Posts Tagged ‘Notion Ink’

Adam Pre-Sale Concerns Growing

Friday, December 10th, 2010

The Adam pre-sale is live. The launch of the pre-sale came with some problems, though, and concerns are being voiced by a number of sources. Notion Ink has tried to respond to some of the concerns, but it looks like the explanations are making matters worse rather than allaying the fears of those concerned.

First, the site crashed on multiple occasions. Not a bad thing as far as good faith goes, but certainly bad for business. Rohan Shravan of Notion Ink explained the problem as being related to traffic estimates proving to be in error. The server was set for an influx from India, but it came instead from the United States. Plausible, certainly.

Next, however, the terms of service and shipping policies have come into question. For one, no matter whether you receive the unit or not, it looks like there’s a 5% non-refundable fee attached to the Adam. Considering that the pre-order takes the price in full, Notion Ink is asking you to bet a lot on a product that hasn’t seen the light of day, at least from a consumer’s point of view. There are also shipping fees, a $9 (US) fee to open a support ticket, and a number of other nickel and dime tactics. This is certainly not boding well for the new product. Shravan tries to compare the terms with Apple and Dell. The problem with that though, is that Apple and Dell are established firms with established products. A brand new product like the Adam can’t hope to play in the big leagues this early in its development. Once Notion Ink has wowed the world, it might be able to adjust terms of service as needed. For now, they should be thankful for every unit sold and remove the nickel and dime business.

Credit card failures are a third cause for concern. MasterCard isn’t accepted yet, but that’s not such a big deal. Visa cancelling transactions for fear of fraud is a big deal. Shravan claims that the bank he’s using for Visa handles some pretty large Indian clients, and shouldn’t be raising fraud flags. Hopefully that part will be resolved soon, or this is going to have a major impact on sales. MasterCard’s approval process takes longer, but is coming according to Shravan.

The final major problem is that nobody has seen this product. Matt Burns of CrunchGear is cautioning his readers to wait on the Adam until after CES. The more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to do the same. Since the units aren’t shipping until January anyway, and the higher-end units have been sold out already, it couldn’t hurt to take a look once it is formally shown off to the world. Shravan has announced a video presentation of the Adam on December 18. The public will get its first glimpse of the Adam in that video. Shravan, trying to set minds at ease even suggests holding off on the pre-orders until the 18th. This was a good move. We’ll see if it is enough.

The Adam could very well be simply suffering the effects of Murphey’s Law, as Shravan suggests. I think that his tone toward critics or even concerned citizens seems a bit harsh though. The concerns that have been raised are certainly valid. His tone in future blog posts can be the difference between success and failure. Hopefully he is aware of that.

The Adam is still an attractive product to me. I’ve been watching it since it was first talked about, and I have been cheering it on. The concerns outlined above are valid though. If Notion Ink can’t resolve them, the Adam will fail. This would be unfortunate. The Adam has the potential to be a game changer. We’ll know soon enough if it still can be. I am looking forward to seeing the presentation on the 18th. You can check out Shravan’s responses to the problems here.

Adam Pre-Order Coming Soon

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Update:SlashGear is reporting that the Adam won’t ship before Christmas, but will be available by CES in early January. The difference between the 850 and 900 series models appears to be the type of 3G modem – one for the US, one for Europe.

While it wasn’t exactly 9:30 pm eastern time, the veil was dropped from the Adam teaser image and the words “Pre Order Now” were revealed. There was then a small disclaimer that details were forthcoming. Notion Ink has now shared some of the pre-order details.

First dibs on pre-orders go to those who commented on the blog in the past. There was a cutoff date for new posts, and as the chart supplied by Notion Ink shows, there was quite a spike in blog activity once the pre-pre-order was announced. The early option lasts only for 6 hours, then the rest of the world can join in. Those who are eligible for the earlier pre-order should be receiving an email with a special link.

Six different varieties of the Adam were developed. You can choose from the following options:

  • LCD (wi-fi only) – $375.33
  • LCD + 3G -900 series – $425.33
  • LCD + 3G -850 series – $425.33
  • Transflective (Wi-Fi only) – $499.45
  • Transflective + 3G -900 series – $549.99
  • Transflective + 3G -850 series – $549.99

As you can see, the Adam will range from roughly $375 to $550. It looks like the price is the same for 900 and 850 series, so I’m not sure what the major difference will be about. The prices will be the same in every country, making it a better bargain in some countries than in others. Notion Ink wants to target a global audience it says, and the single price point will help them achieve that goal.

Rather than providing a variety of colors, there is a thin strip on the Adam that is interchangeable for customization purposes. Otherwise, the Adam is matte black with a white strip.

Notion Ink also describes the OS as something slightly above standard Android. Many of the features coming in Gingerbread and Honeycomb were already built into the Adam. They think this will further encourage development since the device will enhance existing Android features.

The Adam certainly aims to be revolutionary. There is Old Testament language throughout the project, pointing to this being the beginning of something new. The Adam itself refers to the first man. Eden and Genesis are represented in the UI and app environments. The announcement post itself said “Let there be light” (Fiat Lux), albeit in Latin rather than Hebrew. They’re either really religious or they think this device is really important. If it succeeds, the Adam could really change the face of the e-Reader wars. We’ll have to wait and see. You can learn more about the Adam at notionink.com, though there is no pre-order information up yet.

Adam Launch Imminent?

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Update 2:The veil has been lifted. See more details here.

Update: Evidently the image from Notion Ink is changing over time. More of the Adam is now visible underneath the shroud. It looks like the 9:30 pm time frame is indeed set for tonight.

The Notion Ink blog has a nice teaser image up (shown above). Does this mean the Adam’s launch is imminent? Reading through the comments, the speculation is that there will be a launch or at least an announcement tonight. A video from the Notion Ink site points to a possible New York unveiling at 9:30 pm. It is not clear the date of this event, though. The post’s title is the numerical equivalent of the Golden Ratio, a concept frequently discussed in the design of the Adam. We know the Adam has been sent to the FCC already, so this could mean some sort of formal announcement is coming. I’ve been watching the Adam for a while, and there is a lot of promise. The delays have been disappointing, but it could very well be worth the wait. I’ll keep my eye out for more news. You can check out the teaser video here.