Garmin Forerunner 910XT delayed until after the holidays

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After quite a bit of public wrangling on dates over the past few weeks, the public availability of the Garmin FR910XT has been delayed temporarily.  While there has been significant discussion by many retailers and distributors regarding the FR910XT’s date, most of which was merely speculation – the date has now officially been moved by Garmin.

The decision actually just occurred in the past day, and was not actually the result of the product not being ready from a design or functional standpoint.  In fact, the firmware was completed (RTM) about 10 days ago – and has been working great on my development unit.  This was the first non-beta firmware.  And the hardware specifications have been finalized and locked for sometime.

Additionally, it was not the result of Garmin Connect not being ready either.  Those changes supporting the new Swim modes were implemented this past Friday (12/2/2011) – and are looking great and functioning rather well.

The official statement from Garmin is as follows as of 8AM EST on 12/8/2011:

“Thank you all for the overwhelming interest in the Forerunner 910XT. Unfortunately, production delays have pushed back availability until after the holidays. We apologize for this inconvenience, and we assure you that the rigorous testing and diligent attention to detail will result in a reliable and robust product upon shipment. We will communicate additional information once the 910XT begins shipping.”

The cause of the delay is solely focused on supplier availability of a specific component within the unit.  In fact, it’s sorta like the recent American Airlines/Alec Baldwin fiasco – the plane was boarded, ready for takeoff with the doors closed up – and the one little thing had to go and hose it up for everyone.  It was Garmin’s hope that they would be able to resolve the availability issue prior to the holidays, but that’s not the case.  In fact, it was expected/hoped that units would start going out this week to customers.

Because I get a lot of questions on the FR910XT, and how shipping will work, I wanted to go through it.  As I’ve previously noted in a few other posts, the future fulfillment of FR910XT orders is in part influenced by when you ordered, as well as by who you ordered with.  But there isn’t actually any preferential treatment when it comes to the retailer you selected.  All of the retailers are treated in equally in that sense.  This means that while big retailers like Trisports, REI or Amazon may have hundreds or thousands of units on backorder, and your local running shop in the middle of North Dakota may only have three units – they’re treated equally in the giant Tetris game of shipping fulfillment.  The same goes for Garmin.com orders.  While those orders will be fulfilled in the order they were received, they are on equal footing with distributors and retailers.

Because Garmin has no visibility into the allocation details of orders placed by its retailers or distributors (other than a total quantity and date), it’s quite possible that if you ordered from a store that hasn’t sold the quantity that it ordered early on – you may in fact get your unit ahead of another retailer, even if you ordered a month later.  And the inverse is true as well.  Again – a giant game of Tetris.  And none of this is unique to Garmin, nor to any other company that uses retailers or distributors.

Finally, if you haven’t had a chance to wander over to the FR910XT In Depth Review I wrote, I continue to add little snippets in there on a pretty frequent basis, as well as answer all the detailed questions in the post.  I’ve also got the detailed swimming comparison between the FR910XT and the Swimsense basically done in waiting (for a separate post).  I had been waiting though to publish that until public availability, mostly because I didn’t want to upset the apple cart.  But, if that’s something of interest now for folks trying to decide, I can look to go ahead and have it publish early next week.

Also, as a random side note, this does not impact the Garmin Vector power meter release date, and that remains on target for March 2012 availability.

Thanks for reading!

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41 Comments

  1. Post the Swimsense and 910xt review. Have a 310xt and swimsense and want to know if I should get excited about the 910xt or just save my money and stick with what I have.

    Reply
  2. Please

    Reply
  3. Wow – when did this blog turn into Garmin PR site?

    Reply
  4. Ken

    I’m not surprised. I can’t remember Garmin ever even remotely meeting a deadline. Hopefully they’ve gotten better with more recent products, but when I was really paying attention, it was pathetic.

    Reply
  5. tms

    Arg, there goes my plans! Was hoping to get the 910xt to replace my busted Polar, but I guess now I’ll have to cancel my order and get the latter repaired :(

    Reply
  6. Ditto kxux & Ken. I’m chomping at the bit for a 910XT, but my experience has saved me from being completely over-obsessive about it like I was waiting for the 305. I put my expectations on Feb arrival back in Nov.

