The Elevation Dock is one of the Kickstarter projects I have been most excited to see actually ship. I love my iPhone but hate the way most docks make it a challenge to put your iPhone in or remove it. After all, the 30-pin connector is the most vulnerable part of the iPhone other than the screen (and I would argue it is in first place).
The Elevation Dock solves that problem with a metal dock that looks great and promises to be easy on the iPhone when yopu dock and undock. (Read the Kickstart This! post here.)
Well the dock was delayed and delayed again but now it is on the way. Here’s the update I just received.
Today is a big day, we have shipped the first batch of Elevation Docks.
These are from our growing stockpile of parts and the rest will be going out in the coming weeks as bodies come back from machining, anodizing, and lasering – literally assembled, packaged, and shipped the same day they come into our shop. Power adapters for the Dock+ versions should be coming in next week so we can start shipping those too.
Many many thanks to all the people and vendors involved to make this happen. Having designed products for a lot of different companies, I know few nimble or focused enough to bring something from concept to mass production this quickly, especially on a product that doesn’t lend itself to fast or simple manufacturing methods. And thank you for your patience. There are big reasons why you don’t see a lot of complicated machined products with custom connectors – it’s very difficult and expensive, especially when done 90% domestically. There are many methods, like plastic molding, that are 100x cheaper and 1000x quicker to make. You just can’t ever match the precision look and feel of a fully machined part – Apple certainly knew this when they started making unibody MacBook Pros. If you are ever bored, try taking apart an Apple remote to see how they machined them.
iPhone 5 – Rumors are heating up about an iPhone with 176 more vertical pixels and smaller connector. As we have said before, we will make available either a new bolt-in, swappable circuit board or a bolt-in mount for the end of the new cord so these are future proof. Width should not be an issue – going from a 3.5” to 4” screen adds less than .25” width wise, and even less if it does in fact go to a 16:9 viewing ratio and they don’t stray from 326ppi Retina Display. Wouldn’t bet against Johnny Ive cutting fat from the bezel thickness either.
As you might note, Casey and his team have future proofed the dock by making it as likely to work with the next iPhone, which promises a major redesign that might include a new dock connector, as possible. That’s important to keep in mind as the iPhone 4S is now more than half a year old and the iPhone 5 is expected in early fall of 2012.