We know you are eagerly awaiting your Pocket P.C. and we are working furiously with all of our suppliers and manufacturers here in China to complete production as soon as possible.
As you can imagine, the pandemic has had worldwide effects. For example, it recently took two weeks for a wire transfer to be completed from the U.S. to one of our manufacturers in China.
Still, we keep overcoming hurdles and are moving along well with the process of completing the product with the highest degree of quality.
Great interest has been expressed for Pocket P.C. from many individuals and companies, such as those in the maritime and scientific communities.
In keeping with our policy of letting you know our progress every step of the way, the following is a summary of recent developments in our drive toward completion.
Also, our limited-time lower price is expiring soon. See details below if you wish to lock-in any additional units at the lower price.
Injection Molds Progress
We visited the injection mold factory to review the molds and sample injected parts. Before we arrived, the factory identified a few minor issues on their own and created a plan of action on how to correct them which was presented to us at our meeting. This stage of the process is called T1 and this is generally when we determine if the molds are within tolerance according to the original design data and that there are no issues with the structure.
The manufacturer identified one issue that required our feedback before proceeding. There is an area on the top side of the top shell where there is an indentation to accommodate the two STM32 microcontrollers. These two microcontrollers are for the keyboard/system controller and the embedded Black Magic Probe. This area was too thin and the injected plastic could not flow properly in this area. This left a hole in the middle of each indented area. To correct this issue, we decided to increase the thickness of this area to make it easier for the plastic to flow completely. The areas in RED below are the areas that are in question.
We identified one other issue that we requested of the manufacturer to correct. There was a slight flex in the keyboard around the space bar and around the arrow keys. The manufacturer modified the design and added 10 ribs along the bottom and top key rows. This will make the keyboard rock solid even when pushing hard on the keyboard with your thumbs. The areas highlighted in GREEN in the picture above show the 10 ribs that were added to remove the flex entirely.
Despite the above minor issues, we are impressed with the results. The painting looks really clean and the product is really solid. The keyboard is responsive and comfortable to use.
We expect the corrected molds to be ready for injection again early next week for T2. The manufacturer will make a limited number of sets which our final assembly manufacturer will use to assemble complete pre-production units.
While our injection molding manufacturer is on track, there have been a few setbacks.
We had a wire transfer that took an extremely long time to complete. This was a critical payment as it was for the D.V.T. Assembly, LCD displays and the CPUs. Just today, our bank corrected the issue by amending the transfer and the payment was received by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, this means that the lead-time for the LCD displays have been pushed back 2 weeks bringing us to production in December.
Additionally, there is currently a global shortage of all 40nm ICs from Allwinner. This means that the CPU, RAM and Power Management Unit is in short supply almost everywhere. We had identified a vendor at an agreeable price that the wire transfer was to pay for their stock but since the payment took so long, the vendor had sold their remaining stock in the meantime. We were able to identify an alternative vendor with stock but their price is higher than expected. We will have to accept the higher price to prevent any further production delays. We are in touch with Allwinner and will purchase stock from them as soon as they have supply to ensure we have enough stock on hand for future production runs.
Limited-time Price Expiring
If you haven’t purchased a unit already now is the time to lock-in your order at the lower price. Later this week, we will be launching a count-down indicator on Pocket P.C.’s website. We will be counting down from 200 units and after which the price for both Wi-Fi only and LoRa Pocket P.C.s will increase $50 to $249 and $349 respectively.
We are working with our vendors to start production as soon as possible. We are pushing our final assembly factory to provide us with an expedited production schedule. At this time, we were informed that final assembly may start early next year as our production will coincide with the holiday rush. As soon as we receive the updated production schedule, we will send another update.
If your shipping information has changed since you placed an order, please email email@example.com as soon as possible so that we have the correct information for you on file.
LoRa Radio Region Selection
For those that have purchased a Pocket P.C. w/ LoRa, we will be requesting that you confirm the region that you would like your radio to operate. We have received a few requests from customers that they would like their LoRa region to operate in a different region than their shipping address. Therefore, we won’t be automatically assuming that you want the region that is the same as your shipping address. We are currently developing the process to confirm your region and will provide more information about this in our next update.
Testing Pocket P.C. for use in Industry
We have received a number of inquiries regarding using Pocket P.C. in the healthcare, manufacturing and service industry. If you have purchased a Pocket P.C. already or are considering using a Pocket P.C. for your business, please reach out to us as we would like to hear from you. We will be able to ship this month a limited number of pre-production samples to organizations and businesses who can demonstrate a specific use-case for Pocket P.C..
While we knew anything could happen, we did not anticipate that payments would take more than 2 weeks. We simply have never experienced this before. We appreciate your continued support and patience! We will, as always, keep you informed.
We would love to hear from you. We are continually surprised with the applications and use-cases that our customers have already expressed interest in applying Pocket P.C..
What will you use Pocket P.C. for? Let us know by replying to this email.
4 replies on “Strengthening Pocket P.C. & An Unexpected Delay”
Do you have an update for the original popcorn?
For a strange reason I am too afraid to pre-order.
I have a couple of PocketChip’s and I am really interested in a replacement.
But a team of 4 people…. With years of small updates and without 1 beta product working in a video….
Or, am I making a mistake and just should give “them” my money……
We really need an update on the shipping time line.
no more updates? it’s mid December.. I think we backers deserve at least some