Unwavering support…


Puri.sm has announced another shipping delay for the Librem 5[O]. As the number of delays mount, the announced deadline gets fuzzier – it is now going to ship in Q3 of 2019. supposably.

Moving from January 19 to “April” was a minor deadline change. Moving it to, possibly, September 30, is no longer ‘minor’, but that is how CEO Todd Weaver tries to spin this in his announcement which is long on blather and short support.

One of the worrisome issues for me is how disconnected this announcement is from reality. By 4 Sept. 2018 they knew about the issues which are causing this delay, and had already begun delaying shipment by a couple months as a cautionary measure. Yet they did not update that shipping timepoint for six and a half months, during which time they researched another chip option and then, in the last several weeks, the OEM released a new software stack which eliminated these chip issues. This argues strongly for a 6 month delay in shipping assuming no other issues are discovered en route to cause further slippage.

This is rather like the issues they were facing in rolling out v4 of the Librem laptops. Clearly the problems were known in November/December, yet they updated the website 15 January promising 10-day shipping on new orders. My unit, ordered in the first half of December, arrived in February. (It also had been hardware compromised during shipping, and because the Librem Key was shipped in the same package the hardware cannot be trusted. Ever.)

Purism has been making rookie mistakes. Some of these are about public relations. (Whatever you do, do NOT try to hide your shortcomings. But that’s what M Weaver is trying to do. Anyone with at least half a brain will see through marketing crapola, and your market is people with more than half a brain.) Some of these are because they are breaking new ground. I am willing to accept the former because I understand the latter.

But I do not forgive the former.

Unqualified support? no. Strongly qualified. I have low expectations for the functionality of the  v0 unit. But the longer it is delayed, the higher those minimal expectations become.