Wednesday, July 8, 2015

SAFE Wallet 6 and 6 Plus Pre-Order Update

SAFE Wallet 6 and 6 Plus
Pre-Order Update

Tooling and Production Timeframes


Greetings, BulletTrainers!

It’s been an exciting few weeks since our last update, and we have been keeping very busy in development of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus, SAFE Wallet 6, and more!!!
We have a lot to cover in this update! Over the next page or so, we’ll cover the following (click to jump to that section): 


First Things First

Before we get started on production updates, I want to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize for the unintended delays, and offer insight into what caused them.
As the Director of Operations for BulletTrain, I am largely responsible for the manufacturing and shipping projections for the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus. I failed to adequately foresee or buffer for the issues we encountered in tooling, and as a result, our initial projections became inaccurate.
On a personal and professional level, I’m deeply sorry for the inaccuracy of our projected time frames. We never meant to mislead or deceive anyone, and we never meant to inconvenience anyone with these sorts of production delays. 
Simply put, we thought our compass was pointing North, and it turned out it was pointing Northwest, and this resulted in the process taking longer than expected. Specifically, the complexity of our tooling completely overwhelmed us, and at each step we took decisive action right away, but it took longer than we ever could have anticipated.
Once again, I’m genuinely sorry, and sincerely apologize for the inaccuracy of our early projections.
On an extremely positive note, yesterday (Wednesday, July 1) FedEx showed up at 10:30 AM, and ever since then, Jake and I have been critically evaluating the T2 production prototypes, which are AWESOME! That being said, we can’t wait to begin first production, and to start shipping your pre-orders :-) More on that a little bit later.


SAFE Wallet 6 Plus Tooling Update

In our last update (Update #11), we shared a challenge we were experiencing in the tool which was a big challenge for T1. The challenge was one of the corners of the frame of the case being held in place (incorrectly), forcing two opposing pieces of the tool to distort the corner upon ejection.
We are very pleased to report this challenge has been resolved in the latest revision of the tool :-)
There are still a few small modifications which need to be made to the tool so the finished SAFE Wallet 6 Plus is as PERFECT as possible! 
In Update #10, we highlighted some small cosmetic blemishes in the frame of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus. Most every cosmetic issue was resolved, but the are two small challenges which need to be overcome. One is extremely simple, and the other is somewhat more complicated.
Nonetheless, we already have a solution which we are evaluating with our tool maker. We should have the next tool modification in place next week!
I’d like to take a quick moment to reiterate these challenges are NOT a repeat of the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 5 :-)
The iPhone 5 model experienced delays unique to its design, including preliminary material flow quality, over-molding the TPU border, and soft touch paint issues. 
The new level of refinement in outdoing our previous design has come with an entirely new set of complexities to navigate through. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re almost there! When you get your hands on this thing, you are going to LOVE IT!


SAFE Wallet 6 Plus Production and Shipping Details

Here’s the good news: 
  • We’ve confirmed a production time frame of 10-12 days for the first production. This reflects a huge cut in production time as a result of our design, and it means less variable time before delivery of your SAFE Wallets :-) 
  • We’ll be air freighting the first production to our warehouse in Southern California. This is a much more expensive freight option, but something we have budgeted for to get your SAFE Wallets to you ASAP!
  • Our warehouse in Southern California has the capacity to process and dispatch all shipments in 2-3 days from when the first shipment arrives. SAFE Wallets won’t be sitting idly by, they’ll be moving to you at every opportunity!
We're more clear than ever before on the path that remains to production. We can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I’ve taken great care with recent projections in order to give more buffer time for overcoming challenges, and to track the steps to production, and how they affect each other to foresee the timeline more accurately.

Here’s a chart I’ve been using to track progress as we get the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus through the first production. This is—quite literally—our current schedule for production!





