Why does the Librem 5 cost so much more than the Pinephone?

This should not be buried here - it’s too interesting. Definitely is worthy of it’s own thread, as cases and DIY are of interest to many and this might become project for L5 too (and get variations). Re-post this as a new thread!

[edit: that new thread: Pinephone Gets 3D Printed Mechanical Keyboard]

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I’ve been thinking this for awhile but then I just saw your comment and I completely agree. I will love my Librem 5 and I love the fact you can remove the modem and wifi/bt cards, but honestly, I believe the majority of people would prefer a slimmer phone over removable cards. I don’t think they will get the number of orders they deserve with the current dimensions of the phone.

Also, by the time Fir comes along the software will be in an even better state.

Edit: When I say majority of people, I mean the masses, not people on this forum or enthusiasts like myself.

When I say majority of people, I mean the masses, not people on this forum or enthusiasts like myself.

This phone isn’t for the masses.


Well from my point of view, I want to be able to convince the masses to use the Librem 5. And it’s good for their business obviously. And the bigger they get the more they can have sway to push for more foss friendly components. So maybe it isn’t there yet, but my point is, I hope Fir will be a phone that will appeal to an even greater market.


Good luck convincing “the masses” to stop using Facebook, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc. The main reason to get a Librem phone (or a PinePhone for that matter) is to maximize your privacy, reduce your dependence on proprietary software, and increase your digital security.

99% of people don’t care or don’t know about these issues, and would (do) gladly give up these things to use shiny data harvesting apps that they feel they “need” or enjoy using.

The masses are quite happy with Android and iOS, what does the Librem phone offer them that they don’t already have?


Respectfully, this thought process is flawed in my opinion.

To say a group of people doesn’t know and imply they cannot learn doesn’t offer them the opportunity, thus creating the negative behavior described.

I think there are many people whom don’t fully understand the security issues not because they cannot but because too few people take the time to try and explain it in a way each individual can understand. I think much of the “not caring” is rather not understanding fully combined with the people whom tried to explain the pieces that concerned them not addressing real pragmatic concerns raised. All too often I see security concerns raised without a solution/alternative provided, and no matter how “secure” a “solution”, if it doesn’t provide access to the information the less secure option provides then it isn’t a solution.

In the case of WhatsApp I see mostly conversations around “aaaaa facebook” and “everyone uses it so they aren’t going to change”. The issues I see with this are 1. “Facebook” as an amorphous complaint is too vague. 2. People used something before whatsapp, they’ll use something after. Both sides, as a general statement, are not negotiating in good faith.

To say “just don’t use Facebook” isn’t providing a solution. To say “use this alternative” regardless of the capabilities of the alternative is not providing an actual solution; what’s missing here is actually engaging with the other side to understand their needs before trying to reach a solution, because more features without users is still not a solution. I do see the matrix bridge solution recommended occasionally, and this is met with the least resistance (I’m not saying this is the best or only option just using it as an example) because it allows for a gradual migration, which is how all communication migrations happen; it wasn’t overnight that “everyone” moved to whatsapp so they won’t move away overnight. There will still be some resistance no matter how good the technical piece of the solution is because there is a natural aversion to change, generally as humans age they want less change because it reminds them of their final change from living to not living which can be scary for a large portion of humans.

There are, of course, outlier examples of extremes that can be pointed to to prove me “wrong” but that’s really just trying to have a different conversation than the one I’m having.


Okay will do

If you can get “the masses” to care about these things then that’s great, but I think it’s an uphill losing battle. I’d focus efforts on the other people, those who already know and care about these issues but aren’t sure what to do about it and could do with some guidance - this was where I was just a few years ago.

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I often use my phone with a desktop UI, and for that 1080p is better for fitting everything. 1080p is also better for VR. So, I am dissapointed, but I can make due.

What about if you only use one eye - then it would get all the pixels and not just half of them, like when using two @1080p. Wouldn’t that compensate it? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :face_with_monocle:

Folks said that before about building a Linux phone, and see how that turned out.


By “see how that turned out” do you mean the masses are still using Android (or are you calling that a Linux phone?) and iOS?

