Based in San Francisco, the US-based open-source company Purism has launched a crowdfunding campaign on its website to contribute $ 1.5 million to the development of an open 5-inch smartphone.
Purism already offers notebooks
The company Purism has made a name for itself in the Linux scene with the development of free notebooks Librem 11, 13 and 15. The Librem 13 has been delivered with Coreboot since the spring.
The company is launching a Crowdfunding campaign for the Librem 5, a five-inch smartphone that meets the demands of free software that the company has committed. Purism already has experience with crowdfunding, as the Librem 13 was pre-financed with over one million US dollars over this approach.
Purism provides on its notebooks the Debian-based operating system PureOS. The Debian derivative is designed for security and privacy. The mobile OS is also to be based on PureOS and provide encrypted communication using the functions of the Matrix project. The apps should be based on HTML, the use of Android apps is not provided. Technically the device should have hardware switches for camera, microphone, WLAN, Bluetooth and the mobile antenna, the proprietary processor for the mobile network is therefore installed separately from the CPU.
Hardware key data are not yet finalized
The Librem 5, which is supposed to use a Gnome-3 shell according to the company, will, according to the current state, be based on an i.MX6 or i.MX8 SoC of NXP Semiconductor with Vivante’s integrated GPU and Etnaviv driver. However, there may still be changes during the course of the development. The main memory should be 3 GByte, for software should be offered 32 GB eMMC memory. In addition, the microSD slot, two cameras, 3.5 mm connectors for microphone and headphones, WLAN, Bluetooth 4, USB via USB Type C complete the offer.
Kit for developers from June 2018, series starting January 2019
The price for the Librem 5 will be $ 599 during the campaign, and a developer kit will be offered for $ 299. The latter is to be delivered in June 2018, the finished smartphone is planned for January 2019. In addition, combinations with compatible external 24- and 30-inch monitors are also offered, suggesting that the Librem should master 5 convergence.
Debian and Tanglu developer Matthias Klumpp, currently working for PureOS at PureOS, explains on Google+ that he does not see Gnome 3 as a set. The already advanced plasma mobile project of the KDE community is also a possible basis. In contrast to Gnome, much preparation had already been done. In order to get Gnome to work as a mobile OS, Klumpp estimates the need for some 10 high-class GTK + and Gnome developers, some Gnome designers would have to join.
Accordingly, Klumpp also wants to make contact with the plasma mobile developers, as it is, if the financing works, it will be a plasma mobile phone. He emphasized that his statements corresponded to his own assessment of the situation and not the official view of Purism.