Dear PuzzlePhone backers and supporters, there are no news on PuzzlePhone release date at this point. As of today, we can neither confirm nor deny that Circular Devices has secured more private funds to continue the making of the PuzzlePhone due to the slow and not flexible enough payment scheme of the committed public funds (as previously explained).
Despite unforeseen circumstances and setbacks we keep fighting for a sustainable Design to Last smartphone, made in Finland, supporting the European economy and its responsible social system. A device assembled under the EU’s laws and regulations, which would bring to the market the new level of security and privacy that no one else cares to offer.
Our next close milestone in getting the next tranche of funding from the European Commission (EC) was in Vienna, March 27-30th, when the General Assembly of the sustainablySMART project took place and the authorities duly reviewed on our status and progress. We would like to thanks again to the project reviewer for her time and attention. The EC will issue a formal response within next weeks. If everything goes as we expect the second payment of the project will follow within next weeks. This will help to unlock and match further private investment for PuzzlePhone development. We will keep you posted as soon we will have any confirmed news. Our team appreciates your support and understanding, as we need it more than ever.
At the moment we are working together with the Fraunhofer IZM on the Learning Factory project for the German Environmental Agency (more information here and here). This project gives us an opportunity to develop the Vision behind and beyond the PuzzlePhone, which is connected with the current status-quo of consumer electronics manufacturing in Europe, its future, drivers and long term plans for the development of the Eurozone.
For the last months we have been witnessing a change in worldwide politics towards supporting local manufacturing of electronics (some breadcrumbs here, here, here, here, and here). Hence and regardless of our already in place Pan-European full-stack team, partners and suppliers - which altogether provide full capabilities for the production sourcing, ramp up and logistics; the Learning Factory project is an excellent chance to interact on a deeper industry-level with the new trends around Industry 4.0 and new ways of manufacturing. Which is essential to establish any partnership that could eventually lead to unlock and boost the current financial situation.
In the past months we have also gained understanding on how the European Commission grant momentum, its roadmap, pitfalls and bottlenecks, and moreover what financial instruments are in place, or coming (or totally missing) to help StartUps and SME, like us, to handle the otherwise too stiff payment scheme. We can not confirm or celebrate anything yet, but until the end of March we have been attending different meetings with public and private financial institutions that - hopefully - will unlock our situation, that, apparently - and sadly - is quite common among StartUps supported by the Horizon 2020 program.
Some of you have expressed your desire for a more frequent communication with backers. It is not our intention to keep you in the darkness. We truly wish for you to become our Ambassadors from the moment you will get the first PuzzlePhone devices in your hands. We look forward to satisfy all your demands and beyond: updated specs, closer interaction and co-creation workshops with the first pre-series… there are many things in our notebook aiming to engage and have meaningful fun together. In the meantime we will keep updating you with the project status and progress as soon as we will have news.
If you are curious to find out more on the Vision you are supporting, where PuzzlePhone is just the daring tip of an iceberg please watch our talk: PuzzlePhone was also invited to share our story about PuzzlePhone and Circular Devices at VTT (the Technical Research Centre of Finland). And it has turned out we have been the 1st #VTTTechTalk ever published on YouTube (watch here!). In this episode we unveiled some insights on our ups & downs, and we depict - also for the 1st time - a glimpse on the Big Picture, our Vision on how long serviceable devices go beyond modularity and directly to the heart of geopolitics and international inequality. Back in 2013 our vision looked too far fetched and almost utopic, but in only 4 years time it looks actual and demanded.
Nope. This is not about modular phones, and we are not going home.
Our team keeps dedication to move our common dream for sustainable, safe and modular smartphone forward. We thank you again for your support and patience!
Alejandro Santacreu (CEO)
On behalf of the PuzzlePhone team
The Android you’ve been looking for!