    Also, I do hope you get a piece of Garmin PR pie money. You do an excellent job for them.

    Reply
  7. Hi Ray,
    I enjoy the blog. This is a little unrelated but, any word on an equipment tracking feature being added to Garmin connect? It used to be listed as coming soon, but the latest update removed the coming soon tag and didn’t add the feature. I emailed Garmin as well, but I haven’t received a response from them.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  8. steph

    the company i ordered from let me know last month that it wouldn’t be available til feb.. i thought this was old news because my retailer sure knew about it!

    Reply
  9. I also vote for you to post the Swimsense vs. 910xt review. I currently only have a Forerunner 305, but I want to do a bit more swimming starting this winter for cross-training. Eventually, I will also be in the market for a replacement for my 305… so my question will certainly be whether to get the Swimsense now (or soon), and just replace my 305 with the 610 (I pretty much only run)… or wait and just get the 910XT whenever I upgrade.

    Reply
  10. Tim

    Flooding in Thailand disrupt their supply chain (like it did with PC Hard Drive availability)…?

    Kind of a bummer it has to be such chaos (both with such an announcement and order fulfillment).

    Reply
  11. Garmin connect stopped showing avg HRs on activities on the summary panel when they stuck in the stuff for the 910 8(

    Also, elevation changes don’t show up in the splits report now.

    Don’t they test things before releasing?

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Please post the comparison nonetheless!

    Reply
  13. The delay was officially confirmed by Garmin Germany on November 28th 2011 on Facebook already.

    Droffen

    Reply
  14. donisfattoo

    I’m okay with a delay on the 910xt (I ordered on Oct 5th from Garmin directly), but I hope the Vector comes out on time and is available right away or, alternatively, Garmin lets people know far enough ahead of time if there is going to be a delay.

    Reply
  15. So my current plan is to use my SwimSense in the pool and my Garmin 310XT under my cap open water. I suppose I could switch to a 910XT in the pool and open water, but would expect the open water data to be flaky as it doesn’t track well on the wrist. If I put the 910XT under my cap, I wouldn’t get the open water stroke rate data, but that’s on minimal value compared to accurate time & distance. So until my 310XT or SwimSense breaks out-of-warranty, I can’t see a good reason to switch to a 910XT. I might add I use TSS/xPower calculations in TrainingPeaks and RaceDay to track swimming as part of triathlon training, so have that bias.

    Reply
  16. Darka

    Thanks for the update Ray, it can’t be helped and I’ll just have to wait a little longer :)

    Reply
  17. Becky H

    Thank you for the update Ray, there have been a ton of posts on every forum out there, thanks for clearing up the ‘issue’ for those of us who are anxiously waiting.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    Thanks for the info, and your always helpful and positive posts, Ray. I’ve been anxiously checking the Garmin blog and site daily; wish they would post about this.

    Would love to see the swimsense vs. 910 review, please.

    Reply
  19. Tim B

    Ray, Thank you very much for sharing what you know for those of us who have the 910 on order. I realized that you are only the messenger! Thanks for all you do.

    Reply
  20. Mine’s on backorder and I’m running device-free for the first time in a long while thanks to issues with my last GPS watch. Initially, freeing but now not so much. *sigh*

    Reply
  21. Grrr – I have to run device free as well since the battery in my Forerunner 405 is dead and Garmin Australia want $200 to change it!

    I just hope the battery in the 910XT lasts longer than the 2 1/2 years the 405 battery lasted….

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    please post the swimsense vs. 910xt review asap.

    Reply
  23. BamaTriGuy

    This is what is lost on me: Why does Garmin announce this stuff up to a year in advance and then find out there are production delays?

    I was excited to buy the 910 when they announced it – especially because I was going to buy a 310 at that point. Now I have quality concerns about the 910 with delay after delay and I can’t bring myself to buy an soon-to-be-dated 310.

    Reply
  24. Love your blog! I love it even more given you realize there’s a state called North Dakota. Most people don’t realize it exists ;)

    Reply
  25. Anonymous

    Hey,did you really think people would say, “naw, don’t publish the comparison now.”. Information is king

    Reply
  26. Any news on when the Garmin 500 NP firmware update is coming?

