What of the 180 day lead-time?

(reposting to edit)

Technically they need to complete the FCC and CE RF certification.

As far as I am concerned, they also need to implement some kind of sleep state. That is essential in order to get a reasonable time between charges.

Adding: VoLTE support is getting somewhat pressing too. The clock is ticking on the 3G network in some countries. I would hate for the Librem 5 just to get to a good state of functionality and then find that you can’t use it for the one thing that really really has to work (for me) i.e. making phone calls.

And also: At least some kind of MMS support is needed. At the very least, we don’t want to be DoSed because the phone can’t successfully receive an MMS (so that subsequent SMSs get blocked). Again though, many people would consider MMS support to be core functionality in a phone.

So, no, I would not consider that the Librem 5 has no further metrics to meet.

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I think you are miss-analyzing the situation. There really is a 180 day lead time to get the i.MX 8M Quad. I checked all the major electronics suppliers in April, and there were only a couple dozen in stock and they were all saying 180 days for any new orders. Purism probably only has a couple hundred orders for the Librem 5 USA model, so even if it used all its stock of i.MX 8M Quad processors to fulfill Librem 5 orders, all it would do is cover a couple hundred orders from October 2017, and we would still be in the same situation with a 180 days wait.

If your goal is to get a refund for your Librem 5 preorder, you might have a bit more success in pressuring the company for your refund, but I think it highly likely that Purism decided to postpone the repayment of refunds due to financial problems. Purism said in late 2019 when it announced price hikes for the Librem 5 that it has gone way over budget to produce the Librem 5. Purism changed its refund policy in February 2020, and in between February and May of 2020, the number of employees working on the librem 5 was cut from 15 and 10, and a number of the employees who stayed had reduced commits for a couple months, which indicates to me that their hours were being cut.

Purism appears to have exited the financial crisis in the second half of 2020, since it rehired one employee (Julian Sparber) and started paying two more developers (Alexander Mikhaylenko and Evangelos R. Tzaras), but the recent announcement that Purism would have to raise the price of the Librem 5 by another $100 indicates that Purism is still losing money.

Almost every company that has tried to make Linux phones in the past ran into financial problems, which is why they eventually gave up, so Purism’s financial problems should not be a surprise to anyone who watched the problems that Motorola, Nokia, FIC/OpenMoko, Golden Delicious, Jolla, Mozilla, Canonical and Samsung encountered trying to sell Linux phones.

I don’t know for sure what is the financial situation of the company, but I suspect that your actions run the risk of driving Purism into bankruptcy if you manage to organize a large number of people to file complaints with regulatory agencies or organize a class action lawsuit. In a bankruptcy proceeding, customers will have the lowest priority after banks and employees for getting paid, so you are making it more likely that customers who cancelled their orders will never get a refund and customers who are waiting for their preordered phones will never get them.

While I am not sure about the financial situation of Purism, what I can be sure of is the dev work that Purism employees are doing. Purism has poured a lot of resources into developing the software for mobile Linux, and is probably risking the company to do it. Purism created libhandy (56628 lines of code), libadwaita (42037 LoC), phoc (13791 LoC), phosh (48549), chatty (48920 LoC), calls (22387 LoC), squeekboard (17806 LoC), and feedbackd (6233 LoC), plus has made changes to the Linux kernel to support half a dozen new chips, plus done upstream commits to wlroots, GTK, GNOME libraries and about three dozen GNOME applications, so they can be used in mobile devices.

Creating a phone using a new SoC that lacks good mainline Linux support and a phone reference design is expensive and slow. Nicole Faerber says that Purism had to go through a dozen board revisions so far. This is nothing like creating an Android smartphone where you take a reference design from Qualcomm, Mediatek or UNISOC, and the OS from Google and the drivers from the component makers, and then slap on your custom skin and call it a day.

