I’m sure we would all like to be able to pay for the laptop and have it shipped to us in a set number of business days, but we understand that as a startup/new company, the batch system is what guarantees the best timeframe for both the company and the customers.
That being said, once the laptop is more widely available and can be purchased/received within a smaller timeframe, are there any considerations to bring it to the retail space? I would love to be able to walk into a Best Buy and see a Framework laptop alongside all the other models they have in store, perhaps even with a graphic near it that showcases its modularity and reparability. There could also be some expansion cards available for customers to swap in and out, and for security reasons, they could be connected to the desk kind of like how pens at the bank are. Having the laptop on other online retailers such as Amazon or Newegg would be really neat too, and being able to buy Framework specific parts from a store like Micro Center would also be awesome.
I know we’re in early stages, and I really hope to see this company succeed into the future. I kept telling myself “These guys are awesome, but there’s a little thing here and a little thing there that I wish were different, so I’ll wait to buy a gen 2”, but then I realized that in order to ensure a gen 2, everyone had to do their part to get gen 1 launched off successfully. As such, I’ve proudly made a preorder for Batch 4 and I could not be more excited to receive my laptop.
I’m looking forward to hearing your guys’ thoughts!
I second the OP’s idea. I feel that the modular laptop lends itself to Framework recruiting an automotive style dealership network where the laptops can be tried, purchased, repaired (with key spare parts always in stock) and upgraded. The Framework owner would have peace of mind that even when travelling away and their computer breaks, they can go into a local computer store and get their laptop fixed that day by qualified staff.
I would argue the exact opposite and feel the best dealerships might be the smaller hands-on independent computer stores (what I think you Americans call “Mom and Pop” businesses). In other words precisely the sort of “traditional retail” you are dismissive of! Small businesses are the lifeblood of any local economy, and working with them them would be in keeping with sustainability objectives Framework sets itself.
Selling the Framework through large distributors would likely mean a considerable profit cut is taken by them, also they don’t really have a motive to sell it since they likely make more profit from the traditional model.
@David_Eastham I think the real peace of mind is knowing that you can fix it yourself with the modular design and comprehensive guides. Yes, even the less tech savvy ones among us. I would argue that any laptop is repairable for someone with the right tools and skills, this one just makes it a lot easier and thus in most cases one shouldn’t need a repair shop. If one does though, the shop can just read the guides and order parts or schematics from Framework if those are needed.
Such optimism! I worked in a bicycle retail and in my experience there are a lot of people out there who should not be allowed anywhere near a screwdriver. Small screws are liable to be mis-threaded or the heads rounded off, assuming not lost in the meantime. And bicycles are not usually damaged by electrostatic discharge.
As with bicycles, a lot of people who are able to do it themselves will probably choose to get technical stuff done professionally for additional peace of mind. And, I’m sure, a lot who can’t, won’t . If customers feel there is a dealer network able to handle their after sales needs, they are less likely to damage their machines. That would be good for the customer and must also be good for Framework and their reputation.
Making this a reality (minus the “that day” part; I personally don’t know a single local repair shop that promises 1 day turnaround time) would require partnering with dozens of local repair shops and ensuring that they can repair the Framework laptop. The net cost of this endeavor would be inversely proportional with the popularity of Framework: if the laptop becomes popular, repair shops will be interested in supporting it.
I have no doubt that such a network would attract customers, but with Framework’s current size and popularity, such an investment probably doesn’t make sense. This is especially true for a laptop as modular as this one, with a design so appealing to a unique type of customer. I imagine this will be true for the foreseeable future.
As someone who currently works in Desktop Support, I know exactly what you mean about screws (but, for what it’s worth, the Framework laptop screws are captive, and replacements are provided). I wouldn’t worry about ESD, though, since most recent chips come with built-in ESD protection. For this reason, my team stopped using the grouded tables and wrist straps years ago.
Personally, I would prefer it if Framework focused their resources on preparing the Marketplace, so that replacement parts can be purchased.
I love the sentiment of setting up a network of retailers to sell and service Framework, but it’s not worth the net cost to get all of that up and running.
A future non-techy customer should just buy a Framework from the company themselves, and then take it to the mom-and-pop computer repair shop anyway without Framework coordinating any sort of repair network.
Any laptop repairman is going to have to eventually look up the Framework laptop to repair it and will be delighted at how easy it is to repair without having to contact Framework directly.
…It all hinges on that Marketplace opening soon though, yes. Hope that opens soon