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  27. please post the swimsense vs. 910xt review asap.

    +1

    Reply
  28. Thanks for the update on this. It would be helpful if Garmin had official updates on this. Nothing wrong with you being the defacto source for information but you shouldn’t have to be. And unfortunately PR releases are only as accessible as Google search allows them to be.

    Thomas Gerlach
    Professional Triathlete
    http://www.thomasgerlach.com

    Save 10% at Trisports.com with Coupon Code “TGER-S”

    Reply
  29. Anonymous

    It’s now officially “after the holidays”. Any news on availability yet?

    Reply
  30. Nothing new at this point. Accessories have shipped out however (my batch of quick release, fabric straps and what-not shipped out last week). Was just a standard Garmin.com order that I placed the day of announcement (like any other person).

    Regrettably, I’m not at home – so can’t quite post pics of it. :(

    Reply
  31. Patrik

    Gramin Sweden told me early february….and Wiggle in Uk says that as well

    Reply
  32. Mitch

    Just picked up my 910xt in Melbourne, Aus. Ordered back in october and my local shop just got it in, about to go for a swim, very excited

    Reply
  33. I can advise that 2 or 3 retailers in Australia received batches this week. I know this because I am from http://www.highlytunedathletes.com.au and we shipped out a bunch of units as soon as they arrived this morning. Further we have been advised that a further larger batch is arriving early next week. Staff are already wearing them and one went for a run this evening wearing the shop demo in prep for a review.

    My understanding is that Australia was the first to get them in the world and stock is slowly rolling out worldwide.

    Reply
  34. Justin W

    Amazon tells me that they now expect mine to arrive on January 30!

    Reply
  35. Anonymous

    Got mine today directly from Garmin. Ordered it on October 8th. Trying it out in the morning.

    Reply
  36. Yippee!!I got mine today! Now to start playing with it! Thanks Ray for the great review…I’m sure your write up will be more helpful than the manuals!

    Reply
  37. steve

    Ray,

    I need your help. I have the Forerunner 910XT and the battery keep dying. It had worked fine, but then for many months it wasn’t used because I was sick and not allowed to exercise per doctor’s orders. It gets fully charged, but then dies out after 2-3 uses of about 45 minutes each (all on the treadmill) and when it gets turned off in between each use. I charge it up again, but it dies again after a similar few uses and having been turned off. I suspect a battery defect. Garmin wants to charge a fee to repair it. Any suggestions? Is there someone I can speak to at Garmin to get the fee waived if the battery is defective?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Unfortunately, there’s not too many ways around the fee to fix if it’s out of warranty. If it’s under a year from purchase, then much easier.

      Reply
    • steve replied

      But the watch was used infrequently. I paid $450+ for the watch and heart rate monitor, which is more than I ever paid for a watch (your review convinced me) and to have it break to quickly, and theb to have to pay even more money to have it repaired after so little use, is galling.

      Is it something I did? I’m new to this kind of battery as all my other watches had batteries that popped out. Is this typical? Is there no other way?

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, it’s not normal. In fact, I’ve yet to hear of that from anyone with the 910XT. Some older FR305′s from 7+ years ago, sure, but not he 910XT.

      Unfortunately, there’s not much else to do. The battery isn’t user-serviceable. I’d try again and perhaps a different support person will help differently.

      Reply
    • Steve replied

      Thanks for the further response. Given the apparent rarity of this problem to your knowledge and to Garmin (per my discussion with the tech rep), it is apparently a defective battery. I’m glad to report that Garmin today agreed to replace the watch with no fee but for my cost to mail it back to them (this is fine).

      The tech guessed that the problem may have been because the watch, with its lithium ion battery, hadn’t been used for months while I was sick, but wouldn’t that implicate many watches that may not get used, either prior to purchase, upon an injury or a long recovery period after a big race? This theory made no sense to me, but I’m passing it along. More importantly, I just want to make sure it wasn’t anything I did so I don’t have to go through this again.

      Reply

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