Many of you are waiting to hear more from us about our launch plans. This is still not completely final, and this is still subject to change, but here goes.
Following what is now about 10 months of giving away alpha-prototype chumbys while we have been doing a complete rework of the chumby, we are going to begin a small “Beta launch” of the chumby in July. So, yes, real people (but only a few) will be able to order real chumbys in a few weeks — not too much past when we thought we’d be able to sell them (“early Summer”). And we are going to expand distribution of chumbys later this summer to more of you, so watch your email.
We expect that the pricing for a chumby will be $179.95, fully-delivered, no fees or extra subscriptions. We debated a lot of different pricing models over the past few months, such as a slightly lower price but then requiring an annual subscription fee, or breaking out shipping and handling separately. But we decided that what most people would probably want — because this is what they told us they wanted and is, frankly, what we would want if we were buying them — is one simple all-in price right to their door with no additional fees or anything. We all have too many subscriptions already, who needs another one?, or a little extra unpleasant surprise when it comes time to total up the shipping charges. So we decided to keep things simple and straightforward.
Special limited edition chumby styles will cost a little more, and we’ll also be selling Chumby charms and accessories (more news on this soon).
We’re shipping chumbys a little later than we initially planned because we decided that the ability to have video running on chumby would be amazing. So we waited to launch with the brand-new Adobe Flash Lite 3 software, the program that plays Chumby widgets. This is a really big step forward and we’re thrilled to be one of the very first products, if not the very first, on the market powered by FL3. Trust us, it’s worth the wait.
If you have one of our early prototypes we think you’ll be pretty amazed at how far chumby has come in about 10 months. Much better “fit and finish,” dramatically enhanced user interface and functionality, and great new audio and video capabilities.