Purism got its start by selling laptops loaded with free and open source Linux-based software with an emphasis on privacy and security features. This year the company expanded into the smartphone space with the introduction of the Librem 5 smartphone (which recently started shipping in small quantities).

Now the company is moving into new territory with the launch of a line of Librem servers priced at $2699 and up… and the Purism has also announced that its smartphone is getting a price hike.

First let’s take a look at the server news, because it’s pretty straightforward. Buy a server from Purism and you get the kind of hardware you’d expect from an enterprise-class server product, but you also get what you’d expect from a Purism product — no proprietary firmware and support for the Librem Key security token. Purism also offers enterprise support plans.

The Librem Servers are 1U rackmount systems available with up to an Intel Xeon D-1587 16-core processor, up to 128GB of memory, and up to four hard drives or SSDs and prices range from $2699 to $5,999 depending on the specs you need.

As for the Librem 5 price hike, here’s the deal — right now the phone is selling for $699, but if you order one today it probably won’t ship for months. If you’d rather hold off and get one later, you’ll have to pay $50 to $100 more.

On January 1st, the price will climb to $749. And when the Evergreen batch (the final production hardware) is ready to ship later next year, the full retail price will be $799.

Given the Librem 5’s hardware, the $699 price tag was already a bit tough for many to swallow. The smartphone features a 5.7 inch, 1440 x 720 pixel display, an NXP i.MX8M quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and 802.11b/g/n WiFi, for example.

On the other hand, it does have a user replaceable battery, a microSD card reader, a headphone jack, and even an upgradeable/replaceable modem. Comparing the Librem 5 to an Android phone with similar specs is difficult, because this isn’t a phone designed to run Android — it will ship with PureOS, a GNU/Linux-based operating system optimized for mobile devices and users will be able to replace that with alternate operating systems if they’d like.

In some ways, that actually makes the Librem 5 less useful than most smartphones, because there aren’t nearly as many mobile-friendly GNU/Linux apps as there are Android or iOS apps at this point. But some folks who want the freedom to tinker and who don’t want to be locked into Google or Apple’s ecosystem may be willing to pay a premium price for mid-range hardware for that privilege… and Purism hopes to support its phone longer than most companies with ongoing software updates and improvements and the aforementioned user replaceable hardware.

Then again, depending on what you’re looking for in a Linux smartphone, the Librem 5 might not be the only game in town.

Sure, Purism is one of the only companies that designed a Linux phone entirely from scratch and avoided using hardware that would require binary blobs. But Pine64’s PinePhone has specs that are almost as good on paper, and a price tag that’s a lot lower, at just $150.

via Purism (1)(2)

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  1. It’s like, do they just not want to sell phones? You can’t justify spending that much, unless they had a monopoly, which they don’t. Even the $600 price (what I paid for it) was considered way too much for those specs by many during the crowdfunding period (when they DID have a monopoly on even trying to make the idea happen).
    As much as I’d prefer to have this over the pinephone I just can’t recommend anyone actually buy it at this price, because there’s no way I wouldn’t look like an asshole.
    This is turning into the F-35 of phones.

    1. I agree. Privacy is pretty important to me and not a lot of phones offer any kind of privacy so the Librem 5 caught my eye. Its price however made me think twice. I think if the phone was more developed instead of being experimental as it is now, someone who’s really serious about privacy might not mind paying over $500 for this but at the current stage that it is at and at the price that it’s going for, I am not in.

      1. Yeah, and the fact that the company itself cannot be trusted.
        I mean we know they are deceptive but they weren’t always. It’s mostly incompetence from their management. Which is still bad news for any consumers.

        They would’ve had more success if they did the software first, and had it running on third-party handsets like Jolla and SailOS on those Sony phones. Once they’ve established some trackwork and
        interest, then they could go into looking at making their own hardware. There are many challenges when it comes to that, but if you have a team that is dedicated, intelligent, great at networking, they could have won some contracts in China to have some common-parts sourced and assemble most them must more affordably. Then the cost of making the phone could drop down from say $600 down to $300, which is still a far-cry from the $100 it costs Big OEMs. But that price could be rolled to enthusiasts, and actually make/break the product. And really this phone is destined to fail.

        1. I’ve invested far too much emotional energy into this phone. Maybe what I said wasn’t clear. I’d still LIKE to recommend it. But I’m considered a bad person for doing that now.
          And I guess I’m a bad person for ever buying into it because of the company behind it.
          I’m a bad person for ever encouraging anyone else to buy it which I’ve tried to do before, because despite everything, the phone itself, disregarding the company behind it, is the closest thing there is to sanity in a world gone insane.
          And I’m a stupid person for buying into something destined to fail.
          But what else is there? The pinephone (which would not have existed without the stir caused by the librem 5’s campaign) and just about it. And I’m at the awkward size where a 6″ or greater phone is just too big. Everything that isn’t this or the pinephone is supporting the continuation of practices built upon hatred and exploitation. ALL other phones don’t think other human beings are people, just bipedal cattle. Even the fairphone, because it ships with android. That phone YOU like by the way is still way worse than this, because buying it supports Social Credit, the worst thing humankind has ever invented.
          And yet, supporting this is still the wrong thing. And so is the pinephone because you’re supporting dead pixels and phablets, though that’s not as bad as supporting android. It’s impossible to get a phone and NOT be doing something wrong.
          So how am I supposed to make this right? What can I do? I have to have a phone number to do any business at all. So does this mean ALL business is unethical for requiring phone numbers which requires a phone all of which are unethical?
          Maybe this is what is meant by there’s no ethical consumption. You can’t NOT sin. The only way out is to leave this society, but there’s nowhere to go!
          So as penitence, what would you have me do?
          I’m sure you have something in mind.

          1. Was this reply to me?
            To be honest, I had a hard time reading all of it.

            You can’t NOT sin, is something that isn’t taught around. Just like that you always owe something to someone. We are standing on the skeletons of our ancestors, and some are riding on the shoulders of giants. But philosophy aside, let’s go back to topic:

            Firstly, you cannot say that Pinephone wouldn’t exist if the Librem 5 didn’t. Not unless you have a Time Machine and can travel between different universes or “What Ifs”.

            Now, if you want a regular phone, you would just buy any random Android phone out there. If you want a VERY secure/privacy phone, you would spend a lot of time researching and end up using an Android phone with heavy customisations. If you want an even more secure phone, you’re going to have to not trust ANYONE and build your phone from scratch. Everything has a price.

            So does Librem deserve the criticism? Definitely. Should you be critical about your purchase choice? Definitely. However, these are no grounds to make excuses and quit. I don’t want Librem to quit, and I don’t want them to fail. But based on the hardware, specs, price, and their support system so far: it’s going to fail. I know that feeling because I was waiting for the OpenPandora back in 2009. Well, 2011 blew past and the new devices were so much better. Everybody agreed the Pandora was a failure, and I see the same patterns here with the Librem 5. What I really want is them to take a step back, be honest, and look at how they could make drastic improvements. Then I want them to do it, and be successful. But that takes courage and hard work. And those are qualities that are sometimes in short supply.

            And furthermore to show you that I’m not a “sheep” or “hater”….. Am I critical about the iPhone? You betcha! Did I want Apple to succeed? Of course! They worked really hard on the device from software, hardware, and design. I want the innovators to win, and whatever is good for the majority (read: consumer and competition).