Key Dates
Production Begins — 7/27/15
Shipment from Factory — 8/7/15
Arrival @ LAX — 8/13/15
Customs @ LAX — usually within 2 weeks
Arrival @ Warehouse — 8/26/15
Dispatch to Customers — 8/28/15
We realize there have been a number of delays, and that some of you will just claim "told you so". Trust us when we say we are just as frustrated with the delays as you are, and maybe even more so!
To be perfectly clear, our current delivery estimate for the first production of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus is the end of August 2015. We are doing everything possible on our end to save extra time, and if we can ship any sooner, we will!
We designed the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus to be the ultimate tool for your iPhone, and we are hell-bent on making that a reality! It's simply taking a lot longer than we originally anticipated.
Thanks for hanging in there, everyone!

SAFE Wallet 6 Update

In our last update, we shared the significance of the relationship between the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus and SAFE Wallet 6. 

Here's a short version in summary:

  • We initially designed for the iPhone 6 Plus first, because we knew it would be more challenging. 
  • Due to common geometry between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, perfecting the 6 Plus model allows us to apply that insight to the SAFE Wallet 6 much earlier in tooling.
In short, the challenges that have delayed the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus have also stalled development of the iPhone 6 model... until now!

This week, our team is beginning the tool building phase for the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6! We've gathered tremendous insight from overcoming the molding challenges on the 6 Plus model, and this insight will directly benefit the development cycle for the iPhone 6 model :-)

Tool building is a complex, time-consuming process, and will take some time before we see the results. In about 6-8 weeks, we should be looking at the T1 Prototypes for the SAFE Wallet 6, just like we've recently seen for the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus!

As we are now back on track in development, we would like to share our updated projections for fulfillment of the SAFE Wallet 6 first production.


Key Dates
Tool Building — 7/8/15
First Molded Prototypes — 8/18/15
Production Begins — 9/22/15
Shipment from Factory — 10/4/15
Arrival @ LAX — 10/10/15
Customs @ LAX — usually within 2 weeks
Arrival @ Warehouse — 10/23/15
Dispatch to Customers — 10/26/15
To be perfectly clear, our current delivery estimate for the first production of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus is late October 2015. We are doing everything possible on our end move things along faster, and if we can ship any sooner, we will do so!!!

As an added bonus, the same perks noted for the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus ALSO apply to the SAFE Wallet 6!

  • Production time frame of 10-12 days for first production.
  • First production will be air freighted to our warehouse.
  • Shipment processing within 2-3 days after receipt to warehouse.


We remain completely committed to delivering on the original promise of the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6! Just as a reminder, here is a preview of your awesome, ultra-minimalist wallet for your iPhone 6 :-)



The SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6 will be exactly what we are all looking for, and we can't wait to deliver!


SAFE Wallet 6 Plus T2 Prototypes: Great News!!!!!

In Updates #10 and #11, we presented the T1 production samples with a series of photos and our impression of the T1 and how it performs.
Yesterday (Wednesday, July 1) FedEx showed up at 10:30 AM, and ever since then, Jake and I have been critically evaluating the T2 production prototypes, which are AWESOME! The jump from T1 to T2 is stark, and already, we're seeing the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus take form as a retail-ready minimalist masterpiece!




The SAFE Wallet 6 Plus T2 Prototype embodies an order of magnitude in improvement over the T1. The appearance, feeling, mechanical fit, and overall performance are all drastically improved in comparison to the T1. 

It's tremendously exciting to see all of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus's features pan out in the latest production sample!


Another very exciting element of the progress so far is hearing the difference. Let me be more specific... the T2 performs so much drastically better than the T1, that the mechanical features like the Wallet Door locks and the Secret Stash door are accompanied by an audible *click* sound.


Jake and I are more confident than ever that the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus is going to be a hit with each and every one of you :-)
As we mentioned earlier in the update, there are two small obstacles to overcome in this revision. So small, in fact, they aren't even visible in the photos! As we also mentioned, we have a new revision in review right now to address these last two challenges, and get us right into first production!


SAFE Pen for 6 Plus Update

The SAFE Pen is moving forward, slowly but surely :-)
We have a two-piece polycarbonate pen design which will securely hold a custom-fitted, specialized pen core. Here is a preview image of the design from the 3D model:


Our injection molding tool is in development right now, and should produce the first production prototype SAFE Pen in about 3 weeks. We're very excited to bring more finalized details on the SAFE Pen in the near future :-)
Jake and I were both stunned with how complex and expensive the tooling was to bring the SAFE Pen to life.
Just to confirm, we still have no plans to include the SAFE Pen with SAFE Wallet 6 Plus pre-orders in the first production.


