Respectfully, that may be the “most difficult” part, but it is still fairly trivial to have X slots then initially send out X-5% emails and await confirmations, including setting a flag that that account has been notified Y times on A/B/C/etc dates.
This allows you to select a number for the next batch have a buffer and continue on and scales pretty much indefinitely. Also this should have been a known requirement for well over a year and should be something that was developed and tested quite a while ago.
I understand that creating this phone is a huge undertaking; but I also understand that this is not a software or hardware development task and is rather something that should have already mostly existed for their other Librem products and only needed slightly modified to accomplish this task with those modifications happening by a team not doing any of the software or hardware development.
I mean all of this with the utmost respect. This is one piece where Purism should have already had all the pieces in line and in place long ago as there would be no harm in this being completed before the phone was then as soon as making the announcement that emails were going out soon, this could have been utilized within 24 hours.
Also getting the responses immediately after announcing emails were going out would not have been a problem with starting shipping on the 24th, they would have responses to work with instead of the current speculation that they haven’t even finalized the email/form yet.
If this was in fact already done, someone taking a moment to post a screenshot of the email/form in the forum would do quite a bit to silence this aspect of speculation (even if those emails hadn’t gone out yet).
This approach does also allow for accurate tracking of actual selections not just preferences which is more convenient for the packaging/shipping team(s).