Why is the Librem 5 made in China?

I like what I’m reading about this phone; however, the fact that it’s manufactured in China is VERY concerning. We know they put devices in other items to track us, so why would Purism allow a communist country to create their phone? Paying $1200 more just to have it made in the US is ridiculous.

Are the laptops manufactured in the US?

Seems like you know a lot about manufacturing micro-electronics components

What other country in the world is capable of manufacturing their product ?
And how much would be the non-ridiculous additionnal costs ?

The difference of price is because one country is using authoritarian cheap labor, the other one is not
Sadly that’s the world we live in, China has become a powerful country manufacturing computer components, among a lot of other essential things, for the rest of the world
The lower price resulting in the closure of the more local manufacturers which could not follow the low prices and paying decent salaries

I think the US version of the librem 5 is an attempt from Purism to support more local manufacturer, but it has a high cost because of the unfair competiton and the lower demand quantities
Whatever Purism choose, it will not be perfect, because there is no perfect solution, but the more US companies start doing the same, the lower the costs of US manufacturing computer components will become


It is very unlikely that a spy chip would be inserted in the Librem 5. See the following posts for the reasons:

It is expensive, but look at the price of doing prototype board production in the US (because that is what Purism is having to pay) and the per unit costs of doing production of a couple hundred units and Just-In-Time manufacturing. See: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Frequently-Asked-Questions#56-why-does-the-librem-5-usa-cost-so-much

The final assembly of the Purism laptops happens in Carlsbad, California, but that just means that Purism is putting in the RAM and SSD. Purism hasn’t commented on where its laptops are assembled, but it is almost certainly in China because, over 90% of the world’s laptops are assembled in China.

Likewise, it is likely that Purism is putting in the cellular modem in the Librem 5 in Carlsbad, CA.


That is an important point. While no doubt the cost of labour in China is lower, the economies of scale there are better too.

With the benefit of hindsight …

Guys, you don’t have to paint people in a bad light if you think they are making a mistake. Grow up plz.


And you think this doesn’t happen in the US? https://www.exabeam.com/information-security/clipper-chip/

Since I’m retired and debriefed, I really don’t care that much anymore. I mean if I get called up out of the blue and by some miracle hold a high clearance U.S. job again, yes maybe I’ll get a U.S. version (if they don’t just issue me one from inventory that they already bought).

The only other worry about tracking is if we’re in a guerrilla war against invading Chinese regulars in the Appalachians, I’ll have probably ditched all my phones by then anyway and have gone back to an HF receiver only for C2 purposes.


I once watched an interview by a security researcher (in the documentation “Coded Bias”), where they explained that the US is basically Wild West concerning Data Security (both concerning the Government and Corporations) and that the only difference between Chinese espionage on their citizens and US spionage on Citizens is that China makes that openly while in the US, people are still feeling save.


One more thing about the costs. For the Librem 5 USA, Purism has to do custom manufacturing of the M.2 card for the PLS8 modem, the main PCB and the USB PCB, which together contain over 1200 components. The main PCB is 10 layers thick and it contains a lot of small parts. It is not cheap to do that manufacturing in the US, and there aren’t a lot of companies in the US that do complicated board fabrication.

In comparison, the typical smartphone has about 400 components and a 4 to 6 layer board. I recently tore apart a Huawei G Play mini (CHC-U23), that was released in August 2015. Look at the two PCBs and two M.2 cards in the Librem 5:

Now compare them to the 1 PCB in the CHC-U23:


How much other phones produced in the USA cost?

I think the point of this exercise is, … there aren’t any.

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