Apple debuted their new connector yesterday for the upcoming iPhone5, its 80% smaller, all digital and works in both orientations. We will be designing and making a bolt-in swappable mount for the new cord as soon as we can get our hands on a sample. The width of the new phone didn't change, so it should fit well in the pocket and make these future proof.
On the manufacturing front, we have less than 15% left to get through bead blasting and anodizing. This, as you know, has been a very frustrating step in this big project. The new vendors we brought on have had a high percentage of rejected parts - mostly from uneven surface finishes on the hard to control micropolishing step where they dip the docks in 210° bathes of mostly nitric and phosphoric acid. As we have learned, the chemistry in these bathes changes throughout the day so samples have to be frequently taken to the lab for titration and then chemical levels adjusted. We had to bring them to a halt a half dozen times to get their processes right and have been working with them directly on their shop floors. Refinishing those non-passed parts makes them take about 4x as long to do because they have to be inspected, stripped, re-blasted and anodized again. I think these final docks should go out the week after next if our anodizers stay the current course.
Casey & ElevationLab