In early October 2020, Peak design, a company known for camera bags and accessories, announced a new ecosystem of mounts, chargers, and even a wallet that connected using magnets and launched on Kickstarter. Now the company says it needs to delay delivery from its May target to August.
The timing couldn’t have been better or worse, depending on how you look at it. Peak Design’s magnet system, dubbed Mobile, launched nearly the same moment that Apple announced MagSafe. And while the two concepts bear plenty of similarities, a magnet-mounting system for phones, they are also very different.
That meant Peak Design had to step back, reformat, and determine if its Mobile system can or should be compatible with MagSafe. Along the way, the Covid-19 global pandemic came along, and ground manufacturing and meeting in-person to a near halt.
We got an early hands-on with Peak Design’s Mobile system and came away impressed. But Peak Design ultimately decided to support MagSafe and had to make changes. That’s an extraordinary change to an already complicated system of mounts, magnets, and physical-locking systems across a wide variety of phone cases, wireless chargers, mini tripods, and even a wallet.
All of that combined led to the delay Peak Design is now facing. In an update sent out on Kickstarter, co-founder Peter Derling explained the myriad of challenges. But better yet, he offered more than an apology: He gave options. Peak Design will provide full refunds to anyone who wants one and won’t accept the delay.
But if backers willing to stick with the company will get a 20% discount off any Peak Design products immediately. And because phone updates happen frequently, Peak Design will also send backers a 50%-off coupon for their next Peak Design mobile case.
All Kickstarter campaigns come with risk, delays are common, and sometimes, product never materializes. But astoundingly, this is Peak Design’s first delay in nearly 10 years of running crowdfunding campaigns. Still, the company is communicating openly and offering discounts or total refunds. That, at least, is a good sign.