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Start of production, technical challenges and schedule

Dear customers and prospective customers,

Our dear colleague Farena, which normally takes care of our customer communications, is not available this week, so I would like to inform you about the current status of our development today.

Production preparations completed
In the last few weeks we have completed all preparations for the start of production and are now close to series production. All printed material, the packaging, the quick start guide, the license cards etc. are now final and are already in print. All components such as power supplies, motherboards and cables have been ordered and the production is already running. All arrangements are also made for the housing, the assembly and quality assurance at our Bavarian manufacturing partner and the injection molding tools are currently under construction.

Problems with the new board
Unfortunately, the switch to the new banana PI M2+ board (the eBlocker motherboard) has caused unforeseen difficulties. During quality assurance in long-term tests the board showed sporadic crashes and nondeterministic restarts of our eBlockerOS. The very extensive troubleshooting has caused delays by about two weeks in our development work. The reason for the crashes was apparently not our software, but the M2+ boards of revision 1.0, which we had received as pre-series samples. Luckily, the latest board revision 1.1, on which the series eBlocker is based on, does not show those issues.

Software development status
Despite the challenges with the new Board have we implemented new features and improvements in parallel. Last week we’ve released eBlockerOS 0.9.2. and all eBlockers with update licenses have received the update already. Highlights of the release include support for apps using SSL/HTTPS, multilingual support, and support for the M2+ boards. Please refer to our release notes for all new features and enhancements.

Current schedule
Due to the unforeseen problems with the M2+ board and other problems we already reported, we are now about four weeks behind the original schedule. Also in terms of production, there were some technical and organizational challenges that have delayed the start of production. Currently, we plan to produce the first zero series end of July. Actual production is expected to start in the first week of August. Currently, we expect that the first eBlocker batch will be delivered mid-August. We greatly regret the delay and ask for your understanding that things can go wrong – even despite good planning.

Our team is growing
We are very pleased that we have won two new colleagues for business development starting July 1st. Oliver will be responsible as our Partner Manager for our technology partners as well as the online sales partners and other multipliers. Focusing on international distribution and retail, Heiko will be responsible to get the eBlocker into the shelfs at retailers worldwide.

Overall, we are pleased with company development and the first customer feedback, even though we are facing new challenges daily. We are committed solving all challenges and delivering you a great product very soon!

Best regards in the name of the entire eBlocker team,
Christian