August 27th, 2011, 11:59 Posted By: wraggster
Heres another update from the Openpandora Team:
A lot of important things have happened behind the curtains, I'll try to summarize everything up here, though it might not be easy. I hope I can make myself clear and won't forget anything.
One thing upfront:
I saw some posts that asked if Craig simply ignores the Pandora right now, as you don't read any Pandora news from him.
Craig is still in the team, of course.
However, all he can do right now is wait for CC to produce and ship the boards. Well, and to take care about possible legal actions...
I am mainly the one working on continuing the production in Germany, of course with a lot of help by Michael and Fatih.
Craig uses most of his time to take care about the iControlPad, while I am fully working on the Pandora right now.
I never was the smartphone gamer, but I love OpenSource stuff, so I'm happy to mostly work on the Pandora and not on the iCP
This is just a quick information at the beginning of my post.
Creating a business plan
You all know that we're currently working on moving the production to Germany.
This is a very important step and therefore needs to be done very carefully.
We have no idea how fast and how many finished boards CC can provide us in the near future.
So for my business plan, I am currently assuming the worst case scenario: Not a single board from CC anymore.
That's highly unlikely, but better be safe than sorry.
In case someone doesn't know exactly what a business plan is:
It's basically a document you create, that includes a detailed plan of the total costs needed, any plans for production, how you plan to make profits, what issues there are left, what needs to be done, etc.
This is absolutely essential if you try to get a bank loan or an investor, as they use the business plan to calculate their risks.
I'm about 90% finished with that, I just need a few more quotations, including the most important one: The PCB production. I'll get that one probably within the next days.
So... what IS the plan?
Well, of course: Produce Pandoras
That's the simple version.
It's much more complex though. Moving the production costs money. Thanks to the production issues, we lost an awful lot of money as well.
The goal of the plan is, to find out how much money is needed to start the production and how many Pandoras need to be sold to make sure the production will continue and we can deliver the remaining preorders as well.
Altogether, there are 1200 preorders left (500 from me, 800 from Craig). This includes ALL preorders. Also the ones from Batch 2.
While the plan is not yet finished, it looks like with 3000 units produced, we'll be able to fulfill all the remaining preorders AND have enough money left to continue the production.
Right now, it looks like about 250.000 EUR is needed to get everything rolling.
This actually sounds like a lot of money, but for such a production, it is not that much. And with 3000 units produced, the money can be paid back and everyone of you would have his Pandora!
After that, profit starts.
This is, as said, the worst case scenario. Every PCB delivered by CC will make things better.
Where to get that money?
I've got plans for that as well. Investors would be possible, I'll also try getting a loan.
With a carefully thought business plan that shows that the loan could be paid back within a reasonable timeframe, this shouldn't be a big issue.
I'd still love to get notch as investor. He was one of the very first preorderers of the Pandora, he seems like a nice chap AND he really supports indie stuff.
I was in contact with him early this year and he was interested, however, I never got a reply from him since then.
I guess he's just swamped with his normal eMail address, so he probably missed mine.
If anyones in good contact with him, please let him know I'm trying to contact him. It would really rock if he would support us - and it would make things so much easier!
BTW: Global Components (they will most probably produce the PCBs) are also interested in investing. That would also be great
Yes, there will probably be another preorder round.
However, with ONE significant difference: NO money has to be paid upfront!
What use is this, you might ask?
Easy. Imagine you are looking for investors. Or you are trying to get a loan from the bank.
Of course they are careful and will ask you: Are you sure anyone will buy that thing?
Then you'll take out a big list with a lot of people who preordered already... and you win.
That way, getting money will be WAY more easy!
I'll inform you when that preordering starts - and then you can tell anyone who always wanted to buy a Pandora but didn't want to pay before it's available to go and preorder!
But please don't order another one there if you're not interested in actually buying it later. It would just lead to problems.
It will be exciting to see how much interest there is. But based on the daily "I want to order a Pandora"-mails I get, there should be quite a few orders.
I also know some of you told me you'd want to get a few more units once they are available without prepayment.
If this will be a success, getting a loan will be easy and production can continue!
What... a new CPU? What the **** is this talk about?
This actually is one thing I'm currently thinking about a lot.
Some of you know about the BeagleBoard xM. It basically features the same SoC as the Beagleboard (or the Pandora), just with 1GHz standard clock, a faster RAM bus and a more recent 3D GPU.
As years have passed since we designed the Pandora, this faster SoC shouldn't cost much more than the old OMAP one.
According to TI, it's also easier to get.
As it is compatible, we can simply put it onto the new PCBs. It would be compatible with our OS, so all Pandora stuff would work on both units.
The new one simply would run a bit faster but would be completel compatbie.
OS and programs would be the same.
There are a few reasons that speak for that SoC:
* Wouldn't affect price
* Would make the Pandora more attractive
* Compatible, faster speed
* Preorderers who are still waiting would receive that one as bonus as well!
Of course - it could annoy the ones who already have a Pandora.
So what to do?
It's not easy.
Well, I don't know if the price will be the same as for the OMAP anyways. Maybe it's not worth it.
But if it IS worth it, I need to know what to do.
I'll make a poll about that tomorrow, please help me decide then!
On a sidenote, we might use a different paint on the case as well. Granite black metallic.
You might remember the blue metallic one Fatih showed us. He's been using it for six months yet.
The paint looks better (still looks like it is brand new) and as the paint is a bit thicker, the display stays open in every position.
Well, there's still a lot of work for me to get things started.
Things are looking good though. There are no debts except for the preorders, so as long as you will support me, I'll continue to work on the Pandora as mch as I can! That's a promise!
Nothing is carved in stone yet, I'm still checking out different options, but I'm getting there.
I hope I could give you a basic idea of what I'm planning to achieve.
If not, just ask, I'll try to answer it
Of course, you'll be the first to know once some stuff is fixed and done
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