FiiO’s Next Plan for Players
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FiiO

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2020 is going to end. We hope it will also be the end of the disaster. Recently, many users have been asking if there is any update plan for our players. Here I would like to give a reply, so that you can make purchase decisions according to your needs.

1. FiiO's product line of mid-to-high-end players
In the past two years, we have made a plan starting with the M11 for 3 mid-to-high-end players, the M11, M11Pro and M15, all of which were based on the same platform- a 5.15-inch screen + Exynos7872 + 3G RAM + 32G/64G Flash. Because these components were discontinued at the end of 2019, we have correspondingly completed the purchase order according to our estimated sales volume. However, due to their excellent performance, the actual sales volume has exceeded our expectation, which means these models will be sold out in 2020. (“Out of stock” means the stock of our factory, while our sales agents may still have inventory).

Our future mid-to-high-end players will change the processor platform. But due to a fire in the AKM factory resulting in the supply of the AK4497/AK4499 we originally planned to use encountered problems, the models that are about to be developed have to urgently replace the DAC solution. Therefore, except for a new 4497-based model that would be released in limited quantities in 3 months, other player models will be delayed until after the summer of 2021.

Taking into account the actual performance of the M11, M11Pro and M15 and the actual experience of the 7872-based platform, I personally suggest that you can just get it if you need it. Because the successors of the M11, M11Pro and M15 would all be based on a better platform without major changes in audio configurations. But if you have a preference for ESS chips, you might as well consider it later.

2. Mid-end models
Now it is the mid-end models, i.e. the M6, M7 and M9 based on Samsung Exynos7270. The M9 has been discontinued for a long time; the M7 is selling inventory; the M6 is producing the last batch. So it is estimated that in half a year, our mid-end players will be sold out. As for their successors, we are currently not planning and conducting any new research and development due to two reasons.
1) There are no appropriate processors. At present, there are fewer and fewer processors available for digital products. It is impossible to find qualified processors with appropriate cost, volume, power consumption and performance.
2) Nowadays, Bluetooth amps or little tail DAC/Amps equipped with smartphones have become a portable HIFI solution for many people. If mid-end players want to be outstanding in music experience, it may at least be equipped with Qualcomm 425 + 3G RAM + 32G Flash to meet users’ requirements. But in this case, the cost space for the audio part will be minimal. Even if we made it, it may not be as good as a Bluetooth amp or a little tail DAC/Amp, and cannot compete with mobile phones in terms of its music experience.

Therefore, mid-end players really live in a dilemma. Actual sales data also reflect this trend.

3. Low-end models
As for low-end models, the M3K, M3PRO, and M5 based on Ingenic X1000, the cost of them are very tense, whose performance mainly depends on cost control rather than technology. Therefore, we will not make any renewal plans under limited conditions. If there are demands in the market, we will continue the production. Otherwise, we will stop.

This is all the basic situations. As a manufacturer, we will also make efforts in other product types to make better promotions and sales. Survival and development will not be a problem, and difficult days will finally go to an end. If you are interested in our products, you can choose our existing products, wait for our later products, or turn to other brands. One way or another, your needs go first. Thank you very much for your attention and care for FiiO. We will keep on doing what we should do.

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FiiO

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Stay tuned!:slight_smile:
 
FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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misteral201103

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Thank you for not only keeping us up to date but also being so transparent about the challenges you face and the decisions you have to make. I really think it's very impressive to maintain such an open channel of communication with your userbase (and fans!) and says much about the company as a whole.

I wish you the very best of luck with the upcoming projects and hope that 2021 is a good year for you - for all of us!
 
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Hanesu

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Thanks for giving this transparent update Fiio! Are you also planning to update your true wireless adapter utws 1?
It’d be so cool if it became even a little smaller and a charging case was included! And maybe an even plainer design?
 
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I think the manufacturer that makes a thin but wide screen DAP that is lightweight enough to sit comfortably in a shirt pocket will be the winner!

The latest DAPs are too thick and heavy - only the Sony 507 is lightweight enough for a shirt pocket but its screen is too narrow / small.

Good luck
 
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ahmonge

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Due to the use of a portable DAC as a digital source in a desktop system, why not developing a new digital desktop source?. Getting rid of the DAC and amp elements make it easier to design and build. Not everyone is confortable using a laptop as a digital source for a desktop based music sysrem.
 
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BubbaJay

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Please make a dap with Burr Brown dacs. I know that probably won't happen but one can still dream.
 
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Dixter

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Stay tuned!:slight_smile:
Just wondering if you should be looking towards Texas Instruments with some of their chips... the Burr Brown DACs are pretty nice, they are also ramping up their FABs...
 
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Dixter

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When I looked at how bad the AKM fire was the first thing that came to mind was it looked bad enough that the FAB should be bull dozed and a new FAB put in its place... smoke damage is not easy to recover from in a FAB that is based on Clean Rooms... normally if a company has a good business model they always have a sister FAB to handle an emergency like a fire to keep their products in the manufacturing chain... some companies that source parts almost demand a sister FAB be in place to protect the end producers... can you imagine if Sony lost its production due to a single FAB burning....
 
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Dixter

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Best of luck to Fiio... there are still options for your designs...
 
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