Shipping timeline update
A few unexpected changes in our production schedule forced us to postpone the kit delivery.
We've been working as much and as fast as we can for the past few weeks in order to fulfill our promises as soon as possible.
This delay was caused by the following problems:
1) At the last minute, we've had a change of heart about the whole button cap sticker idea.
We've figured out that putting the stickers on your phones' button caps won't be durable enough to justify the price of the device.
Also, I personally disliked the way these stickers felt and the fact that they would get worn out after just a few weeks of moderate usage.
In other words, the stickers were a mistake and thinking that they can replace a proper print on the button caps was a bad idea.
As I said in one of the previous updates, printing these button caps with the UV printer that we've bought proved to be impossible as the machine is not good and precise enough for a job like this.
That's why we've decided to scrap this idea and find a way to make a proper UV print possible. We've found a print shop with a more expensive and better machine (their machine costs roughly 25 times more than the one we bought) and they've managed to make this print happen.
Unfortunately, printing button caps proved to be a very time-consuming task as we have a total of 54000 button caps that need to be printed. This required us to design and create special jigs where these button caps can be inserted and then taken to the print shop for UV printing the symbols used on MAKERphone's keypad.
I've had to employ 5 more temporary workers just to help us place the tiny button caps into the printing jigs. We're doing this as fast and as much as we can, but I think that it'll take us approximately a week more before we can start shipping the phones.
This is what we had to design in order to make the smaller version of the button caps stay in place for the printing process. Every jig has multiple layers of acrylic and pushbuttons in it that hold the caps in place along with the acrylic holes on the top.
2) The factory that is producing 4G modules extended their delivery date for 20 more days due to some kind of a raw material shortage (their explanation was very vague and I couldn't make them deliver the goods earlier despite calling and emailing them all the time).
Basically, we've received these modules last Saturday. Fortunately, everything works and they've promised shorter lead times and no delays for the future orders.
They're finally here. We've been waiting for this package for 52 days.
3) The whole speaker situation that I've mentioned in the last update turned out to be a bit more complicated than I thought.
You see, despite the speaker samples being ok, our supplier sent us a completely wrong connector type and wire length mounted on our 3000pcs speaker order and that forced us to replace the wires on every speaker by hand.
This was quite challenging as the supplier decided to cover the contacts with some kind of molten plastic. Because of that, we had to re-melt the plastic on every speaker we've received and the best way we could do that was by using a bunch of soldering irons for precise plastic removal.
Anyways, we're still fixing the speakers as we speak and should be done with it soon.
To sum this all up: I am very sorry for the delays that are happening and I hope that you understand that we really care about this product and are working as fast and as much as possible in order to fulfill it as soon as we can.
We really want to deliver a product that is going to be **good** and we do not wish to be one of those Kickstarters that deliver their products just for the sake of delivery.
Honestly, I am not happy about these additional delays happening and having to coordinate a team for a project of a scale like this is a really tough job for me personally as there are mini-catastrophes happening every day that sometimes force us to postpone the delivery.
Our current plan is to deliver everything by the end of October and I am doing everything I can to avoid extending this any further.
We should start shipping the kits in a week and I'll try to post shipping timeline updates more frequently (although writing a text like this and coordinating everything else is a bit of a challenge).
Thank you for your patience and support and I am really sorry for the delays that are happening.