Our Jolla Tablet project is in full force, and here’s an update of the latest developments:
Last week (week 31) was a very busy week for us and our partners in China, as we worked together to make sure that the pre-production batch has all the final changes needed for mass production. As expected with device manufacturing, there were occasional problems, especially given that this was the very first build to include all of the final components and packaging for the Jolla Tablet. From the original schedule posted last week, we were delayed by a couple of days, but we made it up during the weekend, and this first batch is now complete and looks great! Developer loan devices are packaged, additional devices for internal testing are completed, and they are all ready to be sent. Akin to the previous post, I will describe some steps of the process in more details below, although I cannot reveal every single detail due to certain NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) that are in place, as explained previously.
Initial delays in week 31
The original plan was to finalize SMT (Surface-mount technology) on the 28th, which looked very promising with all the electrical components ready except the PCB (printed circuit board) on the 27th at the SMT factory. We hit our first snag due to logistics, as the flight carrying the PCBs from the PCB factory to the SMT factory was delayed for a couple of hours. This delay was short, and we started assembling the boards as planned without major issues.
Next, we faced some unforeseen issues with our flashing scripts, which contain the software that puts Sailfish OS onto the eMMC (embedded multimedia card) of the device. Solving these issues took a while, mainly because they were noticed late in the evening. Because of this, the testing planned for July 29th was delayed until the 30th.
Typically, the software flashing (sometimes called downloading) to the PCB is done during the assembly of the board in order to verify that the PCB itself is OK before the actual tablet is assembled. To verify the PCB, it is placed in a test fixture with all connected cables so we can check that the connections for display, camera, speaker, microphone etc. are all working. It might seem like an extra step as many of these tests are also performed after the device is fully assembled, however as the final tablet assembly happens some days later at a different location, this helps to ensure that there are no problems with the PCB during the concluding assembly steps.
More surprises in store
While the PCBs were being tested, preparations for the remaining material were ongoing at the assembly factory. This includes all mechanical, electro-mechanical, and packaging parts, as well as checking that the materials meet Jolla’s acceptance criteria for the build. Given earlier delays with material preparation and board delivery, we had to agree on a new schedule with the assembly factory. This factory has also other customers and preparing the line takes some time and requires more resources to be made available.
PCB testing was completed on July 30th at the SMT factory. This batch of PCBs was sent to the assembly factory for a targeted production slot on the 31st. Much to our chagrin, we discovered that the machine which glues the front housing to the back of the laminated display+touch+glass assembly was broken. Repairing it took some time and we missed the planned slot on Friday, which means we had to reschedule once more.
Making up for lost time
We really wanted to maintain the shipping schedule for the devices, so we discussed with the factory and agreed on overtime work on Saturday, August 1st. Jolla tablet assembly started with the front housing, onto which various smaller components such as the camera module are connected, then the PCB, followed by flex cables taking the display and touch signals from the PCB. After assembling the front housing, the battery is inserted along with the speakers and the microphone. Once all these are in place, we assemble the back plate and run the test software to verify that everything works as it should. Testing includes all hardware features such as display, touch, USB, MicroSD, sensors, audio etc. If they pass all the tests, the final screws are inserted along with the decorative parts.
At long last, around 11am on August 1st, the first device from the assembly line was complete, and we must say the display looks very good and is now something we do approve, including all other modifications for improving the quality and performance of the device. When device assembly was complete, finishing checks were carried out with our design team to verify that things look as they should. Batteries were charged a bit so that when you receive and unbox the tablet, it will boot up with no problems.
Being the first build of the Jolla Tablet at this factory, quite some time was spent teaching the new factory personnel how to assemble the tablet and the related acceptance criteria for quality as defined by Jolla. This added some time towards finalizing the build. This was also the first time we fully packaged the tablets on the factory line. After the very long day on Saturday, the Jolla team left the factory around 9pm for our local accommodation, and a well-earned but “slightly” delayed dinner.
In the end, we made it. The devices were built in week 31 despite all the surprises and challenges we encountered. The next steps will be getting the logistics ready for the shipment of tablets that will start their journey to the Developer Program members. More information about that will be provided in an upcoming blog post.
I had backed this project on Indiegogo. I wanted to know when will you start shipping it? Also, how would you ship when you do not even have my shipping address? What’s the procedure?
