We haven't shipped many phones since the last update. There have been some quality issues with the most important suppliers and we want to resolve those before making many parts.
Currently it's looking like we are almost through the quality problems. There is a batch of 100 phones in process right now to prove the latest suppliers can do what they need to.
Hope everyone can be patient while we nail this. We are going to nail it. I don't want to ship shitty phones, or even mediocre ones.
Since we have shipped some phones I feel like we need to release the firmware. I estimate it will take a week or two to clean everything up, make sure the licenses are correct, post the code, update the instructions, etc. Since we also need to ship more phones as fast as possible we need to choose whether to take that time now or later. I'm going to plan on just concentrating on shipping and deal with the software release later, but if people feel strongly that they want the code now please comment and we may delay shipping and release code first.
The main problems have been in the frames and the electronics. Both of these are critical to the phone looking good and lasting, and they both have a lot of details that need to be right. We were getting 30-60% bad parts in the earlier orders so we had to walk the suppliers through a few small orders to show them how to make the parts as needed. It's a tedious and expensive process, but the result is much better than throwing a set of drawings at the suppliers and dealing with a large order of parts that aren't quite right. We actually stuffed boards with 3 different SMT suppliers before we found one that seems like they can handle our requirements.
As a way of funding our continued habit of paying suppliers to produce small batches of almost-but-not-quite-good-enough parts for the indefinite future, I (Ben) will be at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) next week taking 4 days to stand in a booth and talk to random people who probably won't quite understand what the project is about. If you are in the area (or there for CES) feel free to come by booth #52784 in the Sands/Eureka Park hall and say hi. We will have some phones there as well as the upcoming daughterboards.
The surveys are pretty much done. If anyone still has an issue that wasn't resolved please send us a message at email@example.com. I think everyone who contacted us was replied to, but there may be a few that got missed. If you haven't filled out your survey we are taking that as a signal you want to wait until after the majority of production and software issues are worked through before we ship your phone.