EXCLUSIVE. Ledger Stax: the supplier that slows down production

EXCLUSIVE. Ledger Stax: the supplier that slows down production

Engaged in a race against time for the delivery of its latest crypto wallet, the French unicorn is facing production problems with its German subcontractor, Plastic Logic, which has since been replaced.

While the first units of the Ledger Stax, the new star of crypto wallets, should have been delivered in March 2023, the brand's customers are still waiting. "It's been almost 10 months since I pre-ordered my Stax; it's taking a very long time," sighs a fan of the French company.

Introduced by Ledger in December 2022 as the device capable of popularizing the use of physical crypto wallets, the Stax has a touchscreen which provides a better display than the Nano, the simpler models that made the brand's success. Ledger claims to have sold 6.5 million worldwide (read the interview with its CEO, Pascal Gauthier).

The Stax (sold for 279 euros) is supposed to be the perfect companion to view and show off one's NFTs. But this screen, based on e-ink technology that mimics the appearance of ink, is also the source of the company's problems.

According to our information, the German manufacturer Plastic Logic, which has since been replaced, was unable to meet the quality requirements it had committed to. Out of 100 screens coming off the production line, only 35% meet the specifications set with Ledger. A figure contradicted by society. "That's far too few to ensure continuous deliveries," whispers a source close to the company that is placing a lot on this new product.

Meanwhile, delays have accumulated, and the Stax assembly lines reserved with the Taiwanese Foxconn (which also works with Apple) are idle. "Our uncompromising approach to quality means it has taken our display provider months longer than they originally expected to ensure every screen matches our quality standards," explains a Ledger spokesperson.

A failing supplier?

"The choice to select Plastic Logic as a partner was probably made in haste," points out an internal source. "It is the designer Tony Fadell (known for designing Apple's iPod, editor's note) who pushed, among other things, to work with them. We probably moved too quickly with this choice when this company had experienced failures in the past," says the same source.

In 2010, Plastic Logic was forced to cancel the release of an e-reader after repeated delays in its production.

Several options were on the table: from taking over supervision of production in place of Plastic Logic, to potentially changing the screen technology to OLED. This type of screen is found on most smartphones, but they consume much more energy. "Depending on the decision, additional delivery delays could be between 3 months and 1 year," there are fears. The first option seems to have been chosen.

To date, 20,000 Stax units have been pre-ordered worldwide. Here too, Ledger denies the figure. Meanwhile, it's a real success, which could have been even greater without the repeated delays. Ledger now hopes to move forward and has committed to reimbursing dissatisfied customers. "Gifts" are already planned to reward those who have been patient.

"As a thank you to those who have purchased Ledger Stax, everyone who preordered a Ledger Stax so far will receive a custom Ledger Stax Magnet Shell, and if you purchased via NFT you will get an exclusive Ledger Stax Magnet Shell (specific to NFT purchasers) PLUS a free Ledger Nano S Plus from our new color capsule collection," explains a Ledger spokesperson.

"There's a race against time, it would be really great if deliveries started before the next edition of Ledger Open, the annual event where the Stax was unveiled in December 2022," urges an internal source. "The most important thing for us is that the product is the best possible," outlines a Ledger spokesperson.

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