Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Aug 2017 21:27 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Purism, maker of Linux laptops with Coreboot, have started started a crowdfunding campaign for their smartphone. Now, I rarely - if ever - link to crowdfunding campaigns (for obvious reasons), but I feel this one might just be quite, quite desirable for many OSNews readers.

Librem 5, the phone that focuses on security by design and privacy protection by default. Running Free/Libre and Open Source software and a GNU+Linux Operating System designed to create an open development utopia, rather than the walled gardens from all other phone providers.

A fully standards-based freedom-oriented system, based on Debian and many other upstream projects, has never been done before - we will be the first to seriously attempt this.

The Librem 5 phone will be the world's first ever IP-native mobile handset, using end-to-end encrypted decentralized communication.

It'll have hardware killswitches for the camera, microphone, WiFi, and the baseband. I wish the team a lot of luck - they'll need it, because making a phone is hard.

Order by: Score:
I don't trust them
by Morgan on Thu 24th Aug 2017 23:16 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I wish the team a lot of luck - they'll need it, because making a phone is hard.


They'll need more than luck, they will need to not pull the same shenanigans they did with their laptop. They lied about it from the beginning, knowing full well that modern Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs are impossible to run with fully open firmware and drivers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't trust them
by The123king on Fri 25th Aug 2017 08:04 UTC in reply to "I don't trust them"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

Well then they're idiots for not going to ARM

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I don't trust them
by viton on Fri 25th Aug 2017 10:40 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't trust them"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

The only ARM SoCs pretending to be open are i.MX6+ and Bcm2835+ (not quite) series.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't trust them
by hmckee on Mon 28th Aug 2017 20:59 UTC in reply to "I don't trust them"
hmckee Member since:
2006-08-10

Did they lie from the beginning? I'm asking because I followed them during the funding for the Librem 15 and thought they always admitted their BIOS was not going to be free. I wasn't there at the beginning, so maybe I missed the lying part.

Edited 2017-08-28 21:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I don't trust them
by Morgan on Tue 29th Aug 2017 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE: I don't trust them"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

They initially claimed they were working hand-in-hand with Intel to source a ME/AMT-free chipset and BIOS/EFI and that the Librem laptop would ship with such a BIOS. In reality, Intel never intended to do such a thing and Purism knew this from the start, but they chose to lie to their backers the entire time. A goddamned Chromebook is more "Free" than any garbage Purism puts on the shelf.

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/3anjgm/on_the_librem_laptop_...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by FlyingJester
by FlyingJester on Fri 25th Aug 2017 00:01 UTC
FlyingJester
Member since:
2016-05-11

They really ought to at least feed this through autocorrect, if not actually proofread it.

"Our phone will not wholesale gobble upahour data for profit. It will not locktinto an ecosystem that controls you."

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Licaon_Kter
by Licaon_Kter on Fri 25th Aug 2017 01:00 UTC
Licaon_Kter
Member since:
2010-03-19

Matrix needs servers, to they provide those too? At what stretch goal?

Maybe the decentralized Ring ( https://ring.cx/ ) might have been better.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by mail4asim
by mail4asim on Fri 25th Aug 2017 04:36 UTC
mail4asim
Member since:
2005-07-12

Good luck with the phone. Sadly it's not all about building a good phone. The magic is in the apps that run on the platform, and without that any phone, even ones from Microsoft, are nothing more than a paperweight.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by mail4asim
by cb88 on Sat 26th Aug 2017 04:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by mail4asim"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

Thats most of it anyway, you still need good hardware.

FirefoxOS for instance.... I had a ZTE Open C for awhile, the hardware was mostly adequate, what was really missing though was a good camera, the one it had was practically a toy camera.

Alot of apps people use depend on the camera, or the headphones/bluetooth support.

Personally I wish FirefoxOS would come back with better hardware. And now there are webassembly apps for those things that need more performance. It's kind of sad... sometimes Mozilla has the right ideas but it doesn't come together soon enough for it to stay afloat.

Reply Score: 3

Making the phone is the easy bit
by shotsman on Fri 25th Aug 2017 05:42 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

The hard bit is
- putting it into production
- Getting stores to sell it (Crowdfunding can only go so far)
- Getting people to buy it (beyond the Crowdfunders)
- Ongoing support

AND
- Making a profit.

