It's another effort to deliver full Linux on a smartphone, the Pine 64 stuff.Also another effort in the pipeline too, the Nx stuff.. All good. Much lower-specc'd though, like the Allwinner SoC/SoM and the Mali graphics core and tiny ram stuff is the Pine64. like 2GB ram versus 32 GB.
Pine64 a bit more happy about full KDE involvement, Librem 5 went very fast from being initially quite happy with KDE plasma mobile to then just fully focused on in-house Gnome stuff and libs (most in-house kernel hackers came from Gnome stuff). Whatever works though.
I don't really care too much, as as long as the phone is fully free and fully Linux, then I can do as I want with it (except load about 10+ million playstore apps, haha). Can dock it though, with USB 3.1, can run full-scale *nix stuff on it too. Can scale it. Do almost anything with it.
I will run the Librem 5 with full Linux, but not with the pre-shipped PureOS and absolutely not with only all-Gnome libs, however integrated. Either use full KDE plasma mobile instead or else help out in it being made usable. Or else run it another way.
The KDE folks from Berlin will no doubt find a good way here. If the hardware works and is very friendly with *nix, then only small steps to really hack KDE stuff in. Boot mainline kernels 5.3+ and then who cares. Highly nice mid-range specs to then work with.
I presume that the recent media blitz on the Librem 5 means almost ready for launch, mainline kernel 5.2 (at absolute minimum) almost confirmed too. They probably did pre-order about 10k units (having sold about 2k units in the crowd-funding cycle)
and then gaining about another 3k units worth of added sales cq funding in the normal slow-sales next 18 months. Last month, has probably been mostly about stock management stuff. They maybe don't wanna hit market with tons of unsold units ie ca 50% stock.
Best to be very conservative here and to carry a very small and tight hold-back, say no more than 2k units max. 2 distrib channels here, like South SF USA and Berlin EU. Plus Tokyo city. Word-of-mouth sales then only. I do like to carry minimum stock then and to look to
leverage interest only if fully established in the very niche market. Will be loads of criticism to be expected in general media like too low-spec for the dollar price-point. The priceless angle though is to have a full mainline Linux kernel to fully boot and to boot any and every Linux ootb.
Very easy to then do an added after-market order for say another 10k units, if very positive feedback. Could however be very difficult to ship leftover stock, if bitten by terrible feedback. The pain of any start-up, like getting stock units just right. I do presume that they did gamble on a full
production run of 10k units in Guangzhou (for the thus healthy 5% discount available versus a 5k run). To just run the crowd-funded 2k production run in Guangzhou would have cost maybe 40% more per unit. Then you do have to really hard-sell these units though.
Would be a total all-in gamble to hit market, with 50% of inventory fully dependent on positive reviews. Can fully identify here. If they did hit market with 5m+ dollars in stock and then got badly burnt, bad news for everyone. Company possibly bust or else close to it.
Would far rather see a healthy company continuing to operate nicely in the more premium end of the Linux niche market-space, than one rushing to market carrying excess stock on-board. I'd guess they'd want 20% unsold stock at launch to play with
...and then rush to meet excess demand, rather than get burned in market.
I'd like KDE to boot on both and it will 100% too ...and if it somehow does not ootb, then we will make it work anyways, so long the hardware is friendly to *nix. Pine64 also quite nice too and very purse friendly at about 150 dollars, so will also try it too with various KDE boots plus PostmarketOS.
PS the main Czech kernel hacker has also been pushing (and acking in) tons of kernel commits from Librem 5 and from KDE too. Should be hitting market fairly soon. Enormous #'s commits hitting Gnome too and the kind of hidden and non-public KDE mobile branch as well. Have good hopes here.
Paid my dollars already and over 18 months ago, should fairly soon become fact. Linux on a phone and no Android cripple-ware would be very nice to have. Same issue as always with Linux and maybe not usable enough ootb, compared to the mega-bucks outfits. I really don't care though.