Librem 5, the smartphone that wants to fight with Android and iOS
The domain of Android and iOS in the mobility segment is absolute, and there seems to be no room for a third player. Not even Microsoft with Windows Phone (at least for now) managed to curb in a market that is already very mature and seems to not want (or need) other alternatives.
And yet Open Source lovers seem to aspire to that possibility. The project Librem 5 aims to create a smartphone based on Linux and in which the KDE and GNOME environments will have a participation that could be crucial.
In addition to offering an Open Source software platform, another key to the project is the defense of privacy. According to its creators, there will be no data shared with third parties, nor will there be any monitoring of user activity.
The encryption of communications will be done through the open Matrix platform, and in the use of all types of mobile networks (including 4G / LTE technology) there will be another differential element: the CPU will not be mixed with the baseband modem, which will also help protect the privacy of users.
More interesting still may be the hardware switches that will enable to disable at any time the camera, microphone, WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity and also the baseband modem to avoid any kind of tracking.
The idea behind Librem 5 is to offer HTML5 applications, that is, web applications. It is the same that Canonical proposed with Ubuntu Touch, a platform that after years of development proved to be unable to compete with Android and iOS.
Can Librem 5 succeed where Ubuntu Touch failed? The truth is that it is frankly complicated. Other notable alternatives have also failed or have ended up having an anecdotal role in the market (Firefox OS, Sailfish, Tizen) after years of struggle, and it seems that only a miracle would be able to make this idea of Librem succeed.