I recently start suggest framework to people around me who want to upgrade their laptop. A lot of people are sceptical about the business about the business model of frame.work, there are same idea before but failed before the final product ever born.
I browsed around the net and seem same situation around, people like the idea but doubt will it actually success. Frame.work has already have their first product announced and shipped several batches witch its a really good sign for start up company.
Look back for system76 that established in 2006 has survived until today mean open and semi-open hardware are selling even though it’s not a massive hit. Linux community will be a very important market for frame.work since a lot of people sick of close source hardware that lack of proper hardware support, even though dell, Lenovo and other big name company offer Linux pre-install option for their high-end laptop but those companies are become more and more unrepair friendly.
Let’s also look at fairphone that established in 2013, their moto are nearly the same as frame.work and it still around after 9 years in a very competitive market(smart phone market are even more competitive than laptop market.) and it prove the philosophy of reduce e-waste will sell.
Right now frame.work are already fulfil their first promise-open the marketplace, if frame.work can achieve their second promise-international shipping, it will be a huge step forward for frame.work since fairphone not even coming out of EU.
This is my view on weather frame.work will success and hope my opinion can make some people still on the fence make their mind.
The risk to me is minimal. I get a laptop that I need at a decent price and the worst case is that Framework disappear and the laptop is just as disposable as one I would have bought elsewhere at the same price.
I’m betting on them succeeding though.
They will succeed because the timing in this market is perfect. Previous attempts at modular devices didn’t have the post-pandemic world to consider, where electronics are scarce. And the environment. And the $19 Apple microfiber cloths, and the $400 wheels for the Mac Pro or the $1000 monitor stand. Everyone has had enough of having to replace their devices just because the manufacturer wants them to. Framework is in the right place at the right time with the right product.
The only risk is the battery. Batteries are usually the first component to go. I don’t see anything about how to buy replacements off-market. If you find that out, it’s no different from buying a Dell or HP. No one replaces the main board or frame for a Dell. When it breaks it’s done.
You can buy a couple of spares from the marketplace for peace of mind. Plus I’m sure you’ll be able to get unofficial ones from many places.
Try getting Dell to sell you a battery for say, a XPS 9350. They wouldn’t sell me one when I tried just one year after buying a laptop from them. And I needed it because the original one had swollen.
System76 is a different beast, though. While there’s talk of them having a laptop of their own in the works, they have yet to actually create one. Those are Clevo designs (plus maybe some from that other company I forget the name of) with firmware changes from system76. Similarly, their workstations may be custom chassis, but the actual computer is off-the-shelf parts. In this sense they are a system integrator that happens to ship Linux, plus some special sauce for firmware.
There’s more of those operations out there, like Tuxedo and whatever that Spanish one is called. Comparable to Windows-oriented outfits like PC Specialist - you get a deal with Clevo, and you get to brand the Clevo machines as your own. (I happen to own two Clevos, one PC Specialist-branded, and one from branded by a Swedish general electronics retail chain.)
This is not to take away from what System76 is doing. Their work on firmware and validation is important and good for the Linux community. But they are not an example of a company succeeding at what FrameWork is doing now.
@Daniel_Agorander That is certainly true, though I would say that Tuxedo are a bit closer to System76 than most Clevo/Tongfang sellers, since they do actually work on their firmwares, and also validate the hardware, firmware and software.