Why is the librem phone so expensive?

If I compare this phone to the pinephone 4 pro that is $399 but the librem 5 is $1,299.00.

And the specs don’t really differ from each other so I am not too sure why librem 5 is expensive. I wouldn’t have mind to buy this phone but its just so costly.

Why is it this expensive?

I am not trying to start an argument but like I wanted to know the reasons behind it?

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You are trying to start something, or didn’t you get your answers in your previous same thread: Librem is too expensive compared to Pinephones … Or any of the other discussions that have been had before. Or the wiki FAQ on this: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Frequently-Asked-Questions#14-do-the-specs-justify-paying-599-1299-for-the-librem-5


I believe I was comparing it with the pinephone, not pinephone pro.

Also one of the things said in a comment:

The difference it makes is: Cellular provider can’t know your exact position when you are using Librem 5, whereas in Pinephone case all bets are off.

I am not too sure about pinephone but with pinephone pro it also has baseband isolation so I am not too sure if the phone can still avoid being pinpointed?

Is there a time when the librem phone would reduce its costs?

Because we develop the software which is then used both by the Librem 5, and the PinePhone. Pine64’s investment into software, on the other hand, is a tiny fraction of ours.


What software do you guys develop that is then used in pinephone pro?

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Hi Jsjoe,

I want to welcome you to the World of capitalism and inform you that the price of a product does not need to have any relation to the manufacturing costs.
I am amazed that people refuse to accept this and seek some justification in the costs that Purism might have or might not have for the production of Librem 5.

I don’t want to imply anything. I have no inside information and no idea how the Librem 5 price gets calculated. I just have a capitalistic mindset and for me the price is not necessarily related to the manufacturing costs.

The price represents what people are prepared to pay for a product.
The price helps achieve a balance between the supply and demand.

When it comes to Purism, obviously they had a demand higher than the supply.
People want Librem 5.
People order Librem 5.
And they ordered more units of Librem 5 than Purism was able to manufacture.
The number of orders was higher than the number of shipped devices which led to a huge backlog of unfulfilled orders.
This lead to many many extremely angry customers who were very angry for having delays in their orders.
What does a company need to do in such situation? Either increase the manufacturing capacity or decrease the demand. How do you decrease the demand? You increase the price. And this is exactly what Purism did.

Apart from that, I personally see huge risk for our society that a huge percent of the manufacturing of electronics is concentrated in China (or around China). It is like putting all data centers of the whole World in one single geographic zone. And with the Taiwan tensions, the zone is like an earthquake zone. It is just irresponsible to put all eggs in one basket.
We need diversification for the electronics industry. Putting a high price tag for the made in China Librem 5, makes the made in USA Librem 5 more attractive to the customers and it is easier to opt for Librem 5 USA when Librem 5 China is expensive. So I fully support Purism on that one.


Took the words right out of my mouth. If you want to have a Librem 5 phone or similar to purchase in the future, then you need to make sure a company like Purism survives.


Not enough sales volume! (Imagine however if they had their HQ in North Carolina instead of Kalifornia, they could lower all their salaries, live at the same comfort, level and charge less for the product.)


Like Manjaro phosh, for example.

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Phosh and Chatty are the most visible. Also squeekboard, feedbackd, and we have full time developers who are turning GNOME into a phone-friendly environment. I can recall contributions to at least Fractal, Gnome Web, Settings, Nautilus, and a bit deeper, GTK, wlroots and Wayland in general, but there are so many contributions it’s impossible to remember them all (even my own).


Quality? A Computer in your Hands without 3erd Party interests on Daily Database?

If you run your App** or Goo*** one you are under surveillance by Artificial Code, Drivers and every Step (like GPS) is linked to Advertisers in your Area. For Example. Every Photograph every visited Web Page. If you get a Message with your End to End encryption Messager, it will memorize the Milliseconds you are watching it and your Voice Messages go to some other AI, learning your Speak, temper and Mood.

Purism will try to build a modern Smartphone like a Computer in the 1990th with a modern Linux, open Source and where you have the Control over the Software and the Data, collected about you*.

*On your Phone, not on visited Websites, or 3erd Party Applications.

It would be Cheaper if there are five or six or more Hardware sellers out there… but right now its like Organic food in the past, nearly no competition just strange bad quality on the rest of the Marked.

Pinephone is ok, but looks like just another Android-Hardware-Phone specialized on one Hardware and using Linux on that one Hardware Distributor.
Which is already fine, cause we need every support we can get on that huge mine field before us, as Society.

So: Just use both! :slight_smile:


A big difference I haven’t seen mentioned is the Librem5 is marketed as a functional phone for daily use.

The PinePhone and PinePhonePro are both marketed as low cost devices for developers to reduce the barrier to entry for learning software development on a mobile platform.

Sure you can use either for purposes other than their advertised purpose, but the support you get post purchase will likely reflect the intended use case and that support has to be paid for. Also, it’s been a minute since I’ve looked at the pine* warranty but, as I recall it the Pine* warranty is lesser, having a longer more comprehensive warranty costs money.

These add to the software development and other points previously raised.


You may have heard of this thing called the internet though :wink: so that where HQ is need bear little relationship with where the developers are.

I’m thinking the officers and execs can trade in their S.F. studio apartments for waterside colonial houses on Albermarle sound (with a smal yacht) and pay the same amount of property tax. Developers can have a 2nd job in a call center in Mumbai for all I know.

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I thought Librem 5 comes with Debian based (PureOS) so it has nothing to do with Manjaro’s products/software?


Doesn’t librem 5 also manfacture it from China? I mean there are two versions one is librem 5 and librem 5 USA?

Yes, the basic Librem 5 is made in China.
And there is a version which is as made in the USA (as far as feasible).

P.S. There is no functional difference between the 2 versions.

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It’s more like: Manjaro software has a lot to do with us. They use most (all?) the GNOME and Phosh development we are responsible for.


:joy: As far as i can tell this is IT, do a whole lot of marketing , whether or not you deliver a working product 🤷, eh who cares, you can then just let the forum fanboyz, the true believers, and devs run cover for the fact you didn’t actually deliver what you claimed to. You can deliver a still defective product years later, only for it to fail within a week while testing features that were marketed as killer features. The devs can claim, but ma software yada yada yada. Well, in the 1 week I got to test run the L5, the native software were surprisingly slim and still pretty glitchy when used as a phone-like device. The best review I’ve got is that i was both somewhat impressed yet incredibly dismayed at the same time. I would not pay more than the $600 i did pay for this product, then, today I’m not even sure I’d enter into this ecosystem unless i was a dev who had spent time with, knowledge of the device, and plenty of time to spare.

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