First, sorry for not doing a proper reply, this forum software is confusing me…
Anyway, I meant to reply to this:
I expect that at some point they intend to be stocked next to the Dells and Lenovos.
This is an interesting statement for a big reason: Dell grew big on the same model Framework is currently using: direct-to-consumer. To me, and maybe I am old, the whole concept of being able to see a Dell machine in a retail outlet is “new and weird”.
Specifically, they managed to make this work very well through being able to offer the consumer exactly the machine, with exactly the specs, that they wanted. You fill in exactly what you want, and they build it and ship it straight to you. This is very difficult to do in a retail setting, and to get anywhere close you quickly run into SKU hell as you need to have many variants of the same machine with different amounts of memory, storage, yadayada.
Now yes, with the Framework - just like Dells and basically all laptops sold in retail until relatively recently - you can “bring your own” components. But that does not work in retail. The vast majority of consumers who walk into a retail store or browse the walmart website don’t want to buy “parts”. They want to buy a computer that has what they want.
Localisation of documents and outsourcing a few customer support people is not a big deal. Not compared to the logistical nightmare that is scaling for a proper retail launch. And if you’re not going to scale it, why bother? It’s a lot of costs just to be sat in some corner of a store with a single machine no-one ends up actually noticing because they’re too busy with the brands they recognize.
Now, if all things go well, perhaps we’ll see a day when Framework is at the scale of already shipping tens of millions of units, and then those costs would probably be pretty easy to bear. Until then, I hope they don’t try. I want them to survive, as a company.