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Callaway upro mx update (May 16 2012):
And now, one last Callaway upro mx update for our readers.

The Callaway upro mx has officially been discontinued, ending its disastrous 16 month lifespan which included the initial launch, a litany of initial problems with both the device and uxplore portal, the (supposedly temporarily) recall of the device, a release of PC beta software in an attempt to fix issues, and as of today, the official scrapping of the device without ever being re-released. We can now say that this was the worst golf GPS launch GPS (actually probably the worst of any consumer tech device) we have ever seen.

The upro mx is now replaced by the Callaway upro mx+.

Callaway upro mx update (March 2012):
News at last! Callaway has finally released a update for the upro mx golf GPS device, available to registered upro mx (PC, not Mac…yet) users at the Callaway upro mx website.
Callaway claims this update should bring improved stability, including the former device freeze ups and shutdowns that plagued the device upon its original launch (see the Callaway upro mx release notes for a full list of improvements).

Here’s hoping for a release of the update for Mac users soon so we can begin testing. As for the timing for the re-release of the Callaway upro mx, we aren’t placing any bets, but the company has said that news is expected on this “shortly.”

Callaway upro mx update (January 2012):
We hoped to hear some news about the Callaway upro mx at the PGA Merchandise Show in January 2012, but no such luck. Stay tuned…

Callaway upro mx update (September 16, 2011):
I had a chance to speak with Callaway representatives last week to get the latest information on the Callaway upro mx golf GPS, a device that had one of the most challenging (I am phrasing more delicately than some of our readers) launches we’ve seen in a consumer device.

With a combination of the Callaway brand name, a new hardware and software technology platform, and an extremely aggressive price point, the Callaway upro mx became the most anticipated golf GPS device ever. Initial sales were extremely strong, and with over 50% of buyers being first-time golf GPS device owners, Callaway was growing the golf GPS category. Unfortunately for the company, there was an initial delay in release of the site used to manage the upro mx (uxplore), followed by a perfect storm of registration problems, software bugs and battery issues. Customer calls for assistance overwhelmed the Callaway technical support line, leading to hold times of over 1 hour and frustration grew among early adopters.

Callaway stepped forward and in mid-July 2011 provided 25 free ProMode courses (which offer full satellite views) to buyers as compensation due to the delays in launching the site, but problems continued. On August 2, 2011, Callaway issued a voluntary recall of the device, and made the decision to pull the device from sale both directly and through authorized retailers. While current owners have the option of a Callaway upro mx refund, to date the majority of upro mx users have elected to keep the device (the uxplore website and functionality of the device are not impacted by Callaway freezing sales).

With that history as background, we turn to the future direction of the Callaway upro mx. Callaway’s next steps in the process will be stepping back, getting the product and service right, and relaunching the product in the spring of 2012. During our conversation Callaway impressed upon us that they both remain 100% committed to the golf GPS device category, as well as to the satisfaction of upro mx owners.

Initial fixes to known problems will come this fall (along with small user interface improvements) when Callaway releases a free software update and battery retrofit. We will release a detailed review of the Callaway upro mx following our evaluation of this update. Callaway will be communicating with existing owners to let them know about these changes, so for those who have elected to keep the device, make sure that you have registered with your appropriate contact information to receive the update. The Company did make it clear that while the upxo mx refund program ends on September 30, 2011, the company will continue to make sure that customers are happy. After September, the device may still be covered under the upro mx warranty, and even if not, the company has stated that they “will continue to stand by” the device. In addition, Callaway technical support available will continue to be available by phone (we hope appropriately staffed to allow for more reasonable hold times), there is a upro mx support website available, along with the uxplore support community site that is accessible through the main upro mx support website (see “Ask a Question” on the right hand side of their support page).

Following this update, Callaway plans to release a larger software upgrade in the spring of 2012. This upgrade will include improvements to the software that enables the upro mx to sync with your computer (they feel strongly that having locally installed software is the best way to provide the ability to sync between device and computer), additional software and web functionality (such as the GAME tab on uxplore.com, which will allow players to one day track their scores and statistics online). We do wish Callaway only advertised currently available features (and remove the GEAR and GAME tabs), especially in light of the recent launch and their history with the original uPro (and the never-launched voice recognition feature), though Callaway did tell us that it isn’t a part of their philosophy to market features not available beyond the usual teases.

After the release of the software upgrade in the spring, Callaway will be relaunching the upro mx. The company hasn’t committed to any firm dates beyond the seasons noted above, and undoubtedly their cautious approach is the best to take. No additional specifics were provided around future pricing, though we have no reason to believe they would change the prior list pricing of $199 or additional one-time ProMode course fees.

As with many other consumers, we were disappointed with the launch, but as supporters of competition that in the end benefits consumers, we hope that Callaway gets itself back on firm ground starting with the software update this fall.

It’s going to be long road back to build back the trust of consumers, and a positive upro mx owner experience with the update in the fall will be critical. For those that think Callaway will walk away from the category (based on both the recent departure of the CEO and the upro mx launch), we can only repeat what they have told us: that they “absolutely are not going to walk away” from the device or category, and remain committed to being successful in the golf GPS device market.

As mentioned above, we will be releasing our detailed review as soon as possible following their fall update. Until then, if you have any questions or comments, please comment below.

Additional Callaway upro mx resources:
Email: upro_support@callawaygolf.com
Callaway upro mx product page
Callaway uxplore.com
Callaway upro mx FAQ