First Pandora Impressions from Early Shipments

Bill Loguidice's picture

While my colleague, Mark Vergeer, and I wait for our own Pandora handheld videogame computers to arrive (I'm roughly 750 - 850 in the queue, and they recently passed the 100 shipped mark) and deliver our own coverage, I thought I would share some of the first impressions others have posted for the year-and-a-half+-delayed device. For a written overview, check here (and more detail, here). For a video overview, look below:

Looking at the video of the device both Web browsing and playing Super Mario Kart (SNES version), I must say, my long dormant excitement for the device is starting to come back!

Comments

Catatonic
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2006
Half the genius behind

Half the genius behind companies like Apple and Sony is their supply chain management.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Pandora versus...
Catatonic wrote:

Half the genius behind companies like Apple and Sony is their supply chain management.

To be fair, when you're a multi-million/billion dollar company, it's "easy" to have a good supply chain versus about half a dozen people. With that said, what would have worked out better is if the Pandora people had gotten a company of reasonable size to take their design and run with it, because it's obvious that they can't handle it.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Pandora woes continue

Geez, looks like they're recommending people request refunds AFTER January 2011: http://boards.openpandora.org/index.php?/topic/819-refunds-whats-occurring/

Glad I acted when I did. I actually got something tangible for the money.

Are you still going to wait as long as it takes, Mark? Frankly I'd be a bit concerned at this point of them fulfilling all of the orders, though I guess the more people requesting refunds the higher up you'll be on the list...

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Money lost

I just consider my investment in the Pandora as money lost in the worst case scenario. With a big chance of still obtaining the machine. It is being produced but they've hit snag after snag. I won't go this kind of route again in the future. I'm just going to be patient as requesting my money back sort of defeats the purpose if this long wait. The team has NOT been professional in terms of communication and consumers have been expecting a level of service that just cannot be provided by a small team of non-industry-professionals.

This poor sod will continue to wait! Yeah laugh if you want to ;)
I will be pleased when it arrives. If it arrives....

I wouldn't mind requesting a refund from a anonymous company but it just happens to be that I know some of the team from the community since the first gamepark consoles were out and just think I should stick with it.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
It's a shame, Mark, that they

It's a shame, Mark, that they simply couldn't outsource the design to someone else to produce rather than trying to do it ALL themselves. They should just admit defeat and outsource to get this thing out in the public where it belongs. The longer they wait, the more long in the tooth this tech gets. They could have already been on the design of a Pandora 2 by now, but they're struggling filling even a quarter of the initial 4,000 orders from 2008 and they seem to have monetary liquidity issues. Not a good sign. I hope you get yours before the three year wait mark, Mark. At this point, I don't know if even THAT is possible. Frankly I fear they'll declare bankruptcy before you get yours...

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
Well outsourceing means money

Well outsourceing means money lost Im sure. It sounds like they are on the edge of bankrupcy, not many Outsourcers are going to take the risk is my guess. Catch 22, we wont sell you the parts becuase you cant pay us, we cant pay you unless we have part to make units to make money.

Good luck. Im fasinated by these open source handhelds.. I spent many a dy digging for stuff for my GP2X (or whatever it was called) many a hour making it run emulators /movies/etc.. but hardly any time actually playing it :)

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Options
clok1966 wrote:

Well outsourceing means money lost Im sure. It sounds like they are on the edge of bankrupcy, not many Outsourcers are going to take the risk is my guess. Catch 22, we wont sell you the parts becuase you cant pay us, we cant pay you unless we have part to make units to make money.

Well, when I say outsourcing, I mean sell the design to another company and have them produce it. They could do it as a 30/70 split or some such thing. Surely they could sell many thousands of more units that way and they wouldn't have to burden their own time and resources and deal with suppliers. In fact, they could do a more favorable split and offer to be the tech support for the units. In any case, there HAS to be a better situation than them doing everything themselves with minimal margin and taking up a high percentage of their free time (presumably, goodness knows how much time they're actually devoting at this point).

While we can estimate that they've brought in around 1,200,000 US dollars or so if you do 4,000 pre-orders x ~$300, I'm sure between expenses, time and all of the disasters they've probably eaten into most of that money by now, particularly if you factor in what's probably anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred refund requests (though I'm sure most refunders were replaced with new orders to be near the original 4,000 pre-order amount).

Now you figure that with a reasonable company behind this, they could have sold as many as 10,000 units by now, since it was really that special (and is still pretty nifty 2+ years removed), it suddenly seems foolish to try and do it all yourself...

n/a
Rob Daviau
Rob Daviau's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/19/2006
Well

Indeed Mark you are gambling at this point but good luck to you, I hope you end up with one of the few production units to make it out the door! That would be pretty cool.

n/a
Rob Daviau
Rob Daviau's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/19/2006
Crap

Looking more and more you did the right thing canceling your order. According to THIS little tidbit people willing to fork over $500 can get theirs within a week! WTF? way to screw over those early adopters even more.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/27/openpandora-begins-private-sales-fast...

Pasted from Engadget:

What with all the excitement about Sony's quad-core handheld and Nintendo's autostereoscopic screen, we have to say, we nearly forgot about the open-source Pandora handheld slowly but assuredly shipping from the UK. Well, we've got some bittersweet news to share, and here it goes: you can now purchase a Pandora for $500, and have it ship within a week. What's bitter about that? Because normally you pay $350 and get put on the pre-order waiting list. That extra $150 sounds like quite the surcharge, but it's an option if you simply can't wait for your number to come up, and OpenPandora chief Craig Rothwell tweets that some portion of those monies will help support the project. Still, those extra units have to come from somewhere, and if you've been standing in line for months, we imagine you won't happy to hear that some rich kid can just swoop in and buy your Pandora out from under you without a care in the world.

Seriously, who is behind this companies marketing, the guys from GOG.com lol!

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Great find, Rob. I'm tired of

Great find, Rob. I'm tired of making excuses for the Pandora folks. I've been monitoring their practices since I received my refund and have not liked their activities one bit (more excuses, side projects, etc.), making me 100% sure I did the right thing. I'm still hoping Mark gets his order and is happy with it, but by most accounts he should have already received his unit. He was after all only a bit further down than me in the queue and supposedly they've "ramped up production" to the point of easily shipping hundreds of units a month (supposedly 500). I don't trust that, though, for obvious reasons. This latest tactic is classless. And frankly, I don't see how they should need more money unless they already spent most of the millions they got from pre-orders and they received a large number of refund requests like mine...

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.