The original plan was to build them in China, here is the June 12th update:
June 12th, 2013
Updates! Yes, finally! What began as a humble promise to dedicate my time to create something I believed in, has now evolved into this wonderful global community. To our friends and family, to every blog and news source that picked us up, and of course, to each and every backer around the world, your collective belief and support of this project has far exceeded our hopes and we cannot thank you enough. The outpouring of support and feedback from all of you will allow us to produce an Earl tablet that is even better than we initially envisioned. Hikers, bikers, gliders, sailors, kayakers, hunters, fishermen, search and rescue, forest rangers, surveyors, and even the military all want Earl! We had no idea so many different groups of users would be interested in Earl. We want Earl to be the best device on the market and we need your help, so we're building a new community forum for backers and developers to mingle. Our current feedback system is extremely inefficient and we're hoping this will make the entire process much more streamlined. We were pleasantly surprised but ill prepared for the volume of inquiries and have been doing our best to respond to all of your questions. We apologize for the lack of updates thus far, but we assure you, we are listening! We'll send everyone a link for the forum as soon as it goes up. Most of the feature requests over the last month are simple software based changes and though we may not have every feature when we launch, we plan to incorporate as many as possible. One of the modifications is a direct result of the overwhelming support from the glider community. A simple change to the internal pressure sensor was all that was needed to incorporate this whole new group of Earl users. We've also been working on a partial redesign of Earl's RF system which will add SDR receiving functionality and the ability to function as a Personal Locator Beacon. A dedicated external antenna connection has also been added to increase the range of Earl's radio capabilities. Thanks to your recommendations and ideas, Earl is going to be an even better survival tablet. So what's next? Hardware!!! We've sent Earl's initial PCB design all the way around the world to India. We're working with a Freescale certified partner based out of Bangalore, the tech hub of India. Over the next few weeks they will finalize Earl's guts, making sure all of its sensors and radios talk politely and prepare Earl for certification. Afterwards, they'll help us build an SDK that we can give out to developers to build killer new apps. We're designing a dev wiki to walk even the most novice coder through creating their first application for Earl. I'll be flying out to India in the next few weeks so I can be hands-on throughout the process. As for manufacturing, we first entertained the option of production in China, but have decided to go with our neighbor to the south, Mexico. Labor rates south of the border are more stable and shipping times from factory to warehouse can be cut from a few weeks to a few days. Being a short drive from the border, production will be much easier to manage and monitor. As you can see, we are really excited to make this tablet the best it can be. And none of it would be possible without your support and enthusiasm for this project. Please stayed tuned for more updates and keep spreading the Earl love! Although our crowdfunding campaign has expired, Earl is still available for preorder at fifteen percent off its retail price. On behalf of the real Earl and the entire Earl team, Thank you!