Odds and Ends in Closing

The SAFE Wallet 6 Plus has been extremely challenging to see through to production, but we are committed to delivering the best SAFE Wallet possible!
If there are any changes or events which impact the timeline expressed above, the first thing we'll do is re-evaluate the timeline, and let everyone know where we stand. 
Some of you have expressed concern about the new iPhone models expected from Apple  later this year, namely stating your concern that the SAFE Wallet might not fit! There's been a fresh batch of reports lately which detail the new "S-Model" iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to be EITHER 100% identical in exterior dimensions, or possibly up to 0.1mm thicker (thanks to forthcoming Force Touch and the Taptic Engine).
The unique design and installation method of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus is likely to accept an iPhone of slightly greater thickness, as long as the rest of the iPhone maintains the exact same dimensions. The latest reports mention that the new 5.5" screen iPhone is expected to be 7.13mm thick (0.03mm thicker than the 6 Plus), and the 4.7" screen iPhone is expected to be 7.0mm thick (0.1mm thicker than the 6). 
This means there is a very high likelihood this year's new iPhones will fit into the existing SAFE Wallet models with no modification required :-) 
On another positive note, we sent T1 SAFE Wallet 6 Plus Prototypes to two Kickstarter backers for evaluation purposes. Both of them were so excited, they both volunteered to write detailed reviews of their experience. 
Raphael Salgado, another Kickstarter backer, is also working on his own review post, in which he will share his experience with the T1 SAFE Wallet 6 Plus. So far, he's shared this with us, "For the prototype, you deserve the right to be proud of and excited for your creation!"
When Raphael published his blog post, we'll mention it in our next update :-)
Thanks for your patience and support, everyone! As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at Help@BulletTrain.com.
- Alex (Director of Operations, BulletTrain)

Monday, June 22, 2015

BulletTrain SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6Plus: Prototype First Impressions By Matthew Taylor



Customer Review Of 6 Plus SAFE Wallet
First Generation Production Prototype

The article below was written by Matthew Taylor who became a BulletTrain customer in 2011, and since then we have become good friends. Matthew wrote a review of his experience with the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 5/5s when it came out.

We gave Matthew, and another one of our great customers the opportunity to test T1 prototypes of the 6 Plus SAFE Wallet. The review below was written by Matthew Taylor who was the first to receive his prototype.





BulletTrain SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6Plus:
Prototype First Impressions
By Matthew Taylor

For the past ten days, a prototype SAFE Wallet for the iPhone 6 Plus has been my daily carry, and it’s such a relief to finally be home again. Ever since I upgraded to the 6P last September, I’ve bounced between cases that didn’t come close to the versatility and features to which I’d grown accustomed. In fact, upgrading from my 5S to the 6P always felt like an incomplete experience… until now. All of what I previously wrote about the original SAFE Wallet still applies, so I’ll focus this commentary on what’s new and improved.

New Features and Design Enhancements

• Larger and More Accessible Secret Stash: The new door, underneath the credit card holder, accommodates a folded up bill. This is a great usage of the 6P’s larger footprint to add a much-needed feature. It’s a major improvement over the previous design—no need to remove your phone to access the cash. Although I don’t use the Secret Stash to store keys, Jake has showed me how he uses it for that purpose. (Note: not all keys will fit inside the stash.)

[Editors Note: The Secret Stash on the 6 Plus SAFE Wallet can hold two cash bills, if properly folded. Matthew points out that not all keys will fit inside the secret stash compartment, and this is true. The good news is that from our extensive testing, all standard Kwikset keys fit, this includes both style heads, including the standard Art-Deco key head, as well as the more modern larger one.]

• The Leash: BulletTrain is introducing a leash that you can attach to the bottom rear of the case, and then clip on to your pants belt-loop. This keeps your phone safe from drops, as well as being a theft deterrent. For extreme sports situations, the leash is a great insurance policy. For example, while ziplining in Kauai last December, I kept my phone in my pocket because I was afraid of dropping it, and missed out on some epic, high-flying videography opportunities. Next time, I won’t have to worry!

