The GNOME Foundation has provided their endorsement and support of Purism’s efforts to build the Librem 5, which if successful will be the world’s first free and open smartphone with end-to-end encryption and enhanced user protections.
My GNOME desktop is great and provides a UI that could easily be ported to a mobile device. I would certainly like to see a truly open smartphone succeed. However, I am skeptical of the chances of this one, not for any technical or functional but because of the sheer size of the Android and Apple ecosystems.
Anyone trying to get into the smartphone market faces the same Catch-22: the user base isn’t big enough to appeal to app developers and the paucity of apps deters people from migrating to the platform.
The current duopoly is not fixed forever, but it will take a company the size of Samsung to break it.