The work that Purism is doing is slow and grinding, but absolutely necessary for the long-term future of mobile Linux. oFono has no long-term future in my opinion, so Purism’s work to add functionality to ModemManager was absolutely necessary. There are lots of mobile Linux interfaces (Gaia, Luna Next, Hildon, Glacier, Silica, Tizen, Plasma Mobile and Lomiri), but every single one of them has critical problems, and Purism is creating a new interface in Phosh which in my opinion has the best chance of actually succeeding in the long term and creating a viable alternative to the Android/iOS duopoly. I wrote a blog post last year to explain why development of Phosh was necessary.

In polls on the PinePhone forum, 70% of PinePhone users say that they use Phosh, and 56% say that it is their favorite interface. The only other interface that is viable in the long term is Plasma Mobile, because it is the only interface that has the necessary volunteer labor to keep developing it, but only 14% selected it as their favorite in the same poll.

The difference as I see it is that Purism is laying the groundwork for Linux phones to be a success in the long term with its dev work on Phosh. The sad reality is there are only 3 companies currently paying developers to work on mobile Linux, namely Jolla, Blue Systems and Purism. Jolla’s Sailfish OS will never go anywhere because the community will never embrace its proprietary Silica interface, and every company that has tried to sell phones with Sailfish OS preinstalled has given up after only 1 or 2 models, and I don’t know of a single model that is still for sale. Blue Systems contributes a couple developers to work on Plasma Mobile, but I can’t see any company putting serious resources into the development of Plasma Mobile, Lomiri or any other free mobile Linux interface. With the announcement that the next generation of Galaxy watches will use Android Wear, Samsung has signaled that it is giving up on Tizen. Firefox OS is dead, and only lives on in proprietary KaiOS. LG has no interest in making WebOS into a serious OS for mobile phones, and LuneOS which repackages the free/open bits of WebOS is basically a one-man show that will never go anywhere in my opinion. I doubt that the Glacier UI will ever be completed. Lomiri is based on a mountain of siloed code which has been abandoned by Canonical and is not being properly maintained. It took the UBports community almost 4 years just to update the code to a new version of Qt and Lomiri only had 88 commits over the last year, so it is not realistic to expect the 10 volunteers at UBports with commit access to develop anything new, much less maintain all the code in Ubuntu Touch and Lomiri.

In other words, Purism and its work on Phosh really is the best shot that we have of mobile Linux ever becoming a viable alternative to the Android/iOS duopoly. If frustrated customers take actions that drive Purism into bankruptcy, it is extremely unlikely that any company will step forward in the future to finance the kind of dev work that is needed to make mobile Linux a success. Frankly, it is insane for any company to invest in developing mobile Linux, in light of the string of companies that have failed with mobile Linux. Without Purism, all we have left is the slow development of Plasma Mobile by volunteer labor or the proprietary Silica interface in Sailfish OS, which will never attract much community support.

Because Phosh was designed as a thin overlay on top of the desktop GTK/GNOME ecosystem, it should be significantly cheaper to maintain and develop than the other mobile Linux interfaces, and unlike Plasma Mobile which has almost no corporate support, the GTK/GNOME ecosystem is supported by every single one of the large Linux companies (IBM/Red Hat, SUSE, Canonical and Google), so Phosh can take advantage of the dev work being done by those companies. In other words, Phosh really is the best shot at mobile Linux ever reaching the mainstream and providing ordinary people with a real mobile alternative that respects their privacy and their digital rights.

I am frustrated by the way that Purism has marketed the Librem 5 and the way that Purism changed its refund policy, but I am not sure that the necessary dev work would have been financed any other way. Looking at the small amount of money that was raised by the crowdfunding of the MNT Reform and Volla Phone, it is clear to me that Purism had to engage in some degree of deceptive marketing if it hoped to raise the kind of money that was needed to pay for serious software development. If we don’t want proprietary code or surveillance Capitalism, we have to ask how does FOSS development get financed. We also have to think carefully about the consequences of our actions as customers, and whether we will create a worse situation if we take actions that could potentially drive Purism into bankruptcy. Maybe I am wrong about the financial situation of Purism, but what I am sure about is the fact that none of the big Linux companies care about mobile Linux and are willing to pay for its development. If we decide that we don’t need a company like Purism to pay for software development, then we are choosing to rely solely on volunteer labor to develop mobile Linux, which is going to be slow and unlikely to create a mobile OS that appeals to ordinary users who don’t have technical skills.