[Editors Note: We also gave Matthew a production prototype of our upcoming SAFE Leash System, which will be compatible with our SAFE Wallet for iPhone 5/5s, as well as our 6 and 6 Plus versions. We intend to launch this product in the next few months.]

• Third-party Lightning cable access: The redesigned case accommodates any third party cable, which is great because I own several.

• SIM card storage: I’m a frequent international traveler, and this would have been so helpful the last time I was overseas! I recommend taping the extra SIM card down to keep it secure when you remove your phone.

• SAFE Pen: Although I haven’t made use of it yet (handwriting? so last century!), if you’re in a pinch, it’s great to have on hand.

• Exposed volume, sleep/wake, and mute buttons: The prior design covered these buttons with plastic switches. This wasn’t my favorite choice over long-term use. Now they’re bare and exposed, which make them far easier to access and operate.

All of these new features and design improvements add up to a major leap forward in comparison with the previous model!



A Philosophical Note:
BulletTrain and the Wallet/Phone Convergence

I’ve been using BulletTrain products since 2011, starting with the eXpress Keyboard Platform, which I lugged with me to Bali in order to work on a book manuscript without destroying my wrists. Prior to finding the eXpress, I’d literally spent years searching for a solution that would allow me to use a wireless keyboard and trackpad in an ergonomic fashion. It was quite a revelation when I found the eXpress; the design was precisely what I’d been imagining would be the optimal approach. Since then, Jake and I have had many deep conversations about innovative design that solves real problems.

In mid-2012, Jake told me he believed that someday, the iPhone would completely replace the wallet. Although others in the tech industry had made similar predictions, it was really exciting to hear Jake lay out this vision in detail. He told me that it would take many years for this to fully come to pass, and in the meantime, his new product—the SAFE Wallet—would be a bridge toward that future. By converging the wallet with the iPhone, he’d help Apple eventually reach that destination.

Flash forward more than two years, and it was quite a trip to see Tim Cook on stage in September 2014 proclaiming Apple’s vision to “replace” the wallet (43:20). I had goosebumps listening to this announcement, as large tracts of the commentary mapped closely, if not identically, to what Jake had said back in 2012.

With the world’s most successful company working hard to replace your wallet, what, one might ask, is the point of an iPhone case that acts as a wallet? What Jake said three years ago is still true: full-fledged wallet replacement isn’t here now, and is unlikely to arrive for many years. Apple Pay isn’t close to being a universally accepted payment method. One of the biggest obstacles is that tens of thousands of mom and pop retail outlets will need to upgrade their payment processing hardware in order to interact with the NFC chips in the latest iPhone and Apple Watch models. How far are we from the date when Tim Cook’s vision comes true, and we will no longer need to carry a single piece of plastic or paper with us? When will all fifty states allow digital drivers’ licenses to be as accepted as physical ones? When will digital business cards completely replace our antiquated paper business cards? That day is an inevitability, but I’d bet it’s at least five years out, and perhaps as many as ten. Until then, the SAFE Wallet will continue to bridge the gap.

Comparison with Other Cases

Starting in September 2014, when I walked out of the Apple Store with my shiny new 6 Plus, I tried out several case solutions while awaiting the new SAFE Wallet. None of these cases worked for me, but I thought I’d share some of these experiences briefly.

• First I tried out a Spigen leather wallet-case, which I now refer to as “the atrocity case.” Because the design is atrocious: thick, bulky, obnoxious, and you look like an idiot taking photos with the flap hanging open and all your credit cards exposed. I gave it away after less than a week.

• Next, I used an Apple leather case. Although attractive, it’s certainly no wallet. I tried to remedy that by adding a Sinjimoru Stick-on wallet compartment, but I missed features like the SAFE Wallet’s Magic Stand, and I found that my cards kept falling out of the Sinjimoru. And then I dropped the phone on an exercise machine and cracked the screen. Thank goodness I had AppleCare Plus. Next!

• Finally, I started using an ultra-protective LifeProof Nuud. It’s truly waterproof as advertised (I did a submersion test), but it’s extremely bulky, lacks a wallet, and its headphone port is difficult to access. On top of all this, the design makes it very difficult to slide one’s thumb up to activate Control Center. By no means a daily carry, this case is only useful when in extreme weather situations or for a trip to the beach.

I’m so happy to finally have the versatile, useful SAFE Wallet on my 6 Plus.

Critiques
In my ten days of use, the only significant issue I’ve run into with the SAFE Wallet is that it doesn’t work with my JBL OnBeat Mini Speaker Dock –– the Lightning connector simply won’t reach high enough. However, this problem is not unique to the SAFE Wallet; any case that has an edge bezel won’t work. For example, an iPhone in an Otterbox Case also can’t be used with my JBL. I would call this a flaw in the speaker dock, not the SAFE Wallet; it really should be designed with third party cases in mind, and offer a Lightning adaptor that protrudes higher. I don’t fault BulletTrain for this one. To design a speaker dock so it’s utterly impossible to use with any bezeled case is just beyond lame. I’m buying a Lightning extender in an attempt to solve this issue.

[Editors Note: It is extremely easy and simple to remove the 6 Plus form the SAFE Wallet. It takes around 2 seconds to remove or install. Thus, if you have an edge-case situation, like the one Matthew mentioned, you can simply remove your iPhone to use it, then easily install it in when you are done.]

Summary

Overall, I think the new model is well on track to becoming the best daily carry iPhone case ever, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the final production version.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

SAFE Wallet 6 and 6 Plus Pre-Production Update


Pre-Production Update

SAFE Wallet 6 and 6 Plus


In this update, we'll address the latest information on the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6 Plus, followed by the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6.

It is extremely easy to install and uninstall your iPhone 6 Plus into the T1. It’s effortless compared to the iPhone 5 SAFE Wallet! After your first installation, you’ll find it is easily installed and removed within seconds!



Hands-On With The SAFE Wallet 6 Plus

It’s been two short weeks since Jake and I first got hands-on with the T1 prototypes of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus. We promised another update with more photos and another status report on production, and here we are!

The T1 samples of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus are assembled from the first injection-molded Parts to come out of the precise molding tool we’ve been working so hard on perfecting. This is the closest the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus has ever been to reality, and it’s been extremely cool to get to use one on my iPhone 6 Plus for the past 2 weeks!
That being said, it’s fully functional, but it’s not perfect. There are a few small blemishes on some surfaces of the parts, and one larger challenge visible in the body of the SAFE Wallet.


All things considered, the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus T1 has been a huge success! As a matter of fact, our engineers were STUNNED with how well the T1 parts turned out! Our plastics engineer said, “For a T1, this is a home run!”
Jake and I have each had the chance to use an assembled T1 SAFE Wallet 6 Plus on our iPhones, and it’s been SO AWESOME!!!! I personally haven’t had a SAFE Wallet in my everyday carry since I upgraded to my 6 Plus, which (as many of you know) is tough! Having been able to thoroughly use the T1 for two weeks now, I am more excited than ever to share the super-stealth SAFE Wallet 6 Plus with each of you!!!
Before we dive into photos, I’d like to share one more fun fact: Jake believes that the T1 is a solid 99.2 on a scale of 1-100! He said, “The T1’s are almost perfect in terms of form and function. They just need to be fine-tuned, to be flawlessly perfect.”

In-Depth Photo Analysis





The SAFE Wallet 6 Plus T1 offers a 99% accurate simulation of features and performance of the production SAFE Wallet 6 Production units! Note: the yellow paper is a temporary fix, a small shim to aid the Secret Stash door :-)
The SAFE Wallet 6 Plus T1 offers a 99% accurate simulation of features and performance of the production SAFE Wallet 6 Production units! Note: the yellow paper is a temporary fix, a small shim to aid the Secret Stash door :-)



It is extremely easy to install and uninstall your iPhone 6 Plus into the T1. It’s effortless compared to the iPhone 5 SAFE Wallet! After your first installation, you’ll find it is easily installed and removed within seconds!
It is extremely easy to install and uninstall your iPhone 6 Plus into the T1. It’s effortless compared to the iPhone 5 SAFE Wallet! After your first installation, you’ll find it is easily installed and removed within seconds!

Where Are We Now?

