No doubt. When producing things (and I work for a company that produces things), in our NPI (New Product Introduction) we always have at least 2 manufacturing assisted builds, where we work with the manufacturer to assemble products and setup the line while development is ongoing. This gets the line setup, and also gives us feedback on features/changes that can be made to the product to make manufacturing easier.
After that, we normally have a pilot build (what @dan is most likely doing now), where a limited number of units is built (few dozen), to ensure that the line is setup and can handle the scale it was designed for, and also to get feedback from a limited set of customers to get confidence that what we put out is bug free and free of defects .
In my business to ship a pilot unit you have to have all your certifications in place, but that isn’t the case for most.
Deep down I knew when the pre-release was announced that there would be no way to get feedback in a few weeks and start shipping , and I wish @dan would have been less optimistic with where things really were - would have minimized the impact that the late announcement obviously had.
It is a sound strategy that makes sense, but it is not the quickest to ship. It would have been nice if that had been outlined earlier, so that people can gauge progres by where things are. I hope that @dan will take the feedback a lot of us have posted on the forum, and change some of the communication strategies to include most substantive information, coming out in a more timely fashion.