Alright folks, let me provide a bit of an education as it’s clear that people are trying to conflate how international tech behemoths operate and how a sub-50 person tech startup that’s engineered, developed, and shipped four (six by the end of this year) distinct product lines/generations in less than three years does.
We’re still very much working on Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen 7040 Series). We’re also working on Framework Laptop 16. We’re also shipping Framework Laptop 13 (13th Gen Intel Core) Batch 3 and are about to go “in-stock” with that product.
For Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen 7040 Series), we are not yet in the MP phase. For those unaware, the manufacturing process is as follows:
Proto: Prototyping phase. Throwing components together in some form factor to see if everything can work as engineered. It’s one thing to plan everything out, it’s a whole other thing to get the physical pieces together and have them work together in harmony. You can go through a large number of prototypes before finding something that can move on to the next phase.
EVT: Engineering Validation Test. This is when the main focus is on making sure that everything is pulled together and functions in the expected (rough) form factor. This step isn’t about making it look pretty, it’s about making sure it’s stable. This is a very, very small run of units are made at a VERY high cost. Internal resourcing “fishfoods” the hardware. Testing is limited to those that have a deep understanding of the hardware. Factory tooling for larger scale production is finalized and tested.
DVT: Design Validation Test. This is when you’ve already locked on form factor, components, and stability. Now it’s time to polish it up and get it ready for prime time. Every gap, every blemish, alignment, and other aesthetic areas are dialed-in while still retaining the functionality and stability of the previous phase. This is when “dogfooding” begins. Internal testing is more broad, and to catch issues before the next phase, you want as many people testing as possible, even those that aren’t as familiar with the hardware, as there can be blind spots for engineers and others that are really close to the product. This is the final phase before providing the sign-off to have the manufacturing lines using the tools pumping out large quantities of error-free parts.
MP: Mass Production. You’re flipping switches and running the line/s to manufacture the SKU-mix based on demand. This is why we take pre-orders. Having demand allows us to avoid over-producing/under-producing a certain configuration. We also do not manufacturing the entire demand lifecycle in one go. We continuously monitor pre-orders/sales and adjust accordingly. As a small company that is utilizing a partner and scheduling time on a manufacturing line for production, we don’t have the luxury of running multiple owned lines in tandem, or constantly switching what is being produced between them. The production schedule is like calculus, trying to determine how many should be created in each run which is constrained by inbound components from supply chain partners that are also supplying other companies at the same time. There could be a temporary shortage, perhaps something is short-shipped, maybe an issue is found in a component from a sourced partner and the stock that existed has to be quarantined while awaiting new supply. The ebb and flow of manufacturing is complex, and for a company of our size, even more so.
So why can we only state Q4? That’s because we haven’t started MP yet, and we have no idea what can and will happen once the lines start pumping out product. Only when we have more information on manufacturing yield (because you still have to test what comes off the line to ensure quality prior to approving for shipment to customers) will we be able to provide a more concrete estimate. We could pull a date out of thin air, which would be wrong, and provide that to you, but then when we miss that date, we’re blasted on social media and in Support for “lying” to customers. We’re not in the business of doing that, and we’ll provide more granular timelines when we have them.
The deposit is 100% refundable until we capture final payment. If not having an exact date this far out is not your cup of tea, that’s totally understandable and valid. You can simply self-cancel your order on the website and get that $100 (or Euro or Pound or AUD) back without any hassle. When we have shipped out the early Batches and we’re getting close to “in-stock” we’ll be providing granular shipping estimates like, “ships within 5 business days.” For the first runs of a brand new product, this is how it will be unfortunately.
Thanks for your patience, and I hope this helps clarify things a bit.