I mean “uphill losing battle”, and you know exactly what I meant too.

Bringing a phone to market and convincing “the masses” to use the phone are not comparable tasks. Sure bringing the phone to market was difficult but getting the majority of the phone using public on-board is a massively more difficult task that I think is impossible, it’s like trying to convert people from one religion to another, most people do not care enough to give up what they have.

Even Microsoft couldn’t convince people to switch to a mobile OS that many people were already using on their Desktop.

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Most people are not passionate about Android per se. They are passionate about what Android allows them to do with their phones, but the public polling shows that large majorities of people are concerned about the collecting and monetizing of their personal data.

If another operating system came along that gave them the same functionality as Android, but without the spyware and the monetization of their personal data, I think that you would be surprised how many people would be willing to switch. The phone manufacturers also have an incentive to switch from Android to Linux.

See the arguments here:
8.4. How does mobile Linux have any chance against Android and iOS when other OSes failed?

I think the more important question is whether the mobile Linux ecosystem can gain the functionality of the Android ecosystem. The data in Open Street Map is getting better, but will it ever get good enough to match navigation by Google Maps? Will Linux phones ever be able to match the proprietary photo processing currently on Android phone? Will anyone develop decent text-to-speech for Linux? Will there ever be a good free/open source AI to match Google Assistant or Bixby?

Success is a double edged sword. If Linux phones become popular, Google will port its software and web services to Linux phones just like it currently does for iOS and KaiOS and will offer incentives for manufacturers of Linux phones to preinstall their software. I expect that Microsoft will do the same.

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same functionality as Android, but without the spyware and the monetization of their personal data,

This is the impossible part. In order to have the same functionality it needs the same apps - facebook, twitter, whatsapp, angry birds, etc. and these apps will never exist in a privacy/security/free software form.

Although I imagine most folks wanting a Purism L5 won’t be wanting to use fakebook, whatsapp, twatter, etc. or apps owned or associated with big tech and their spying practices.
Not all, but not most, I imagine. It’s sort of why we all want a privacy/secure focused phone.

I remember when people would “never” leave myspace, aol, irc, angry birds, etc…

Yeah, I’m reusing angry birds since I think that’s already been supplanted by other “must have” games. My point is platforms change over time and people move on.

The functionality people care about is their ability to connect with others, share ideas, communicate, and be entertained (thank you for including an example of each in your original list); the long term solution is not to provide access to the abusive platforms but rather to move on to better platforms, which will then be supplanted by better platforms.


[citation needed] :slight_smile:

Regardless of the current exact numbers, I think the worm is turning. More and more people are becoming concerned about this. As more people become concerned, suddenly (democratic) governments will be concerned.

This. I wouldn’t be pushing people too hard to get on board the Linux ecosystem today because I know that so much is missing.

Never mind that, what about speech-to-text? I think that is where the action is.

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You can buy a feature phone or a cheap Trac Phone for $50. Or you can pay $1,000.00 for a Samsung Note 10. You get an entirely different phone in either case. Whether a phone is better or not has more to do with many things, than just what the general technical specifications are.

Personally, just being able to bring up a root bash prompt in real Linux (not an Android shell) and without needing to use someone else’s software exploit to get there is worth several hundreds of dollars to me. But you still need as much hardware as you can get to use that bash prompt. When I read about the Pine Phone now, it looks like the L5 version of Pure OS is better and more advanced than any other mobile Linux-based OS out there. Most of the others get their Libhandy and other mobile Linux tools from libraries developed by Purism and because of Purism. So I want to support Purism’s work and not just get the lowest possible price on a phone. I don’t want to compensate Pine for work done by Purism. The Librem 5 does have slightly better hardware specifications, even if not proportionately priced as slightly more. The Pine phone is not fully developed any more than the Librem 5 is, even if they are shipping their earlier batches to everyone and Purism is wanting to wait to ship a better product to everyone. I don’t like having to remove a back cover and use a toothpick to toggle-off the hardware kill switches. When I add up all of this, the Librem 5 is priced more competitively priced than the Pine phone is.

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