Hi abhishek_pc, ramping up for general shipments to contributors will take about 3-5 weeks from this pre-production batch shipment (as mentioned earlier), which puts us in the end-August to mid-September timeframe. Once we are ready to start shipping, we will invite you to our online shop to complete all the info, including your shipping address.
Can the online form ask for an optional ‘Do not ship before’ date? I’m on holiday during September; I’d rather have it 2 weeks late than chase up a non-delivery.
Hi DaveRo. You can influence the shipping time yourself by filling in the order form in our shop 2 weeks later. You’ll have more detailed instructions coming soon.
After shipping starts, how long will it take for all tablets to be shipped?
Hi Carol, Believe that there is no or limited Jolla Tablet accessories (e.g. screen protector, cover, etc) in the market. If your store will provide such products for us before the shipment. As we can reduce the shipping cost.
Hi Raymondli, are you reading our minds? 🙂 We have some plans for accessories and we’re working on a blog post exactly on this topic! Check back in a few days (if not this week, then early next week).
It’s almost mid-September. I haven’t received an email yet. What is the status?
This is excellent news! Thank you for the update and congrats on finishing your first batch of tablets!
Good luck Jolla! World needs you =)
Thanks for the detailed update!
Well done on getting this far.
Now its just a waiting game… 🙂
A status update I can get behind!
As I understand it, the following steps still remain
1. Ship developer units out to devs to get developing on. (By the end of this week)
2. Begin assembly of production units
3. Developers recieve units (By the end of next week) and begin attacking the “most demanded” list of apps
5. Shipping units begins (End of August?)
Some items I would like to get answered:
1. Will the developer unit experience/concerns be finalized first before sending out the kickstarter supporter units or will there be a Week 1 update to the OS that incorporates the developer unit concerns?
2. Will shipping of the kickstarter units be as one collection, in waves based on when you supported, randomly?
3. Will there be tracking data so that us obsessives can watch it’s progress as it makes it’s way to our grabby hands?
1. We will be continuously getting feedback from members of the developer program, i.e. it’s not a one-time collection of concerns that we implement. As with the Jolla smartphone, we will provide regular updates to the Jolla Tablet as well!
2. Shipments to the Jolla Tablet contributors will be in the order of the Indiegogo contributions.
3. There should be tracking data as we’ll be using established couriers. But let me double check and get back to you on this.
Hi again hasteur, yes, there will be tracking numbers with shipments. Cheers, Carol.
Great news! waiting for my loan device…
Great news and definitely an improvement on transparant communications. I earlier felt a bit like left in the dark by Jolla, but this kind of information openness feels good. I am with you. Cheers!
Guys! Great! I wish you all godspeed 😉
Which were the requirements to get an invite for the dev program?
Hi skvark, we’ve hand-picked our initial Developer program members based on their technical contributions to Sailfish OS. We also hope to expand the program, and will share info about how to join in future as it grows. Please see this blog post for more information about the program!
Does that mean only technical contributions to the operating system itself or does i.e. my other half protos, code contributions in various other TOH/software projects count? I was hoping to get all my existing apps (which are in the store) ported for the tablet asap.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to invite all contributors. We have invited people from all contribution areas you mentioned, and those were not only ones. We aim to expand program like Carol said.
Thanks for the reply. I guess that access to the tablet SDK would be enough (if it contains emulator) for me, are you planning to release it for the devs any time soon?
There will be emulator support for tablet apps. First we will release the SDK to Developer Program members for testing before official release. There’s also an email today about upcoming changes to Jolla Harbour.
Firstly thank you for the comprehensive and clear update. It’s obvious that the team is working really hard and also that the schedule is very tight. This means that any issues which arise are likely to cause delay. I would therefore ask that you’re careful not to over promise as any major delay to the new estimated delivery dates will be really disappointing. It is great to hear about the progress though.
Two requests please. First is for some close up pictures of the latest production device.
The second please is for an assurance that the tablet battery is not a unique design and will be widely available and that purchasers will be able to get replacements after Jolla exits the hardware business. That would give us all a lot of comfort I think.
Ah, on the second item — as with the vast majority of tablets today, the battery in the Jolla tablet is not user-replaceable. So, I don’t think the design of the battery really matters in this case… 🙁
Everything is “user-replaceable”, only need a more experienced / more technical user 😉
The tablet could be disassembled without destruction?
(I think it would be nice if a disassembly (tutorial) video will be made.
