[Tinkerphones] Librem 5

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Tue Oct 24 23:09:22 CEST 2017

On Tuesday 24. October 2017 21.15.08 H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> > Am 24.10.2017 um 20:08 schrieb Gilles Filippini
> > <gilles.filippini at free.fr>:
> > 
> > When I heard about the Librem 5 project I just felt more confident in
> > their capacity to overcome these difficulties, because of their
> > experience with notebooks.
> Yes, they have a lot. But I have some doubts that these experiences can
> be transferred to a micro-miniaturized smartphone. Chips are much smaller,
> they may also need PoP (and run into soldering issues) or they don't get
> power demand down. For a notebook you just add a bigger battery...

I think that Purism deserves credit for managing to deliver their products in 
what would seem like a timely and well-planned fashion, unlike a lot of 
crowdfunding campaigns. However, I don't know how generic their products are.

My impression was that their laptops were probably variants of existing OEM 
products, affecting the way people's concerns about privacy and surveillance 
have been addressed. It seemed that they were working within existing 
constraints - what their design/manufacturing partners had already decided to 
use, and so on - leaving them to explain away people's concerns reactively 
rather than being able to fully justify the choices made as if they had made 
them themselves.

> And building in LTE with separate modem needs a good module and RF
> experience. Finally they want to use a completely new SoC (i.MX8) where
> AFAIK there is no single line of code in the mainline Linux kernel.

Dangling a fancy new thing in front of the audience is a bad idea, though. The 
way that some people in the Pyra community seem obsessed with having 4GB RAM 
shows that people come to expect things even if they are only ever presented 
as possibilities (and were not even on the table when orders were placed). If 
Purism don't use the i.MX8 there will be similar whining about the device not 
being "good enough".

I agree that it is also risky to chase new things late in a project. Such 
things can easily distract from getting things done and leave people less 
satisfied than if the original thing had just been delivered, especially if 
the whole project fails because the new thing doesn't work out and then funds 
run short.

> IMHO all this is not trivial. Nevertheless, I hope they manage it in time.


I'd also like to thank you, Nikolaus, for sticking with your efforts to 
deliver a truly free phone platform.


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