Neptune dispatch: May 16th
We know the only thing you really want to hear from us is a firm date for delivery! Our current projection for shipping from China is for the second week of June. We’re getting very close and are as anxious to get the Pine out to you, as you are to receive it. [Read below for updates on waterproofing and FCC approval which are still in danger of slowing us down.]
What’s happening in China this week?
Work is underway this week on your individual units. The SMT work is continuing as the manufacturer places the chipsets on the printed circuit board. The software has been injected into each unit as well, including a new update app which will allow for easy operating system updates. Finally, set up has begun of the final production line. Retooling of the molds for the silicone strap is still on schedule for May 30th. We currently expect final assembly to take place the week of May 26th for the Pine device and the first week of June for the Strap.
Our FCC certified test lab in Shanghai has completed testing and their final report. This report is now in the hands of the CAB who is comparing test results to FCC guidelines. Their approval is the last step in the process. We were expecting to hear good news from them this week. In the meantime, Simon is working with his contacts at the FCC to make sure the new guidelines are clear to the CAB.
Aaron has been pulling his hair out trying to get the appropriate waterproofing chemicals integrated into the assembly process. The manufacturer couldn’t work with the first two compounds we selected because of equipment needs and safety concerns. Our third try is currently in transit from the South African supplier to our Chinese manufacturer. We hope to have this solved next week.
We were not able to come through on this promise because of the long certification process individual carriers require for operation on the CDMA network. This concerns US customers of Verizon and Sprint. The Pine officially supports: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900. UMTS/HSPA+/WCDMA 850, 1700, 1900, 2100.
We’re sorry to report that it is not possible to include NFC functionality on the Pine for reasons of size, interference and software complications. Backers who selected the 8GB NFC version will be upgrade to the 16GB [Size: The Pine is too small to include an NFC chip. Interference: NFC can be accomplished through a micro SD storage card but our SD card is on the wrong side of the Pine creating issues with signal interference. Software: Doing NFC through the sim card also created software complications. We apologize we were not able to overcome these issues.]
Joel’s working on redesigning the Neptune website for a late May release. Look out for new Pine images, illustrations by Dan Matutina and our new product video from Frame Studio. Also, Alisha is working to set up Zen Desk as our new online system for customer support and improved communication.
Abdul’s busy setting up some big orders we’re all hoping will come through soon for our fall retail release. He’s also working to set up a European subsidiary in charge of everything Neptune on the other side of the Atlantic.
This week we finally started issuing refunds to backers we lost along the way. The bulk of these will be processed the week of May 26th. Please be patient as we work through this process.
As always, specific questions and concerns can be emailed to Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.