While a small company called Purism strives to provide users with alternatives in which there is no hardware or software component that is not fully open. The Free 11 Purism was one of the last examples in this segment, but now they want to go beyond the notebook.
The project Librem Phone this firm wants to develop a completely free smartphone that aims to be ” a phone with free software on a GNU / Linux stack run full and genuine.”
Do I completely free A phone? Very difficult, but not impossible
For now the company is only exploring the concept and there is no prototype running. In fact they have asked users interested in the type of components that would like to have in a device like this. The smartphone would not be based on the Ubuntu platform, but would use a version of Linux specific with an interface that apparently could focus on the GNOME desktop environment. In any case both in this section and the hardware it is open to all turnarounds.
The idea, of course, is that these components can be used without using blobs and binary drivers and owners. The commitment to safety, privacy and hardware that “respects freedom” are pillars of a project that aims to “break the cycle of obsolescence I scheduled imposed by most manufacturers.”
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Although the idea is inspiring, the segment of smartphones is particularly complex and have a motherboard with a stack full FOSS will be a really hard task. Not forgetting requirements such as the need for the end product is certified by regulators – the FCC in the United States, for instance, which could lengthen significantly the time of occurrence of this hypothetical model.
In this theoretical specification sheet would for example Freescale processor i.MX6 (it is 2012, but has extensive documentation for developers) Vivante GC200 GPU with, DDR3 RAM, a micro USB port, various sensors, a headphone port and an SD slot.
Another outstanding option: physical to disable the webcam and microphone switches and the GPS receiver and protect our privacy. The problem comes over the chip components such as radio / modem that usually requires a binary driver, and when the project developers have not given more details about these obstacles. We’ll see if they can resolve them, and how.