That does not even take into consideration the lack of Apps. Getting developers to put their toes in the Water with Windows 10 Mobile (to differentiate it from previous debacles) is IMHO a non starter

As Ubuntu and Firefox and others have found... This model really does not work in 2017. In 2007? Yes it would have done but since 2012, Android controls the market with iOS a distant second in raw sales numbers.

I would not waste my money on this unless I could afford to lose the lot.

Reply Score: 3

A nice idea
by Max_Might on Fri 25th Aug 2017 06:52 UTC
Max_Might
Member since:
2009-01-06

This is a nice idea but I think they promise a lot of stuff for an initial version.

What I like:
- Separate baseband from main CPU.
- Hardware kill switches.
- They selected hardware with available OS firmware.

What I think is not too realistic for an initial version:
- Running Qt, GTK+ and Web applications.
- Make it run on multiple distributions!
- Convergence. While they can start building the system with it in mind it is not a must-have for the first release.

A nice phone but I think they should start with a minimal set of features and expand with future devices.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 25th Aug 2017 10:56 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Besides the kill switches (a feature for paranoids, especially if planning to run a FOSS operating system), you can get the same thing as this Librem 5 by running Ubuntu Touch on a Nexus 4 or Nexus 5, or whatever FOSS-only subset of Ubuntu Touch you want.

In both cases (Librem and Ubuntu Touch), app support will be poor and driver support for things like GPU, H.264 hardware decoding and GPS will be non-existent or really poor without proprietary drivers.

With the difference of course that the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 are products you can actually buy on eBay and Amazon and have them delivered to your house in a matter of days.

Edited 2017-08-25 11:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Interesting...
by dionicio on Fri 25th Aug 2017 13:35 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Sell a GPSfree version.

Reply Score: 3

Possibly a scam
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 25th Aug 2017 14:53 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Its a crowd funded project, that doesn't go through crowd funding platforms that provide some level of protection for potential backers. Not a good idea. I fully support the idea and would back/purchase if it were on kickstarter or the like.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by philcostin
by philcostin on Fri 25th Aug 2017 17:30 UTC
philcostin
Member since:
2010-11-03

Ah, a new spy device for those who haven't been convinced by the current ones. Non-spy phones are not allowed. End of story.

Seriously though, nice idea, really, if it were actually not another spy-phone - but then you already know how successful it's going to be, based on history. It's a shame, really.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by philcostin
by kurkosdr on Sat 26th Aug 2017 12:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by philcostin"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

Ah, a new spy device for those who haven't been convinced by the current ones. Non-spy phones are not allowed. End of story.

Seriously though, nice idea, really, if it were actually not another spy-phone - but then you already know how successful it's going to be, based on history. It's a shame, really.


I bet that when you go to a new restaurant, you look under the table for hidden microphones.

Edited 2017-08-26 12:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by philcostin
by philcostin on Sat 26th Aug 2017 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by philcostin"
philcostin Member since:
2010-11-03

Why? Is that not normal behavior? Don't just check in restaurants; have your team inspect every building you enter.

Reply Score: 2

LOL, another OpenMoko
by MacMan on Fri 25th Aug 2017 17:51 UTC
MacMan
Member since:
2006-11-19

OpenMoko worked out real well, now they're trying again.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Unless you can get something COMPELLING into the hands of consumers, something that is markedly better offers significantly more capability and is cheaper than what's currently offered, you're dead before you even start.

We have a complete Android ecosystem, along with iPhone, both of these platforms work really well. I just don't see what the point of resurrecting something dead on arrival like Open Moko.

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Main_Page

Reply Score: 2

android without gapps?
by r0b0 on Mon 28th Aug 2017 12:14 UTC
r0b0
Member since:
2006-09-21

Why a completely new OS? What's wrong with installing Android without google apps? And adding f-droid for good measure.

Reply Score: 1

RE: android without gapps?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 28th Aug 2017 13:49 UTC in reply to "android without gapps?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Its not a new operating system, its gnu/linux.

Basically it will be great, except for the funky UI on a small screen for any apps not specifically written for it and terrible battery life.

That is, if its not a scam. Backing a crowdfund project is always fraught with risk, but not going through an established crowdfunding sight, is a terrible idea.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: android without gapps?
by Morgan on Tue 29th Aug 2017 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE: android without gapps?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That is, if its not a scam.


Given their track record, I'm calling scam.

Backing a crowdfund project is always fraught with risk, but not going through an established crowdfunding sight, is a terrible idea.


I couldn't agree more. It's one step above robocalling a million folks and selling them on a pyramid scheme.

Reply Score: 2