The crowdfunding campaign which has been making waves in Linux land for several months now has finally ended. Purism set out in the final week of August looking to raise $1,500,000 to build the Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone; the crowdfund has now ended and Purism has $2,130,981 in pocket to build the devices.
The Librem 5 is expected to ship with Purism's own Linux distribution, PureOS. Its operating system is based on Debian so it has a fairly solid starting point. The devices are due to ship to backers in January of 2019, a period of time in which the hardware promised could seem a bit a dated, especially the 5” display.
The Librem 5 is definitely aimed at a niche market, one that’s particularly bothered about privacy, security, and Free and Open Source Software. The amount of backers that will receive a device shows this fact; according to the crowdfunding page, 224 dev kits are due to be shipped, along with 3,000 Librem 5 devices - not too many overall.
Both Canonical and Mozilla tried to launch their own mobile offerings into a market already dominated by Google and Apple and withdrew again not too long after. Purism has had quite a deal of success at rallying support, so it may be able to carve out a market for itself. Only time will tell now whether Purism will manage to pull something off.