Something like at lenovoservicetraining.com)
Probably our community will be ahead of us with such videos, let’s see 😉
Regarding your first request ninepine, our guys at the factory were too eager to have the tablets assembled and packed for shipments to have close-up pics. I’ll see what we can do when the pre-production tablets arrive here for internal testing.
Good news indeed. I hope that we will get device by the end of August. Mid September is quite far away… 🙁
??? Mid-September is only two weeks away from the end of August. 🙂 That doesn’t seem like too much more of a wait…
Yes, its more like 1,5 month to go for most..but I wouldn’t be surprised if another delay appears…
Thank you for the detailed post 🙂
This is exactly the kind of information that I was looking for!
Great work 🙂 I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing.
中文翻译请戳这里/For Chinese translation pls visit: http://jolla.comes.today/first-batch-of-jolla-tablets-completed/
Hope to see Jolla tablet sell at HongKong soon 😀
Thank you for the very interesting update. Don’t let the naysayers distract you 🙂
Very informative posting. Great to read about what all goes into launching a new piece of hardware.love this geeky stuff!
…. well that title picture must be music to the heart of any supporter of this campaign 😉
One giant leap for jolla & Sailfish ! d(-_^)
Great post. Great job!
Thanks for the update, really appreciate the effort. Looking forward to receive my Jolla tablet, hopefully very soon after the developer tablets…! Good luck!
Guys, what’s the final device weight? I guess you know precisely by now 🙂
The new tablet pre-order site specifies the weight of the tablet at 385 grams.
A link to the pre-order site: http://shop.jolla.com/preorder_shop_en/jolla-tablet/jolla-tablet-32gb.html
A great step forward in communication over the last two posts. I was ready to abandon this project when you cut us off the information. As an Indigogo invested I supported a dream. I wanted to be part of that project. Up until now I hadn’t felt part of anything.
Now the disappointing thing is it will miss my third big trip for the year. First was May, then July and third will be Sept 5th. Damn
Thanks for the news. Please keep reporting often how it goes, even though there might not be that much to tell.
Congratulations on your first batch, and well done on overcoming the last-minute issues that came up to meet the week 31 target. I love the detailed stuff: keep it coming please!
Why Jolla doesn’t start shipping the tablet now?
I think that the majority of people who back the tablet bought the phone also and almost every person has at least some knowlege of the system already and we are willing to live with short commings for a while.
I also bought it, and waiting impatiently to get my hands on it.
Hi zometatomas! You can be assured that we are doing everything as fast as possible, we are not keeping the devices to ourselves! Getting the devices shipped is a joint effort from us, our device manufacturer, logistics company and others, so it is not a trivial task. Please be patient for just a while more, we are soon getting there.
Given that most of the cost of the tablet is materials, how much extra cost, if any, would there be to build the tablets in Europe?
Projects like Raspberry Pi use UK contractors to build and test. Maybe the protection runs for the tablet are not big enough?
Thank you for the update, it is very nice, interesting and refreshing to see the human part behind a company, keep going this way 🙂
I also have a question about shipment, that *maybe* you can answer:
When shipping to Germany, can you ship to a DHL packstation?
I said maybe, because I am actually not sure you can anser, but if you have this information please let us know.
Hi gitanovic, it might not be possible for us to accommodate such special requests. However, if you can agree with the particular DHL packstation beforehand that they will accept the delivery on your behalf, you can then provide the specific shipping address corresponding to the DHL packstation when we contact you to finalize your contribution. In this way, it may work out 🙂
Hi, thanks for the answer.
Actually a packstation is a fully automated delivery station, where you leave the pack for me, and I go with my customer card to get it.
The advantage for me being that I don’t have to be at home to get the delivery.
But now that I think about it, I could give you my work address, so that I will be there during working hours.
I wrote a small Greasemonkey script witch highlights the new comments. Maybe it is useful for some of you.
Thanks for this update. Another very nice and deailed one. Keep ’em coming like this, and all criticism about lack of communication will soon be forgotten… 😉
One question: can you tell us how many developer devices you are sending out?
Enough to get as wide perspective as possible and still be able to evaluate the pilot.
And what about the Latsu cases ?
Hi nirvanachild, if you contributed to a LastuCase during our Indiegogo campaign, it will be shipped with your Jolla Tablet!
Thanks very much for the update. This is the quality of communication we wanted from the start 🙂
from which country tablet will be shipped? Finalnd or Hong Kong?