I know everybody is looking for an update on shipping, but before I jump into that I want to apologize for the lack of engagement and transparency about Arsenal shipping over the last two weeks. Communication has been a priority for me from the start of this campaign, but I haven’t been up to my own standards and am deeply sorry for any confusion and frustration.
I’ve written before about struggling to balance time for updates/comments and focusing on launch, and last week I focused too much on the latter. We ran into some short-term blockers identified by early backers (more info below), and I thought if I could fix the bugs quickly we could ramp up fulfillment and stay on schedule. In retrospect, I should have been more available and transparent with you, and I’m sorry for that.
Here is a full update on where we are with shipping Arsenals:
Where is my Arsenal?
Unless you are a Kickstarter backer, your Arsenal unit is either sitting safely at our fulfillment vendor or on the assembly line. All hardware production is proceeding smoothly. In fact, assembly of all 50,000 units in our first run will be complete this week.
Why hasn’t my Arsenal shipped / where are the unboxing videos?
Short answer: Two weeks ago, we realized the one-time Arsenal setup process just wasn’t reliable enough yet. We didn’t want you to have a lousy first time experience, so we temporarily paused shipments. Sending you a device that struggled at times with linking to your phone was literally a non-starter.
At first we thought the software issues were straightforward and we could quickly resolve them, but it ended up taking multiple develop/deploy/test cycles to get there.
Long answer: Two weeks ago we found last-minute bugs in the app and firmware that we hadn’t encountered in our testing before. This feedback was primarily from those we had shipped to the first week of June, and experiences were not consistent across all users (some had one issue, others didn’t have it but had a second issue).
These issues were in four areas: the first-time setup, connection, and firmware update process (has been solved); saving stacked images on some cameras (solution identified & being worked); Android app connection on some phones (workaround exists, solution in progress); and code to handle other camera-specific details (being worked on now).
Our engineering team worked nights and weekends and solved a bunch of these issues -- you may have noticed new versions of the mobile app as bug fixes were published. However, we still have some challenges we’re working through. All of them are solvable through software updates, but there is impact to the schedule.
Why didn’t you post an update sooner?
Honestly, I thought it would take us couple days to fix these bugs and didn’t want to alarm anyone. Instead, it took us most of the week to address the connection issues alone. The other items are in various stages of being addressed.
So when is Arsenal shipping?
We’ve made enough progress on the show-stopper connection bugs that we’re ready to resume shipping (and in fact did resume yesterday). However, we still need to ramp up shipping quantities over time so that our support and engineering teams can address inbound issues. We had planned to ramp slowly in the initial roll-out, but based on our learnings from what we’ve shipped so far we realized that the timeline was too aggressive. Identifying bugs so we can address them early before we ship too many units improves the experience for everyone; by doing so we can focus on solutions rather than support tickets.
We very much want to get these out as quick as possible, but we won’t sacrifice quality to do so. If the schedule proves too conservative and we can ramp up faster, we will. In the interest of full transparency, here are the revised dates and scheduled shipping quantities:
Week of 6/18 - 200 units - Kickstarter backer shipping begins (complete)
Week of 6/25 - 800 units
Week of 7/2 - 4,000 units
Week of 7/9 - 6,000 units
Week of 7/16 - 7,000 units - Indiegogo backer shipping begins
Week of 7/23 - 7,000 units - WithArsenal.com order shipping begins
Week of 7/30 - 7,000 units
Week of 8/6 - 7,000 units
Week of 8/13 - all remaining pre-orders from prior to 4/1/18
Based on this timeline, we understand that some folks may need to update their shipping address or camera model. You can do this by emailing email@example.com.
If this schedule changes, we will give you a detailed explanation and provide a revised timeline.
Important info for Android users
As mentioned above, the variety of devices running Android creates a challenge for testing. We underestimated the breadth of quality assurance testing we needed before sending these out the door. We’ve expanded our coverage of phones to test and addressed the corner cases we know about, but Android’s many phone manufacturers with different implementations makes testing every phone in advance difficult.
Given that, we’re going to ask for your help identifying bugs. If you run into issues with the Android app, please don’t try to struggle through it. Let us know immediately, and in return we’ll let you know when your specific issue is resolved by a software update. We aren’t anticipating many of these, but we’d rather be transparent about where we could see some challenges and ensure you know we’re here and committed to resolve them.
Our pledge moving forward
I know I started with an apology, but I’ll end with one too. We should have had more extensive quality assurance tests in place. We also made the mistake of changing out the connection/setup late in the game (it improved the experience, but also introduced an area of the codebase that hadn’t been tested on as much). Lastly I underestimated the amount of time needed to handle issues as we rolled out Arsenal. I’m truly sorry and I take full responsibility. That said, know that the team and I are committed to working through these last issues as quickly as possible and getting a great product in your hands soon.
For those of you who are concerned about further delays, we understand; we’ve given you reason to worry. What I can do is promise to do a better job of keeping you in the loop moving forward. And as we have done from day one, anyone that wants to cancel their order before it ships can do so. Just write our support team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they will process your refund.
We are so very close to delivering to all of you. The delay is frustrating but we think it will be worth it when you receive an Arsenal you’re delighted with. This is the home stretch, and I can’t wait for what comes next. Thanks again for sticking with us through these frustrating last-minute delays. Your support and encouragement mean a lot to the whole Arsenal team.
P.S. If you’d like to see the first of our tutorial videos, they're online in our Support Center.
P.P.S. Stay tuned for some videos from reviewers. We'll be posting links on our Facebook page as they are published.