“Anticipated Availability” seems like the best phrasing. I didn’t like the other two.
@Verxion - we can certainly see your point. Anything we can do that makes the subtleties more clear is helpful.
The caveat is “first, do no harm”. We have to make sure whatever change we write does not actually create more confusion. And it also has to be super short haiku for folks to get it at sight, which is always harder than a long-winded paragraph.
Apple got hauled in front of congress because of changes to their power management software. They had moved in good faith to help, but they did it so quickly that they did not think through how it might be misunderstood, which actually made sentiments worse before they got better.
Apple ultimately came up with a more refined opt-in method that resolved it, but it was surprising how a well-intentioned action at first upset their customers. So you just want to think these things through.
What you see today was actually the result of consulting with a lot of our customers to get it right.
That’s why for example, just removing the page would have actually hurt, and not helped.
Team will brainstorm some further refinements, and alternative ways to present it. We’ll plan to revise it within a week.
Thanks so much for the observations guys.
Another example of why there’s more to fielding new tech than just assembling parts.
All those complaints about power management were silly. The lawyers probably out for a buck and their clients didn’t ever consider how the alternative approach would be worse. Apple, for all its faults, was actually making their phone be useful for longer.
This, truly, I know is at the center of all your intentions, and I don’t say that lightly. Thank you for your williingness to make a change here - I truly think it will be better for it.
I love “keeping it short”
What if you change the word “Available” to “Preorder” in the graphic? It implies that you are preordering to get in line “there” in that block, which is the part of the message I think you were hoping to preserve.
(Putting on my marketing hat I would say “Preorder Now” to imply the blocks might continually fill up. I know it’s 3 more characters but I think they earn their keep)
Doesn’t sound right to me - it almost sounds more like it is saying you can place your preorder ON that month rather than FOR that month.
@dabigkahuna now that you mention it, I agree with you about my Preorder idea.
It’s a good example of why I was having trouble finding a solution. Words can be tricky things!
That availability item on the website definitely needs changing - I’d start by eliminating the “season” heading as it serves no good purpose and can cause other problems since it means things only get changed at the end of a season, which isn’t always appropriate.
So, I’d start with these premises (assuming I was at WT and knew what was planned):
At some point, we actually approve GR. That’s not the same thing as actually shipping. Only that you now move ahead with mass production so you can ship.
You certainly have some idea of how long it will take for shipping to start and you have some idea of how long it will take to fill all existing orders.
You also have some idea now of how long to get to the point where you approve GR. Might be very undependable, but you have to have something to say “Fall” on the status page.
So, let’s play with some made-up numbers to show how I think this availability should work.
A. The “Fall” estimate would be, at best, late September. That means your chart would not even show any months prior to that! You can have sold out a month that hasn’t even shipped.
B. We’ll assume that Fall estimate includes the time to ramp up manufacturing so shipping really is happening by late September.
C. Obviously you aren’t going to fill all pre-orders that month, so September is listed as “sold out”. But you have enough orders that you don’t expect to fill new ones for another two months. So October and November would also be listed as “sold out”. That would mean December would be the first month for new orders to possibly be filled.
This could be updated, very quickly, each month manually. Or it could be structured with basic variables for the estimate to start shipping, how many you can make a month compared to how many have been ordered, the present date, etc, so nothing shows a past month as sold out when that is impossible without delivery and it is updated automatically.
Some quick insertions here
They could use the word Booked instead of sold out, it would help a lot.
One thing that I do not swallow well is the estimated delivery date be the same for everyone, I mean, people who bought like us in 2015 and people who bought in 2018 has the same window of delivery (“Fall”)?
I agree with @dabigkahuna when he says those are minor updates that would increase a lot the experience and understanding of the page.
Understandable comments, and no words satisfy like getting your goody, but for clarity, a couple points -
1- Verxion said it came down to one word - “Available” shown in the quarter forecast window.
His notion was that someone might read that as a known date for general release. We agreed with his reasoning, and did change it last November within a week of his post, as promised.
It was revised to read “Estimated” so that it couldn’t be interpreted as a date certain. Once General Release has started, we’ll update the language again to reflect the certainty.
2- A lot of folks have talked about ‘Sold-Out’, but that’s not what it says either.
It reads ‘Sold’ so that people can see that there’s at least two quarters of slots already spoken for, that we must fill before we get to a new preorder. This is explained in detail on the Shipping Status link in the lower right.
Notwithstanding whether any two orders may show the same 90 day window, we will definitely ship in order of priority date for when each order was placed. So if you were earlier, you could get it say, 3 months earlier even within the same estimated window.
That means earlier orders will clearly get theirs sooner. We’ll tune the page again with more detail once we’ve started general release and have good visibility on our delivery flow rate while we’re shipping volume.
Just a quick note, to clear up the confusion points.
Right now want to keep focus on completing our tech update.
Well, “estimated” is an improvement, but whether listed as “sold” or “sold out” (I just couldn’t recall the exact wording), you haven’t “sold” April, May, or June for sure.
After all, what does “sold” refer to? It only makes sense in reference to when deliveries have been or will be made. “Will be” can be missed since it would be an estimate, but the past is a matter of absolute fact. So, for now, all “sold” references should only be based on when you think it will start to ship and how long to get caught up with existing orders. Thus no past months as that implies GR was already going on.
Sold refers to the preorder purchases already made.
So for example, preorders we’ve booked through to today, have now already taken all fab capacity we have during the summer, hence that capacity is marked sold.
By analogy, Tesla has sold their first production of founders’ series 2020 Roadsters, at $250K each. Those are prepaid preorders, and they are sold from their allocation of the first of 1,000 cars. Those founders series preorders get some special bennies, (perhaps the SpaceX cold gas thrusters that deliver 3G’s of acceleration from 10 vectored nozzles).
To your point - We’ve found that almost any semantical presentation may get some diverse interpretations, but getting the package into your hands is not confusing at all, and then the words don’t matter.
So you try to do something short and simple in a chart to see at a glance, and you also provide the shipping status link if they want to read more detail. And if somehow someone still didn’t understand how it works, it’s really simple to just undo the order with a few clicks. So it sorts out ok.
I’ve read and reread your post and I still don’t get it. The graphic is for customer insight into when they might at least receive their TB (if not, then why have it?). I have a hard time thinking any customer is going to look at that graphic and think, “Sure is interesting that the existing orders have already used up all the fab capacity for the spring and summer months”! Especially since there is nothing to say what that capacity even was!
Sure, no matter how you say something, people can get confused over words. Sometimes deliberately. Estimates may be wrong and some people will call it a “promise”. Can’t do anything about such people, but at least the description will be what most people expect.
Chart is for prospective customers, to know their shipment will come no sooner than fall quarter.
Availability tile is on home page so it’s very visible on first visit.
Virtually anything we might write could be subject to different interpretations.
Comm stuff is never perfect, but did make an effort to inform here, that’s beyond typical preorder pages.
Mostly, comments about wording spring from just wanting it shipped.
Best language to resolve is shipping.
With that in mind, looking at your other post again, I wonder about this statement:
Sold refers to the preorder purchases already made
Is that referring to people “making” orders (which is what I first thought), or does it have to do with how many devices (or at least the parts for the devices) you have actually manufactured (“made”)?
If the latter, it would make sense and be very interesting. As an example, say you have 100K orders. But during the spring months you make or purchase all the parts for 50k and you expect to make 50k more in the summer months, thus new orders would be for October, etc.
Or it could go a bit further. Not just that many parts to make complete units, but also actually that many parts assembled into fully functional TextBlades, other than the need to update with the latest firmware.
In either case, it would be very important update info as it would mean that ALL the hardware has been locked down for GR since you wouldn’t make such large numbers if you weren’t totally set on the hardware. If just parts, the new paint may not be done yet, but that should be it. The main points would still apply.
Now we just need clarification.
Dbk - bloodhound that you are, you can’t resist those queries.
Well, can confirm we bought parts and built blade assemblies sufficient for all preorders in hand.
But further detail than that is the province of the TechTalk update. So let’s leave it at that, and we’ll focus on finishing our main post which should give a bigger picture of what we’ve built.
Does “blade assemblies” include the space blade?
Dbk you’re incorrigible. Gotta close this thread now.