The last couple of weeks have been crazily busy for us. If you remember correctly we had run a test production of 50 units last month, where we had still encountered a few issues with our printed circuit boards (PCBs) and steel plates, for both of which the tooling had to be adjusted. We then proceeded ordering components from our suppliers, while addressing the issues related to the steel plates and d-pad. Given a 30 day lead-time for most components we were supposed to start on Wednesday, January 15 leaving us roughly one week to assemble the first few hundred units before Chinese New Year. This was important for us since during Chinese New Year all factories in China close down for two to three works.
Unfortunately, under all this pressure our OEM screwed up. Their purchasing department ordered PCBs that are too thick and screws for the EasySlider’s steel plates that are too long. For the screws it isn’t a big problem since we still have some in stock, and they have started earlier this week to assemble Phonejoy EasySliders. With over five minutes assembly time, these are the most difficult part of the Phonejoy’s overall assembly.
The PCB mishap however has more serious consequences, since the manufacturer will need to create new tooling, which usually takes two weeks and another week for production. We will therefore only receive new PCBs by the last week of February (due factories closing down now for two to three weeks during Chinese New Year) from our supplier. To speed things up our OEM has placed a rapid PCB express order of 500 PCBs, which we will receive by February 10 (right after our OEM opens up again). This will allow us to build at least 500 Phonejoys during the two weeks we have to wait for the remaining PCBs to arrive. Meanwhile, we will inspect all the other components that we have already received to make sure everything else is in right order.
Release Schedule Update
What does this mean for you? It means that we will only start shipping out the first 500 units during the last week of February. The remaining 2,500 units we will produce in our first batch will be assembled during February 20 to March 14, after which we can start shipping out units again. We know this is rather disappointing as much for you guys as for us. We were hoping to ship out first units next week already, and now we have been let down again.
We have tried looking into providing you guys with some extra value that goes beyond of what we have promised and we have decided to include a free set of Jomo bumper stickers and a soft-cushioned pouch with all orders.
Android App Development Update
Our Android app has been in private beta for some time already and Thursday next week we’ll be ready to launch our public beta of the Android app. Currently it’s already become fantastic at helping you to discover Phonejoy compatible games of all sorts of genres. Our database is already filled with more than 120 games, and throughout February we will add at least another 50 games that are already in our queue. We are eager to await your feedback so that we can continue improving the user experience from day one.
Android Test Application
Of course we also need to make sure that Phonejoy runs with all sort of Android devices and that every Phonejoy that leaves the factory will be completely functional. To accomplish this, Leon, has developed last month a testing application on Android, which will allow the factory to test each Phonejoy button for its function before boxing it up.
iOS App Update
Jacques had already concluded with the development of the iOS version v1.0 back in December. Basically, since nobody else has released a game discovery app for game controller compatible games we have decided to make our app available to all iOS users who either own an iCade or iOS 7 compatible game controller. We have already added over 120 iCade and over 100 iOS 7 compatible games, and the list will keep growing as we still have over 200 (mostly iCade) games in our queue. Unfortunately, Apple has not been easy to please and their app store review team has already rejected our app three times during the past four weeks. However, we are incredibly close and believe that next week the Phonejoy app can go live.
Also if you have been brave enough to get your hands on the latest evasi0n jailbreak for iOS 7, you may be able to get Blutrol on Cydia soon in order to emulate touch controls. One of the two developers behind Blutrol has confirmed that they are working on a Bluetrol update for iOS 7 devices.
Moreover, there’s a new kid on the block. The Controller for All app also available on Cydia turns non-MFi certified controllers into iOS 7 compatible game controllers. The app currently only supports a PlayStation 3 controller. But other controllers will be supported very soon as well. So for those who cannot wait for the official MFi Phonejoy version due for later this year, this may a quick fix.
In case you were wondering, all our accessories from microUSB cables, adapters, pouches, and cases have already been produced and are readily awaiting to be bundled with lots of Phonejoys at the factory site.
Packaging & Quickstart Guide
Our eco-friendly online packaging is just as ready, and we think it turned out great. It’s super small and 100% recyclable. We hope you love it just as much as we do! :-D
Each Phonejoy also comes with a super cool, beautifully drawn quick-start guide featuring our all-star player Jomo in various use cases. With Phonejoy we actually wanted to ensure that reading a manual can be everything but boring!
For a full sneak peak at the manual have a look at the PDF version of our quick-start guide.
Accessories & MFi & Color Change Possibilities
We will first only start shipping Phonejoy controllers in black to backers. A white and red version will only be made in the next batch in April, if you prefer to get a black version instead you may still choose your pledge by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The same goes for MFi backers, we will continue with the development of the MFi version in February and will resubmit our design proposal to Apple next month. If they agree to it, we will conduct minor changes and go into production with the MFi version a few months after. If this is too long for you, we suggest you to change your pledge by contacting us as well.
Social Media Channels
For up-to-date news about our progress you can follow our social media channels: