Before we get into what Rohan Shravan's latest blog post is concerned with, we'd like to issue a statement to our readers, and Notion Ink.
Android Police has e-mailed Notion Ink on numerous occasions about the Adam over the past several weeks; asking for photos, interviews, details - anything which could ease concerns about the device's production status. All of those e-mails have gone unanswered, as have presumably the e-mails of every Android blog. Let us be clear: We're not trying to get "payback" here - we want what every reasonable consumer and tech blog want: real answers to our legitimate questions.
Rohan's explicit naming of Android Police in two of his entries on the NI blog troubles us - we do not wish to be seen as a source of sensationalist tech journalism, and we certainly aren't calling the Adam an outright scam. I personally sent NI (with direction to send it along to Rohan) an e-mail trying to explain the difficult position of Android Police, as an objective commentator, in regard to the Adam pre-order situation.
I indicated that it is from comments on the NI blog and our own reading of NI's documentation that our concerns grow - and we think those concerns are valid given the circumstances. We aren't out to tarnish NI's image, but we owe a duty to Android users and consumers at large to present a skeptical interpretation of events where the situation warrants. We felt that here, such a view was the responsible thing to give our readers.
Why? Because all of us here at Android Police agree on this point: it would be irresponsible to unquestioningly direct consumers to the Adam pre-order when it had clearly attracted suspicion from even the most loyal of Adam fans and followers. We investigated those suspicions, did a little digging around in NI's documentation, and presented our findings.
We, as much as anyone, would like nothing more than to see this all be a big misunderstanding resulting from the inexperience and small infrastructure of Notion Ink.
Rohan has essentially admitted to this in his posts, which worries me. Rarely, if ever, will a company so freely admit its mistakes - Rohan is actively making statements that would cause (if NI were publicly traded) many shareholders to hit the "SELL" button faster than you can say "bankruptcy."
These mistakes aren't simple technical errors or the fault of third parties - they're major foul-ups and holes that could endanger the success of the company's sole product, and thus NI's continued existence. Combined with the lack of photos or video of a working production example, I don't think it's a stretch to, at least, be suspicious.
Anyway, Rohan Shravan has issued another statement regarding the status of Notion Ink's Android tablet, the Adam, on NI's official blog. In an attempt to assuage the fears and doubts of many potential customers, Rohan has offered explanations for aspects of the pre-order process that have, in part, aroused suspicion. Rohan has compiled a list of "things where [sic] we went wrong":
Before going live allow all kinds of money transactions. (this would have pushed us to 7 Jan as the Pre-Order day, but this mess wouldnt be there then.) [sic]
I'm not sure what "going live" means - but I presume, based on the January 7th date, that Shravan believes it may have been a better idea to wait until CES to take pre-orders. But it's not the lack of a full-blown product launch event that's keeping most people on the fence. The simple act of posting photos of the production device turned on and functional would probably satisfy most potential customers.
EDIT: We've been informed by a clever commenter that the above quote probably refers to the issue with accepting MasterCard for payment on preorders ("all kinds of money transactions"), though I've chosen to leave my statement above intact, as it's still relevant.
As many commenters both here and on Shravan's blog have indicated, such photos don't sound like they'd be very difficult to produce. Perhaps there are complexities to the situation of which we are unaware.
Rohan explains the issues with the pre-order page where customers have the ability to simply skip entering their address information as well:
Have a page where you can enter address much before you can press BUY button. (the design team had suggested that you HAVE to write the address again on the Payment Page on CCavenue and this would cause a lot of repetition for use, passing address directly to their page has some security issues. Android Police suggested, that since we are not doing this, we are a scam. Hmmm) [sic]
Even if it is an honest mistake, it's natural for people to feel this could be suspicious. At no time did we suggest that this part of the pre-order was "a scam" - we pointed out that no address information was required to reach the billing page, which is admittedly odd when you devote an entire step to acquiring that information. There's also additional information in Rohan's post about the Pixel Qi model shortage and the "shortness" of the terms and conditions.
Again, we find it disheartening that our attempt to shed light on the suspicions many have expressed over the Adam are being met with such dismissiveness. Our goal is to inform our readers - not to slander Notion Ink (or anyone else), and we write every piece with that goal in mind.
Hopefully we'll see how this all pans out on December 18th.