I was among the enthusiasts who took a leap of faith with Framework 13, envisioning it as my tech companion for the long haul. With the unexpected unveiling of the 16-inch model and its parts’ incompatibility with the 13-inch, I imagine many early adopters share my sense of disappointment.
In response, I believe there’s an opportunity for Framework to demonstrate their commitment to both sustainability and their community by creating a trade-in program allowing early adopters to upgrade to a 16 for a small fee.
While there will undoubtedly be some logistical hurdles to implement this, I see some major upsides that all align with Framework’s ethos:
Promoting Sustainability: Trading in older models prevents needless e-waste, reinforcing Framework’s green mission.
Enhancing User Loyalty: A trade-in option fosters trust and loyalty, showing customers that their early support is valued.
Revenue Potential: Refurbishing and reselling the 13-inch models or their parts can generate additional funds, making the trade-in initiative economically viable.
Framework’s reputation for innovation makes me hopeful that they will consider this as a viable path forward.
There is part compatibility where possible. It’s just unreasonable to expect 100% part compatibility for different form factors with different abilities. The Framework-13 is a thin and light form factor. Framework-16 more of a desktop replacement with eGPU.
The SSD, webcam, expansion cards, wifi module can be compatible. The AMD cpu requires DDR5 ram, that’s compatible if you come from an AMD Framework-13. The mainboard / motherboard can not be expected to be compatible when you need a GPU / expansion bay connector and 6 expansion card slots. What else is there? Certainly not the frame, display or Framework-13 input cover containing the keyboard and touchpad.
To be clear, the 16" isn’t meant as a replacement for the 13". They are different things to different folks. The 13" laptop is still supported and there is still an upgrade path moving forward. They recently released 13th gen Intel boards for the 13" and AMD boards are on the way.
That doesn’t mean Framework couldn’t consider some kind of trade-in or trade-up program. But they really are different t machines, each with their own path forward.
In the meantime, if you are looking to upgrade, maybe consider selling your 13". Though keep in mind, the 16" is a ways off, so I wouldn’t go selling it right away, unless you can go without a laptop for a while.
My concern is not the compatibility and differences between the 13 and 16. Those have both been thoroughly discussed in other posts.
My primary concern is for early adopters like myself who embraced the Framework-13 thinking they were buying their forever laptop. Given prior knowledge of the impending Framework-16 release, I would have held off on my purchase. Now I feel stuck with a Framework version that’s less suited to my needs.
A trade-in program could be a great way for Framework to support early believers and uphold their commitment to sustainability.
Framework is not going to stop supporting the Framework-13. It is as much a “forever laptop” as the day you bought it. It’s also no less suited to your needs than the day you bought it. Framework DID give forewarning about the Framework-16. It’s not available yet, and won’t be for months. And they also announced it well before preorders were open. Companies can only announce potential plans so far ahead of time without causing problems. Osborne effect - Wikipedia Preliminary plans can and do change.
If you would now rather have a Framework-16, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Once the 16" is out, just sell your 13" and buy the 16". People are selling Framework’s right now on reddit.com/r/frameworkmarket and ebay.
Thank you for introducing me to the subreddit for selling — that’s new to me. I didn’t expect a heads-up from Framework about the 16-inch when I committed to the 13-inch. While Framework’s dedication to providing ongoing support for the 13-inch was a pivotal factor in my original purchase, it’s important to realize individual needs are subjective and shift over time. For me, the 16-inch’s features and potential are more in line with my day-to-day requirements.
I have the newest generation Framework with i7-1280P, 32GB RAM, and 1TB Storage
I would just add that I don’t think Framework has the clout or size to be able to offer a trade-in program. The cost of manufacturing your Framework 13 has already been absorbed and has gone into manufacturing and pay roll of staff. The 16 you want to trade-in for cost them new money not associated with your 13 purchase. How, exactly, would a trade-in program even be feasible for them?
They would then need to staff people to review the returned laptops for damage. Then they would have to re-sell them. Logistically it is a whole other company.
The way business works, and the amount of risk associated with manufacturing electronics do no allow any company to forecast new products. Think about it, if this was a thing, people would not buy. They would simply wait for the new thing.
The way Framework is different and better is the promise that regardless of when you buy you will be able to use your laptop for as long as you want, including upgrades and repair. There is no other computer company offering the same thing.
Considering that Framework has already demonstrated that they do in fact sell refurbs (and quickly sell-out). It isn’t impossible for Framework to do in the future. The concept “merely” needs to be scaled up. Something I advocated for long before the first launch of Framework refurbs. Although, using returns to generate saleable refurbs is the least labor-intensive but also least rewarding method.
As you point out, the money generated from sales is spent as quickly as it is generated, so refurbs from returns are really either sold at cost or barely more so. Whereas with a true trade-in program, Framework could offer less than what the refurb would sell for as credit, thus making money on the initial sale as well as the refurbished unit (the credit also cannot eat too much into the margin of whatever it is being traded in for). The trick is having economies of scale so that the margin on refurbs is possible without offering hilariously low trade-in credits. That’s the sticking point to my eye.
Although I’ve long since advocated such a program as a method of penetrating lower price tiers and pulling people into the Framework ecosystem. Upgrades within the same chassis is a unique selling point that turns a refurb into an investment.
It won’t happen anytime soon though. Framework lacks those economies of scale that Apple and the like benefit from.
Just to be clear, I’m not advocating for a straight swap but a paid upgrade option. Framework could create a win-win by offering paid upgrades: it allows for refurbishing and reselling to a new market segment, bolsters customer loyalty, and furthers their commitment to sustainability.
@Michael_Marks It really is irrelevant. It would require significant investment to scale up and make such a program happen. Investment Framework doesn’t seem inclined to do since they would rather invest in new products and reap greater margin. It’s not that I inherently disagree with you, it’s just that I’ve gotten an increasingly negative outlook on Framework as a company as time passes.