Bonum Certa Men Certa

Purism Librem 5 Orders Take Too Long (No Delivery) as Biggest Fans Grow Impatient

A freedom-respecting failure is still a failure

Anybody home? Where's my phone? Anybody home? Where's my phone? Where's my money?



Summary: Purism fulfillment is a sad story; it is an untold tale in much of the media and in order for things to change something's gotta give

THE saga is not new to us. We covered that very recently. Delivery of units isn't happening -- an issue I noticed even nearly half a decade ago. There are also many returns -- a subject not so often explored by anyone in the media.



I've been a supporter of Purism, Librem, Librem 5 and everything else with these propositions. I probably mentioned these close to a thousand times in social control media over the years. At some stage, however, one must stop and ask, "can it become more of a disservice than a service?"

"I've been a supporter of Purism, Librem, Librem 5 and everything else with these propositions. I probably mentioned these close to a thousand times in social control media over the years."What if I endorse or recommend (or sort of 'promote') something that leads people to disappointment? Should I persist or should I politely warn instead?

What Purism has been promoting is great. It's a breakthrough. But can these people deliver? I still hope so. But things that I hear and read -- both privately and online -- aren't too positive anymore. Someone should probably say something and we've always loathed self-censorship.

Some sources tell us stories about their undelivered (but still perpetually promised) Librem 5 units. We hear this from multiple sources and have asked for permission to quote (maybe permission will be granted later this week). Purism has some really tough questions to answer as some of the media is catching up. In one example even receiving a refund seems like an impossibility. Maybe it's the exception, but it doesn't quite seem so.

The above example isn't a unique or isolated case. Days ago an article entitled "The Librem 5 has been “shipping” for a month—but not to backers" was published and it said:

Purism announced that shipping of its Librem 5 open source smartphone began in late September. Two months later, nobody outside the company has a Librem 5, and people are getting restless.

The Librem 5 is a crowdfunded project—and an ambitious one—so it wasn't much surprise or cause for concern when it missed its original January 2019 delivery target—or the April 2019 target set after January slipped. Both date changes were announced well ahead of time, and the company continued to post progress reports, commit code upstream, and assure backers of its commitment to transparency. (Full disclosure: I am a Librem 5 backer myself and am scheduled to receive a phone in the Evergreen batch.)

The new delays are more troubling. On September 5, CEO Todd Weaver announced that the Librem 5 would ship in six iterative batches, codenamed Aspen, Birch, Chestnut, Dogwood, Evergreen, and Fir. The first three batches would effectively be usable prototypes of decreasing roughness; Evergreen would be the first entirely finished hardware production run, and Fir would be a relatively unspecified next-generation design.

Although Aspen, Birch, and Chestnut were to be somewhat rough, their descriptions did specify working hardware and functional software, with Aspen to begin shipping only three weeks from the announcement. A reasonable viewer would take this as a strong implication that the phone was ready to ship. This was unfortunately not the case; the Aspen batch turned out to have significant power and heat issues.


Our article on the topic has received considerable attention and even scorn from those involved. Not because it was wrong though; it's just that people feel very passionate about the product, as were we. How many times have we mentioned Librem or Purism here? Probably more than a thousand times. But did we give publicity to something that might lead to disappointment? We hope not.

If we receive permission/go-ahead, then some time soon we'll present some customer testimonies (and "customer" might not be the right term to describe someone who did not even receive the paid-for product).

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