In our last update, we shared there would be necessary modification to the tool, and the resulting impacts on the first production timeline. Our tool modifications have been clarified and resolved, and we have about one week left before these modifications are built into the tool. 
The entire process took a little bit longer than we anticipated, but we’ve given such thorough and thoughtful attention to this modification to mitigate any other potential delays.
At this rate, first production is definitely still on track for delivery in July 2015.
We've been making progress on tooling for the SAFE Pen for SAFE Wallet 6 Plus as well, and should have pricing and availability projections in our next update. 

Changing Gears: SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6

At BulletTrain we intentionally designed the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6 Plus before the iPhone 6 model.
We did this because we knew the iPhone 6 Plus model would be more complicated, and as a result we would learn much more from it, which we could incorporate into the iPhone 6 model. In fact, the tooling for the iPhone 6 model will be so remarkably similar, it’s crucial that we resolve any big challenges on the 6 Plus tool BEFORE building the tool for the iPhone 6 model.
In a nutshell, the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6 is completely contingent upon the 6 Plus model, because the 6 and 6 Plus share so much common geometry at the core of their designs.
Tooling mechanics for the 6 Plus model have taken longer than expected to perfect as a result of our aggressive innovation. We are spending more necessary time in resolving the challenges in the 6 Plus to completion, and we haven’t yet begun the tooling for the iPhone 6 SAFE Wallet. 
Here's a quick breakdown of the remaining steps:
  • Tool Design
  • Tool Building
  • Mold Trials and Modifications
  • First Production
  • Assembly and Packaging
  • Freight and Customs
  • Fulfillment from our warehouse
We realize waiting a bit longer is no fun. As always, we will communicate all the details of our production schedule. It looks like we are just a few short weeks behind schedule, which pushes our projected delivery window into August 2015.

Where Are We Now?

As previously mentioned, we can’t move forward with the tooling for the iPhone 6 model until the modifications to the 6 Plus tool are complete. We have approximately one week of build time before the next prototype run (T2), and we will have more exciting news to share in the next 1-2 weeks :-)
Our plan is to publish a more detailed production timeline for our next update on the SAFE Wallet 6. In the meantime, please make sure to submit your surveys so we can reserve your SAFE Wallet 6 for you! Don’t forget, all pledge rewards and pre-orders from BulletTrain.com include a matching SAFE Pen! We will have more news on the SAFE Pen in our next update.
We’re also working hard on some other great new designs, which we intend to unveil a little later this year! 
Thanks for your patience and support, everyone! As always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at Help@BulletTrain.com or comment below.

-Alex (Director of Operations, BulletTrain)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

SAFE Wallet 6 Plus - Pre-Order Update


BulletTrain 
SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6 Plus
Pre-Order Update

Alex here, checking in for BulletTrain.
It’s been a very busy three months since the completion of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus campaign on Kickstarter, and once again, we can’t thank you enough for helping to make this happen!

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, I would just like to say we are so unbelievably pumped up to get the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus into production and onto iPhones everywhere! 
While Jake and I have had the pleasure of testing SAFE Wallet 6 Plus prototypes, it’s not quite the same as having the REAL DEAL in house. We are very excited to reach production and to use the production SAFE Wallet 6 Plus just like each of you :-)


Production Timeline Update

In addition to our usual operations, we’ve been hard at work going back and forth with 3D models, tool builders and engineers to ensure the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus manufacturing tools are 100% dialed-in for success.
As many of you know, the tool building process took a bit longer than expected to get off the ground. In fact, we posted an update early in March in which we shared background insight on the delays in the tool design stage.


Where Are We Now?

Earlier this week, we completed a crucial production prototyping phase which produced the first successfully molded parts from the newly fabricated injection-molding tool. This is a HUGE triumph, and a necessary step toward production.
Note: All photos below are of actual injection-molded T1 prototypes of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus. 
There are two important take-away points we'd like to share with you:
1. It took longer than expected to reach the T1 prototype phase.
2. There is a small, but significant challenge left to resolve before full production.
As seen in the timeline from Update #8, our manufacturer projected this production prototyping stage to be complete before the end of April, and we just reached that point now — 2 weeks behind schedule!
We genuinely believed we would reach Mold Trials before May, but it just didn’t happen as we’d planned due to unforeseen complications.

