Yet another open source smartphone is in the works with Purism announcing its plans of launching a privacy-respecting GNU/Linux smartphone called Librem 5 as early as 2019.
Purism has tagged its Librem 5 smartphone with a $599 USD price tag and if they are manage to raise $1.5 million USD over the course of next months, they plan to launch the smartphone in early 2019. The crowdfunding campaign is already underway and as of this writing it has raised $93,994 USD.
Of the backers, 134 are those who have spent $599 USD to pre-order the device; six have sent across $299 USD; two have spent $1399 and they will be getting the Librem 5 smartphone and a 24-inch monitor; and four have pledged $1699 USD to get the Librem 5 phone with an unnamed 30-inch monitor.
If the crowdfunding continues at this pace, they would most probably be able to raise the target $1.5 million, but one thing that may be a hurdle in their ambitions would be the failed Ubuntu Edge project. Canonical had managed to raise $12 million for Ubuntu Edge, but the campaign failed eventually.
There are concerns whether Purism will be able to actually pull off and put into practice what they intend to do. Projects like Firefox OS / Jolla / Ubuntu Touch etc, have failed miserably already and this effectively raises concerns over whether another such project will be able to garner enough attention now and later.
Another point of concern is the $599 price-point that is definitely on the high-end of the spectrum for a device that has to be released yet. Further, the 2019 release timeline is far by current standards – and some would even call it a huge risk considering that none of the similar initiatives were successful.
On an optimistic front it is quite possible that while others failed even after multi-million dollar crowdfunding campaigns, Purism may be able to pull it off with just $1.5 million.