As always, a well rounded post with a ton of new info that helped me understand the situation better.

Even as a thin layer over top of GTK, that is still a hell of a lot of code to have produced.

I too see the effort of Purism as pure win for my self personally and the community as a whole. As risky as their bet was, I really want them to succeed, because between their team and the Pinephone effort everyone is better off.

The alternative is and unbelievably horrible situation to imagine.


@amosbatto The lead time on i.MX 8M Quad was not 180 days when I paid for my Librem 5 (and presumably drxray is in a similar position). When Purism took my money, they committed to delivering the product within 180 days. They should either have had the i.MX 8M Quad in stock, or ordered it as soon as they received my money. The fact it, they obviously didn’t, and probably - 1 1/2 years later - still haven’t. That’s deceptive and dishonest. You yourself say that “it is clear to me that Purism had to engage in some degree of deceptive marketing”. You talk about Purism “changing its refund policy”. They can change their refund policy going forward, on new orders, but they cannot lawfully change their refund policy retrospectively on orders which have already been prepaid, because their refund policy is a part of the customer contract which they entered at the time the payment was made, and the terms and conditions in effect at that time apply. Purporting to unilaterally retrospectively “change the refund policy” is called “breaching their contract” and “failing to meet their (financial) obligations as they fall due” (=insolvency) and both constitutes a default and is unlawful. I’d also say dishonest.

You raise the question of how Purism-like products should get financed, if not by engaging in deceptive marketing (=fraud). Normally, honest companies that have a credible business plan are either financed by the founders, their friends and family, or raise money from angel investors or venture capitalists. Or they do it partially by equity crowdfunding or product crowdfunding. They don’t do it by offering a product for sale subject to a lead time, while misusing using their customers’ funds to finance research and development and leaving none of that money to finance delivery of the product, i.e. treating their customers as de facto angel investors, but ones which take on all the venture risk and but none of the venture return.

I don’t think drxray is pushing Purism into bankruptcy. Either Purism is solvent or they are not. If they are solvent, they should start meeting their financial obligations as they are falling due. If they are not, they should stop taking customer money. They can then either raise investment from investors, or if they can’t, then they can’t continue trading while insolvent.

You are right to say that developing a full blown Linux smartphone is a big task. It’s not something that can be done on a budget of a few million dollars. Maybe Purism should have developed an MVP - e.g. a souped-up feature phone with the tree kill switches - first, sold those, and then upgraded the software as they made money from sales of their initial, simpler, product. Or maybe they should have raised money from angels and VCs. From what I read here it sounds like their technology roadmap is way over-ambitious, which would turn investors off. Just deliver a minimal product which solves the customer’s problems first: make calls, send SMS/MMS, maybe send e-mails. In fact even sending e-mails can be added as a software upgrade. Being able to run Android apps etc. is unnecessary. But either way, none of this is really their customers’ problem.

I ordered the phone when it was already supposedly a product and had a 6 month lead time. I did not invest money in a startup or funded an R&D project. I repeatedly asked for either my phone or a refund. I was initially even told I could have a refund - if I leapt through some (unknown) hoops. Now that I know it has a Chinese modem and other Chinese parts and is maybe assembled in China, I just want a refund: I paid for a “privacy” phone not a “spyphone”, so a phone made in China is “not as described”. Where is my refund?

drxray (or anyone else following suit) is entirely entitled to make a regulatory complaint. I doubt it will make any adverse difference to any customer’s experience: Librem 5 customers have zero commitment from the company now to have anything delivered, ever. The phone is probably obsolete already and certainly will be by the time it’s ultimately delivered, if it ever is (which I doubt), and it’s a Chinese phone, not the privacy phone we were promised and paid for.

