Purism Pushes Back The Librem 5 Linux Smartphone Release Date

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 4 September 2018 at 11:00 AM EDT. 44 Comments
We knew it was pretty much inevitable, but Purism's embargo has just expired confirming the news that the Librem 5 smartphone will not be released in January as originally planned.

Purism is announcing today that there's been a three-month delay in releasing the Librem 5 GNU/Linux smartphone. The new release plan is to begin shipping the units in April 2019.

Purism is attributing the delay to i.MX8 SoC maker NXP. Purism found two silicon bugs while testing the i.MX8 SoC that affect the power management / power consumption of the hardware. These silicon bugs dramatically lower the battery life of their development unit. The bugs are about not being able to enter the WAIT mode and cannot support a single-core run-time wake-up.

This three month delay isn't too surprising considering that the company hasn't even begun shipping their developer kits yet let alone having the phone's hardware design firmed up. Having the software stack ready by January has also seemed quite unrealistic given their current progress on that front.

Purism's planned specs for this $599 USD phone have been an i.MX8M SoC, 5.7-inch 720x1440 display, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, SIMCom modem, and 2~3GB of RAM. The specs aren't anything to get excited about really but rather Purism is focused on making it an "ethical" device and as open as possible.

The images in this article are the latest shared today by Purism. They should be posting more about their delay due to the CPU errata soon at puri.sm.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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