Earlier this month, Purism emailed those who had ordered the phone, providing an iterative shipping schedule.
Initially, the Librem 5 had been expected to be shipped in the second quarter of 2019, but issues with the processor chosen for the build got in the way.
At that time, Purism spokesperson Sriram Ramkrishna said that the i.MX 8M Quad CPU had some known errata in the silicon and the project had been delayed due to this.
The Librem 5. Courtesy Purism
The device will ship in six batches. The shipping windows are 24 September to 22 October; 29 October to 26 November; 3 December to 31 December; 7 January 2020 to 31 March 2020; second quarter of 2020 and quarter four 2020. There will be changes in hardware and software for each batch as development proceeds.
Purism founder and chief executive Todd Weaver said in a statement that the shipping of the first lot of Librem 5 phone was a big moment.
“Not just for us as a company, but for everyone concerned about issues of privacy, security, and user freedom. The Librem 5 represents years of work, building the software and hardware required to make this phone a reality," he said in a statement.
Purism raised the money to develop the phone through a crowd-funding campaign which had a target of US$1.5 million, but ended up raising US$2.279 million.
“Seeing the amazing effort of the Purism team, and holding the first fully functioning Librem 5, has been the most inspirational moment of Purism’s five-year history,” said Weaver.
“It has taken nothing short of each and every teammate devoting their expertise in earnest to get to where we are, plus a community of remarkable people who understand that we must succeed in creating a phone that offers society complete control and ownership to fully respect them as humans.
"This is what the Librem 5 stands for and, in my humble view, is a phone that represents the largest of visions shouting from the rooftops, ‘I will not give up my freedom!’ This is a personal note of thanks to the Purism team, the backers who have supported us overwhelmingly every step of the way, and the community who has volunteered from spreading the word, shared ideas, bought phones, and developed immense amounts of code.”
The project has been backed by both the KDE Desktop project and the GNOME project, the two organisations that put out the two major desktop environments for Linux users.
Development of the last Linux phone, which was built by Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, ended in 2016, but the company only announced it in April 2017. The operating system that powered the Ubuntu Phone is now being developed by a team under the name Ubuntu Touch.