In a decidedly interesting turn of events, Craig of OpenPandora fame has made the tough decision to make the Pandora available, outside of pre-order, at $500 (or about £379.19 delivered to UK customers) with a guaranteed 7-day delivery.
This means you can buy a Pandora now and have it in your hands in 7 days. This is a very good value proposition, given the rarity of this console coupled with the already extensive array of software and complete lack of direct competition.
From the page itself: “Welcome to the Pandora order page. These units ship within 7 days. By buying one of these units you are supporting the OP project and open source development on ARM platforms and beyond.”
This is the first time that the Pandora has been available to order, instead of pre-order, excepting the refurbs which were sold on eBay. “One-nubber” units were also available to less gaming inclined pre-order customers in lieu of their pre-order, but sport only one working analogue nub instead of two.
These “high priced” “7-day” Pandora units will be available to all existing and new customers who want to drop down $500 (£380) price to get their hands on one. There’s no mention yet on whether or not pre-order customers can pay extra to expedite their orders.
These Pandoras will also lack the “First Batch” stamp, even though they’re theoretically part of what you would consider to be the “First Batch.” They will sport an alternate red sticker as a token of the OpenPandora team’s appreciation, and all “First Batch” pre-order customers will continue to receive Pandoras labelled as such. Yes, it doesn’t technically make sense, but it does mean that pre-order customers still have a way of distinguishing themselves from the late-coming, or more financially solvent 7-day-ordering crowd.
Spare parts, batteries, stylii, cases and power supplies are also available for purchase, in addition to a “dev fund” donation option for the decidedly more charitable buyer.
The OpenPandora project has been a roller-coaster, both for the people behind it and the supportive pre-order customers who have hung onto every word from the team and dished out criticism, but more importantly, support in liberal doses.
Part of me wants to say I have mixed feelings about the up-front sale of higher priced Pandoras before all pre-orders have been fulfilled, but in actual fact this very endeavour is designed to speed up pre-order fulfilment by bringing in the funds to hire more assembly-line staff. It’s a great, and brave idea, made even more so by the fact it’s been openly publicised, critiqued and supported by the community before it’s official launch.
I, for one, am an avid supporter of this initiative. More short-term Pandora sales will mean I get my Pandora faster, and the same applies to other pre-order customers. If someone else gets theirs in the interim, through these higher-priced 7-day orders, then they’ll serve to enrich the community. It’s a win-win situation.
It’s worth stressing that the whole point of this initiative is so pre-order customers should get their units faster. Nobody should be losing out, nobody should be further delayed and Craig has committed to shutting down the order page if the number of orders gets too high.