It’s time! We can’t tell you how excited we are that we will start shipping the Librem 5 mass production version mid-to-late November! Right now we are finishing up our extensive quality control steps and fulfillment procedures so that we can start shipping the revolutionary Librem 5 phone.
This is all very exciting, but the main thing most people want to know is: when will I get mine? In this post we will talk about all of the factors around Librem 5 mass production shipping and how we plan to get through the massive backlog of orders with demand increasing daily.
Like many manufacturers, we utilize a Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing process for our phones. There are many advantages behind this practice, including the fact that it allows us to iterate minor changes in the process before a defect is shipped to customers.
Practically speaking, this means we are not manufacturing all past and projected Librem 5 phones at once, instead we are making them in a steady, rolling manufacturing process in quantities that exceed our increasing ability to test, process, and ship them to customers. Based on our past experience with other products and previous smaller early Librem 5 batches, we expect the initial shipments to take a bit longer as we refine our testing and fulfillment processes and we also expect our output to steadily increase as the new Librem 5 fulfillment process becomes a well-oiled machine.
This might go without saying but when you get your phone will depend on where you are in line. There are a few main categories of customer who will have different timelines:
If you qualified for one of the previous batches but chose to defer your shipment to Evergreen, you will get your phone in late November to early December. We will start sending emails to confirm your shipping address, modem choice, and other details starting November 9th and continue that practice each week afterward as we are able to process the previous week’s requests.
Because Librem 5 USA Pre-Orders are being manufactured and processed in parallel to regular Librem 5 orders (but staggered a bit behind the initial Evergreen shipments), and because the Librem 5 USA line is much shorter (it was not part of the original campaign, and added as a product offering recently), at this point we expect all current Librem 5 USA orders to be fulfilled by the end of January 2021.
We estimate a few months to get through most of the backlog, but we do not yet know exactly when a particular person in the general backer line will get their phone. That calculation depends not only on their place in line, but also on our knowing our average and maximum weekly phone throughput in advance, which we don’t expect to know until we are at least a few weeks into the process. We expect to have a good idea on these projections by the end of the year, however.
All of our past experiences with previous crowdfunding campaigns tells us that the moment we start shipping crowdfunded hardware, we get a flood of new orders that eventually settles down into a “new normal” steady stream of orders. At this point we have no way of predicting how large this flood will be, so we can only advise people who are concerned about waiting for their order to place it sooner rather than later so they secure their place in line ahead of the flood or otherwise to order a Librem 5 USA.
“Shipping parity” refers to the point in time where the backlog of Librem 5 orders have all been fulfilled so new orders can be shipped in our standard 10-business-day timeline. For Librem 5 USA orders we expect to reach shipping parity in February 2021. For regular Librem 5 orders shipping parity means not only fulfilling all of the current pre-orders, but also the flood of new orders we expect to see over the next few months. To calculate when we will hit shipping parity we will need to know our average weekly phone throughput, the size of the next flood of orders, and the size of the “new normal” stream of orders afterwards. We hope to have all of this information to project accurately by the middle of Q1 2021.
It’s a very exciting time here at Purism and there is much more information to share with you about advances in Librem 5 software and features. Soon we will be publishing an article that talks about the current state of hardware and software for the first Librem 5 shipments, along with more videos demonstrating convergence and other advancements.
Keep an eye on our blog to stay up to date on all of our progress.