Now that Mold Trials have begun, we’ve run into a challenge of the most intricate detail. When the moving parts of the tool retract to eject the body of the SAFE Wallet, the part is occasionally getting stuck, causing breakage of parts and other messy complications.
This challenge must be resolved in order for us to enter mass production. We recently had a super in-depth meeting with our engineers and tool builders, and achieved clarity on how we will overcome this challenge. The injection-molding tool requires some specific modification, which will take approximately 2 weeks to build, and an additional week to test prototypes.

This animation might take a minute to load! A demonstration of our newly designed tool injection-molding T1 SAFE Wallet 6 Plus parts. Notice the part being removed from the tool by hand. This demonstrates the challenge we are overcoming in ejection.
In the photo below, the red circles highlight areas affected by the ejection challenge with the tool, noted above. The result is an uneven notch in the frame, barely visible in each circle. This illustrates the areas which must be improved upon in the tool before we can move forward to first production!

Just to put things in perspective, this is not bad news. As a matter of fact, only having one small challenge like this is actually very good. It’s not uncommon to have 5 or 6 issues to resolve at this stage!
We now expect the first production to ship to our warehouse in Late June 2015. Delivery to customers should begin by the first few weeks of July 2015, as illustrated below:


We realize waiting longer isn't fun or ideal. The reality is our designs are far beyond anything anybody has ever achieved, including ourselves, and this degree of true innovation requires tremendous creativity and determination to accomplish. In short, we are doing what no other case maker has been able to! This helps put the production delay a bit more into perspective.
Once again, I’d like to restate our commitment to deliver the ABSOLUTE BEST wallet case your iPhone 6 Plus could ever ask for! :-)
We have more photos and other details to share on pre-production! Jake recently posted a very detailed sneak peek at the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus T1 Prototype. This update provides more information about the tooling challenge we encountered.


Updating Your Pre-Order

We realize the update in delivery timeframe might affect exactly where your SAFE Wallet 6 Plus needs to be shipped! If you have any immediate concerns with the shipping address on your order, including any modifications, please contact us right away at Help@BulletTrain.com.


Wrapping Up

I shared a sentiment earlier in this update about the success of the mold trial I would like to revisit. I wrote, “This is a HUGE triumph, and a necessary step toward production.”
Despite the challenges noted above, the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus T1 is fully functional. We truly are in the home stretch toward first production! Pictured below is a fully assembled T1 prototype SAFE Wallet 6 Plus, installed and operational on a Gold iPhone 6 Plus!

I’ve had the unique privilege to act on both ends of BulletTrain—first as a customer, and then “on the inside”, as Director of Operations for BulletTrain! I remember back when I was waiting as a customer for my SAFE Wallet for my iPhone 5. I had pre-ordered in March 2013 on BulletTrain.com, and received it in August 2013.
I wrote Jake a snarky email, and he responded by sharing this Einstein quote with me:
“Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” ―Albert Einstein, The World As I See It
This really helped put things in perspective for me personally, and I asked if there was anything I could do to help. Jake hired me shortly thereafter, and here I am two years later, a member of the BulletTrain team—writing this update!
Having been in nearly the same position before, I can assure you it was COMPLETELY worth the wait then, and it will be COMPLETELY worth the wait now! :-)
It’s been truly amazing to be a part of the SAFE Wallet 6 Plus design from its conception. Going from the iPhone announcement to a concept, to design, to 3D modeling, to first prototyping, and seeing the SAFE Wallet evolve and truly take form in a steel tool to injection-mold the parts has been a truly staggering, EYE-OPENING experience!!! I must admit I had no idea the complexity that goes into creating an idea like this from concept to reality!!!
I’m so proud to be able to stand behind the upcoming fulfillment of the SAFE Wallet for iPhone 6 Plus!
Thanks for reading, everyone! If you have any questions, please feel free to reply in the comments or send us an email at Help@BulletTrain.com. We are here to help!
Warmest regards,
-Alex (Director of Operations for BulletTrain)








If You Enjoy The BulletBlog by JAKEe Be Certain To Check Out Jake's Other Blogs: