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This article was published on September 5, 2018


Purism will ship its privacy-focused Librem 5 phone next April

Purism will ship its privacy-focused Librem 5 phone next April
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Over the past few years, San Francisco-based hardware startup Purism has been working on a phone that promises more privacy and security than the rest. It now has a shipping date for its crowdfunded Librem 5: April 2019.

The company, which also makes a range of laptops that run on the company’s Linux-based PureOS, previously raised some $2.6 million from backers to build the Librem 5. The idea is to avoid using Android and instead offer an alternative based on a more private, free, and open-source platform to prevent owners from being tracked or spied on.

To that end, the 5-inch Librem 5 is slated to run on PureOS or a range of GNU+Linux distributions, and come with hardware switches to let you disable the camera, mic, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Baseband components.

It’ll cost a discounted $600 until production is complete; the company noted that two CPU bugs affecting power management and power consumption have forced it to push its production schedule back by three months.

Given that most other hardware brands are busy expanding screens, hiding cameras with sliding components, and boosting performance for gaming, it’ll be interesting to see if Purism can foster a trend among mobile users to choose an alternative to Android and iOS – an unsexy, no-frills, privacy-focused one, at that.

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