Is Modbook Pro X the Next Big KickStarter Failure?

Is Modbook Pro X the Next Big KickStarter Failure?

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On July 30, 2014, a company by the name of Axiotron Modbook (Of which former Apple Steve Wozniak is apart of) launched a kick starter campaign, “Modbook Pro X — 15.4″ Retina Quad-Core Mac OS X Tablet“.  On September 7th, 2014 it was successfully funded with $318,244 USD with 331 backers.

What is a ModBook? Well in order to get around Apple’s hackintosh restrictions, the ModBook, is basically a modified MacBook Pro in which they buy an Apple MacBook Pro from Apple, and remove it from it’s case and install it into a new case that Axiotron  ModBook is making.

So not only with this campaign are you buying the MacBook Pro, you’re paying for Axiotron to architect, design, test, and replicate Apple’s quality, for a slightly higher price.

Notice how it was only 331 backers that created that amount, that’s because most of their sales went towards an item that ranged between $2,689 and $8,000.

In their December 19th 2014 update, “December Update“.

We now expect the first Modbook Pro X will ship in the March/April time frame.

Their original plan was to deliver their product by March 2015. But that came and went with this update.

(March 31st, 2015) Since April is almost upon us, you may have guessed that our anticipated fulfillment schedule might have to be adjusted from the previously announced March/April timeframe.

We now expect the first Modbook Pro X will ship in May.

They also use this time to announce that all items under $249 have been fulfilled,  but if you look at the original kickstarter page, they were planning for October 2014.

And then around May 2015, “New Kids on the Block…“, Apple announced new laptops! Uh Oh. They missed their original update and now they have to start over.  The community wasn’t happy with the delay, but they were happy that they weren’t going to be receiving outdated hardware.

They talked about progress in a few of their following updates, however they didn’t provide an actual shipping date until their July 16th, 2015 update, “Steady Progress, New Timeline…“.

Based on the most current information we have from suppliers, our best estimate is that we will begin shipping the Pro X in September. There is a small but not insignificant possibility the shipping date may get pushed to the beginning of October, and there is also a (smaller) possibility — if everything goes perfectly — that we’ll be able to ship as soon as the end of August.

And then their most recent update, Sept 30th, 2015, “Pro X Inside Out“.

Our commitment has been to update backers at least once during each month, something we’ve done reliably since the project began, including with this update. We did intend to provide a mid-September update, but had to scrap it because we encountered a critical issue in the pre-production of our Alphabody parts. Here’s what happened…

Because of the aforementioned issue, our fulfillment timeline will be shifting forward, but as of today we’re not exactly clear as to the extent of the shift. The working assumption among our team and with the suppliers we’ve lined up is still that production and first unit shipments will be ramping up during the fall.

Our Summary

I will say ModBook X is providing updates, and has built products before, however the fact that they keep missing ship dates by large amounts is worry some, their kickstarter backers put down thousands of dollars a person for these products. The biggest mess up was that they let their original date slip into the next year Macbook Pros models being released.

They are now approaching a year after being fully funded. How much money have they burned through now, how much wasted testing, manufacturing, parts, sampling, equipment buying have they burned through?

If you follow through you will see lots of missed timelines that they had, promising updates, not delivering on those promises. Their communication is lackluster and they still haven’t provided clarification on a possible significant design change that they mentioned in their December update, “this change requires us to re-think the internal pen garage (we don’t think it’s a good idea to make the whole device thicker just to fit a pen inside)”.

Who’s placing their bets that this will actually ship? Apple has been known to have Fall updates of their Macbook Pro line as well. Will this happen this year and mess up the companies reputation even more?

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Walter Marrero 228 posts

An executive analyst at an elite technology & business focused publication.

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1 Comment

  1. Harold_Do
    July 20, 17:37

    Modbook STILL has not delivered the Modbook Pro X and I doubt they have the ability to do it. It is now over 2 1/2 years over due. They do report to us on kickstarter but it seldom information of any use. All they do is stall and delay. Never trust Modbook.

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