Are there production problems with the Zoom H1?

Ahh….. The Zoom H1.

Considered to be the evolution of the Zoom H2 with a smaller and much sexier looking body (thus much more portable) with a fantastic price to boot (just USD$99!!!), the Zoom H1 was announced and demoed at Musik Messe 2010 (March this year), the Zoom H1 was slated for a June release.

I was looking to buy the Zoom H2 when shipping for a portable recorder earlier this year, saw the Zoom H1 announcement, and decided to wait.

June came.

But no Zoom H1.

It was however, announced in June that the shipping date for Zoom H1 will be 31st July.

I thus forgotten about it for a while, until recently (a week ago) when the shipping date on Amazon shows that the Zoom H1 will ship on the 21st July (today!).

Made a pre-order, and guess what?

Just yesterday I noticed that all sites (Amazon, B&H, etc) doing the Zoom H1 pre-orders suddenly list 20th August 2010 as the shipping date instead.

Imagine how pissed I am that the shipping date slipped again, for the second time this year.

From June to July and now to August.

Granted that the Zoom H1 isn’t as high profile as the iPad so this probably won’t make big news, but with the slipping of iPad shipping dates earlier this year in April, 2010 marks the year of gadgets with slipping shipping dates (at least for me). DAMN.

Which makes me wonder, since I don’t really think that the Zoom H1 is as popular as the iPad to warrant a “limited supply and overwhelming demand” situation (it didn’t even go on sale anywhere), there must be a production problem.

Maybe the battery life couldn’t perform up to specs? (But seriously I doubt anyone other than Apple actually tries to live up to their battery life claims. Take for example any of the hundred “7 hour batteries” from Dell and HP that can’t last more than 2.5hrs per charge)

Maybe it’s a problem with the mics? (It’s a tried and tested configuration. Plus demo units have already been available for a while, or well, at least I believe the peeps at sites like thieving Gizmodo actually has a working demo before doing up an article? So it’s unlikely that it’s hardware. If they have hardware production problems they could always release in smaller numbers first.)

Which brings me to the conclusion – the most important part of the recorder might be having problems – the software. If there are serious bugs in the software it will affect not just a few but probably all of the sets, and these flawed sets can’t probably go on set, especially when Zoom has a superb reputation for low-cost high-quality portable recorders.

I wonder if @Zoomfx will tell me the reason for the slipping dates if I tweet him/her.

Canceling my pre-order now.

Shame. Cause I really wanted it.