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

I joined the /e/ community a while ago now: September 2018. In fact, this is a whopping 9 months!

I was always under the impression that a number of us were temporarily beta testing /e/ on various devices, learning how to flash roms, and giving feedback on the /e/ experience so that it could be rolled out on at least one hardware device in stores early 2019. The goal was to create a google free system that ‘even my parents’ could use with ease, easily bought in stores.

What happened to that idea? At the moment, it’s great to see /e/ available for so many different devices, but as far as I can tell, it still involves a rather complicated procedure that’s going to put most people off. What is the planning for the original vision of putting /e/ on the market on actual phones in stores? Otherwise, this is just another Lineage OS type setup, for nerds like me.


/e/ is still in beta testing phase. The first official release should come soon and I guess then this idea can be revived. Selling phones to parents with a beta version OS preinstalled was probably not the intention.


If I’ve understood correcly, (I’m maybe dreaming so tell me if I’m wrong) a computer software is in the pipe in order to install /e/ on every compatible smartphones easily.

The only problem is the lack of very good tutorials for each brand, which clearly aren’t for “mum and dad” users for now. Even if the procedure might scare people away, a good detailed tutorial can do the job.

And yes, like every project in the world, some features (like phones with /e/ pre installed) are often delayed. But I’m sure /e/ (or whathever the name will be) will grow up very quickly and be a famous alternative known by everyone, and not only by the custom rom community.


You can find some additional information in this post:


Hi Manoj,

I have forwarded that link to some friends interested in something like /e/, but not interested in flashing their phone. I do think that posting it on these forums is good for info, but not reaching the target audience it needs to reach; I’m assuming most readers on this forum have already learned how to flash their own devices.

Maybe you need to add that information about second hand smartphones with /e/ preinstalled on online shop pages, like Amazone, Ebay, etc.?

That’s where media coverage comes in :wink:

Hi @Carlier we did do some press releases for this in EU and the news-paper coverage we saw in the last few days was because of that.

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Dear all, regarding the “anti-fragmentation agreements” by Google as discussed above, please see Status on new phone roadmap

Hi, this is my humble opinion about what /e/ should allocate its LIMITED resources to.
I think it’s unrealistic and a waste to support dozens of devices. Here’s why:

  1. eOS wants to be an alternative to Google’s Android and iOS that is available to the largest number of people. i.e. eOS is targeted at ordinary users, not only geeks.

  2. Ordinary people will NEVER install an OS on a device, no matter how good the tutorials are.
    (And it is very unlikely many of these people will take the chance of sending their devices by the post to the e.foundation to get their eOS installed.)
    Ordinary people buy a device where the OS is pre-installed and they never change it.

  3. So /e/ need to sell pre-installed devices
    /e/ has started doing it with refurbish phones. :+1:
    I am aware of the Google’s “anti-fragmentation agreement” that makes it difficult (but not impossible) to find a manufacturer to produce brand-new phones (Amazon found one for their Kindle).
    Could /e/ buy large quantities of brand-new Android phones from manufacturers (at a discount price), replace their Google’s Android OS, by eOS and sell them to the public ?

In any case eOS should be supported only for those devices that /e/ is able to sell pre-installed.
Let’s say /e/ will sell one low-end device, one mid-range device and one high-end device. And support them for 5 years. Each year 3 new devices will be introduced. So at any one time there will be only 3x5 devices to support (plus a few special ones like the Fairphones, Pinephone, etc.). In the end /e/ needs to support less than 20 devices (and not 90+ !)

That would be more reasonable and will allow the dev to focus on quality rather than quantity.


This is a really good plan. Of course, it would require a little capital, to buy the phones… But resell them on a 10% profit, and it should be ok… Yeah! Buying good hardware new, (in bulk prices from oem) and then reselling them, (the specs are key) is the best idea I know!

Why not just begin a company to build the phones, /e/ could ‘rent’ another oem’s design and personnel and factory, (in reality subcontract, but it would make it easier for the other company under the anti fragmentation laws) and could ‘build’ phones themselves!

Thank you @LibereTonOrdi for writing so well! I have the same opinion.


I had already read this about GNU/Linux distros and FOSS development. But, what will happen when gg will remove Linux from android ? What about /e/ if the brand new devices chosen can’t no more run other OS than gg’s one ???

I’m not dev, I don’t know how much work need each hardware, but maintaining /e/ (+ unofficial builds) for a “good” number of different devices seems to be care(safe)full…

it done !
only one year delay it’s not so long for those who trust…


i agree, this is really an important milestone!! The first new OEMs with /e/ pre-installed! THis will also be a sign to other OEMs that they can do this (that they do not have to use Google’s Android)


Well, the oem selling idea is simply great, but I don’t think dropping support for existing devices a good approach: we will lose existing users, and /e/asy installer’s efforts are wasted. Here’s my little idea: I think /e/ can probably partner with phone fixing stores, make /e/ installation a free/paid service, and rewards the store with cryptocurrencies. All /e/ has to do is to design a poster in PDF and let stores print them, and community members like me do the talk job.

I know the idea is kinda ridiculous: where do we get the crypto? And what if the store doesn’t accept crypto? But anyway flashing existing phones is way much easier for /e/ and gives instant headcount and feedback, and is more environmentally friendly too. The two approaches should coexist, and while /e/ community can simply provide more support for the homebred phone because they know it well, people will start find the it worth buying.

I agree with @LibereTonOrdi idea. I think the foundation resources should focus on making sure devices that are sold in store work flawlessly, without any bugs, that the apps available in app store don’t crash randomly and to make sure there is at least one or two devices that are sold in stores with /e/OS preinstalled.

Flashing ROM’s is really an abstract idea for most people, I think good automatic flashing tool helps, but I think ports to other devices than those sold in the /e/ store could be handled by the community. Managing huge number of ports with lots of bugs related to them sounds like quite a daunting task.


The weekly update mostly is about build x, y failed… I agree too many devices are supported at the moment.

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