Status on new phone roadmap

e-roadmap

#1

I am sorry if this is in the wrong section, it wasn’t clear to me where to post my question.

Also, I’m sorry if this has been answered recently elsewhere, but I was unable to find an answer.

At this URL - https://e.foundation/e-solutions/ - in the section of the page titled “Our mobile phone OS roadmap”, it says that in “Q1 2019: smartphones with /e/ OS start selling.” What is the status of that?

In that same section, it also says this: “/e/ is also already seeking hardware partners and resellers that would be interested in preloading /e/ for mass-market release.” What is the status of that?

Thanks for any information on these two items.


#2

Hi @dln949 this query was previously addressed here /e/ smartphones
The status remains the same we are still working on getting a hardware manufacturer to pre load /e/. Most of them have agreements with Google which prevent them selling any non google OS on their phones. This includes forks from Android. This is known as the Android anti-fragmentation agreement. Google has total control on the manufacture of smartphones and manufacturers have expressed their helplessness on this.

We are working on the viability of setting up other means of providing /e/ loaded devices to users including starting a ROM flashing service where users send in their phones by post and we flash /e/ and send it back. Still is also under discussion.

In case there is any update on this status users will be updated on the forum and telegram channels.


What happened to the original vision for /e/ on phones in stores?
#3

I like the idea of ROM flashing service by post!


#4

Thanks for clarification. But at least for the European Union I was wondering if it is still valid what you were are saying: I thought according to the outcomes of a ´last years’ lawsuit Google cannot prevent manufacturers anymore from selling exclusively vanilla android phones: https://mspoweruser.com/eu-force-google-to-unbundle-license-android-application-suite-to-competitors/


#5

Unfortunately this fear among hardware manufacturers is everywhere -including EU. We have checked with a number of companies and they have officially and unofficially communicated their helplessness to stand up to Google. We are still checking…


#6

How did Librem5 find manufacturers for their phone that starts shipping in April?


https://developer.puri.sm/Librem5/
https://developer.puri.sm/Librem5/Hardware_Reference.html
https://puri.sm/posts/tag/phones/


#7

I might be wrong but I was under the impression that Librem was building that phone by themselves.


#8

Thanks manoj, yes of course, there’s still a frontrunner needed to break up behaviours.
But if not preinstalled from manufacurers, do you have other strategies to get /e/ quickly into the market? Or is that still ‘under construction’?


#9

Yes as mentioned above we are looking at other options like setting up a flash by post service . Users send us their phone and we flash /e/ on them and send them back. Checking on the feasibility of the process. Any ideas and suggestion on other methods are welcome.


#10

Negotiate with one or more companies present in the various countries that could install the Rom / e /.

The sending by the customer of the telephone, the reception by / e /, the installation, the return of the telephone to the customer.

It is tedious with a double risk for the transport, it will be necessary to follow up the reception by / e / return to the customer etc …

As I had already written in another subject, a simple software that would install the rom / e / directly by the client with little manipulation would be really ideal to reach a larger audience at first to let more time to think and set up another solution for distribution.


#11

Hi @lcjmle agree that the flash-by-post method has its disadvantages. The suggestion of a software to facilitate ROM flashing…something like the UBports project may be considered at a later stage - once we have a bigger development team.


#12

At well known online marketplaces there are traders for used and for refurbished phones. They often update the software of these phones. They might as well offer them with /e/ if e.foundation can motivate them. But that way e.foundation would probably not generate any revenue.

By the way, there was a “Minor Shipping Adjustment” for the Librem 5 from April to “Q3 2019”. But we do not know yet, if there will be an /e/ version for the Librem 5 or for PinePhone and of course both do not help to meet the Q1 2019 goal.


#13

UB-Ports installer has some disadvantages: it didn’t recognize my FP2 as being an FP2 (guess it will work on a FP2 with the old camera). That’s why I hope both installation methods will remain available.


#14

A few years ago, the spanish company BQ did sell the first Ubuntu phones, along with their usual Android phones. Even them are not interested in being part of the /e/ aventure, with their own phones (not (yet ?) available with /e/) or with some other phones ?


#15

Hi, Vincent, I recently read that BQ was sold to a Vietnamese company, so I guess the philosophy, goals and priorities of the company have changed.


#16

A flashing service would be a good idea, for it enables customers who are not tech savvy to obtain a device without becoming enslaved to Google’s system.


#17

Yes, Google rules the waves of Android by contracting manufacturers. This is revealing:
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/07/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/


#18

I also think this should be the way. Sort of an universal flashing tool.
Alternatively, maybe a pre.filled virtual machine with a play button in it? Perhaps we could pack everything on 10gb or less and expand the usage at a faster paste.

Additionally, I would not mind a sort of yearly pay subscription to use this OS, donations are nice but maybe people would engage more… And if all went well the team could expand faster, have better conditions, etc etc. Anything like this in the pipe?