Re. what to do I am considering my options, though time is money and I have to consider whether I want to throw good money after bad.

I think it’s very nice that Purism is contributing to the open software community. But they can do so on their own dime, not by spending customer money at the expense of never delivering to their customers what we paid for.

I also occurred to me after drxray’s post, any legal action is an extra business expense to defend. Presuming they don’t already have a lawyer on retainer or on the payroll.


Emotional rants are neither justified nor the “facts” stand any review.
So what is such a posting good for?
Show anger and agression? Achieved.
1 persons benefit; all others confused and distracted.

There is no such thing like a “spyphone”: This is dishonest rhetoric.
Insinuations and fabricated false claims instead of facts?
Loss of oversight over components is not possible since Purism designs the parts.

Gemalto modem is chinese? Gemalto products and services are a macro cosmos in itself and an interesting story to tell. It will fill books. And there are things we really don’t want to know about.
And this company is suddenly in chinese remote control?
I can not stop smiling … slightly bitter but not yellow.

I am interested in what you suggest:
Can you come back with some proven facts or substantive allegations?
Or better remain silent before there is anything to say?


Let’s be honest: The definition of where a phone “comes from” is ambiguous and where a phone comes from is hard to nail down.

However most phones - possibly excepting the Librem 5 USA Edition - have some parts that come from China. That’s just the reality of the world right now.

Should a person be more concerned about being spied on by the Chinese government or more concerned about being spied on by the US government? That “depends”.

I would venture that for most people, they should be even more concerned about being spied on by BigTech, and those who will pay BigTech for the data that BigTech collects. So getting any open source phone is a big step forward.

Does this entire topic serve any purpose? Maybe not.

Yes, Purism has forecast 180 days. Does anyone like that? No. Will it prove to be accurate? Maybe. Who can say?

I’ve had my fill of insults and philosophising. I wasn’t going to bother with a regulatory complaint. Refund please, right now, or I’m inclined to follow @drxray’s lead.

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If soldiers/sailors get to take their phones on deployment, I guess it depends which country wants to pinpoint your location. But I imagine they only get to take them as far as home base near an urban center, not on patrol.

So, I paid money to Purism for the Librem 5 phone, Purism developed software that PinePhone users have and apparently happy about it and I am waiting for my Librem 5. Should I feel good that software is ready and will be thoroughly tested by PinePhone users before I get my Librem 5? What did I miss? :slightly_smiling_face:

Perhaps Purism’s refund policy is not the best of possible, but from my point of view “Fraud” is too emotional definition. I also put my money in this project as a customer, fully aware of all the risks. And I believe that a huge work that Purism made by this time worth paying money even if I do not get the phone. If the buyer needs predictability, then he should choose a finished mass model, but not almost experimental unique device. It is not worth resorting to charges. Most people can not estimate the amount of work they only have an approximate representation. And the volume of work to create a new project from scratch often can not predict even its creators. You can agree or not with me, but I’m sure that the team of purism did not sign with coronavirus agreements for delaying components for telephone. Purism now has enough problems. But they do not stop work, and it is worth respect. However, this discussion reminded me of the old statement: “No good deed goes unpunished.”


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?

Complaints won’t solve the chip shortage.
Complaints won’t bring refunds.
Complaints won’t build phones.

Please just stop.


I do not want refund, I want the phone. And want it badly. This is the only forum where we can vent out our frustration being still internal to Purism.

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.


This is not a topic for asking Purism for refunds. Ask them via email.


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.


Depending on what country you are in, a company may be under zero legal obligation to offer a refund (or a replacement) for a “change of mind”.

However it looks as if this topic has been hi-jacked.


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!