclaimer, I am not asking for refund, I want the phone.
The chip production in USA is already started or so we know since they are delivering the Made In USA phone. Now the cost of Librem 5 USA is $2000, not the chip that is made In USA. I don’t think it would be more than the $599 as the original price of Librem 5. If the made in USA chip is used to make Librem 5 then the manufacturing price would go high but won’t be as high as to plummet the profit to zero. Of course this is with an assumption that the $599 price did have high profit margin factored in.
So, there is a possible solution should Purism want to pursue by taking a hit in profit margin. This will paint a nicer picture about Purism and would help with gaining credibility around delivery and delivering capabilities.
The original price of $599 during crowdfunding campaign must definitely have some profit margin. No one starts a Crowdfunding Campaign without high profit margin for an innovative and new product. So, maybe you are right maybe I am wrong but the $599 price most definitely have high profit margin factored in,
First off, I want to start off by saying, I don’t disagree with you on principle. If Purism had the ability to manufacture a part that is otherwise faced with a 180+ day back order, I think it would be better for the company to give it a try rather than tell their already paid in full customers, sorry, you’ll get it when you get it.
Having said that, a couple of points.
(1) are we sure that Purism even makes this part in house? We know the L5USA is not 100% US parts. I was under the impression that the chip had to be sourced.
(2) they would likely go through the entire USA line first, (which should be very soon if Purism’s prediction are correct) as I’m sure many people upgraded for the allure of shorter line.
(3) would these efforts even have a significant effect on lead times for most users.
Like I said, I’m not saying your wrong, or even unreasonable. I’m like you, I just want my phone, just throwing some thoughts out there.
Based on the stillness regarding L5-USA deliveries, the odds seem close to zero that Purism’s prediction will turn out to be correct (i.e. L5-USA “shipping parity” within next couple of weeks).
It would fit with Purism’s record if they publish a blog post in about a month that says, “we had a major manufacturing obstacle for L5-USA that was completely unforeseeable, and so we haven’t been able to ship many L5-USA’s. Now we have it under control, and we will reach parity for L5-USA in about 3 months.”
Most crowdfunding campaigns charge a cheaper price for the people who pre-order early, and then raise the price for people who order after the product starts shipping. If Zlatan Todoric’s interview with Phoronix can be believed, the bill of materials for the Librem 5 in 2017 was expected to be $300, so that would leave $300 to pay for development, but that was based on the expectation that Purism would have the phone ready in 17 months, whereas it took 39 months before Purism started shipping Evergreen, and Purism went over budget in the development of the phone.
When Purism announced on December 16, 2019 that it would have to increase the price to $749 in 2020 and the final price to $799, it made this statement:
One way that we reward early backers for their patience is by providing an introductory “early bird” price. When you are creating a new phone from scratch, in the early phases prices are incredibly rough estimates. After all, a number of factors from volume to time to suppliers all play a part in price and it’s difficult if not impossible to know all of your final costs years in advance. So you pick an estimate on the low side to reward early backers, understanding that eventually you will have to increase to your final price.
We had to design the hardware from scratch and we also have to develop many drivers ourselves–everything that is not yet available as free software in upstream mainline Linux kernels.
In early 2019 as we started to get better estimates for our costs, we realized we’d need to increase the price to at least $699–at the time what we thought would be the final price. Fast forward a couple of months and those estimates turned out to be optimistic. Once we knew our final costs for the mass-produced Librem 5 Evergreen batch we realized we’d need to increase the final price to $799.