Zombie Alert: CrunchPad rises from grave

Summary:Last week, Mike Arrington announced the death of CrunchPad, his mythical $250 tablet for surfing the Web. This week, Arrington's former partner in the project, Fusion Garage, announced it will sell the device starting this Friday for $499, calling the product "JooJoo.

Last week, Mike Arrington announced the death of CrunchPad, his mythical $250 tablet for surfing the Web. This week, Arrington's former partner in the project, Fusion Garage, announced it will sell the device starting this Friday for $499, calling the product "JooJoo.". I agree with Sam Diaz that it is doomed, but believe JooJoo is worse than doomed, it is poised to pollute the tablet waters due to all three of the T's Sam identified, and more.

JooJoo carries the bad ju ju of litigation, over-promising and a high price compared to what was promised. The product name suggests it's all illusion. It's short history already sounds like the case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, the Dickensian lawsuit that destroyed everyone it touched. There's not much to like in an otherwise appealing form factor.

Arrington will not let this device go to market without a sewer's worth of litigation to choke the channel (he promised this in his posting about the death of CrunchPad). The device is going on sale Friday, but has a ship date of "eight to ten weeks," according to various reports, which suggests it isn't really real yet—forget "ready for Christmas," this looks likely to remain vapor.

Finally, the price: A device with a potentially rocky legal footing that sells for twice what it was promised to by Arrington's CrunchPad marketing (it wasn't reporting, but marketing—something TechCrunch readers need to keep firmly in mind whenever they read the site). Many sites are reporting CrunchPad was supposed to be a $300 device, but one of Arrington's original "features" of his tablet was that it would cost $250. Pricing differences are probably the bone of contention between the two parties that will be blamed for the break-up in the pending lawsuits.

JooJoo comes to market at almost the reported price of a low-end Apple tablet, but because it has only browser-based access to the Web, will not offer the kind of robust application platform that Apple's tablet will, or any Windows tablet can today... or any Droid OS device. The blush is off this rose, if it can even bloom through the legal morass in which it will be engulfed, before it comes to market.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

About

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran journalist, media executive and entrepreneur. He was editor of the ground-breaking Digital Media newsletter in the 1990s and a frequent contributor to ZDNet over the years. He led development of the first Web audio/video news network at ON24, sat on the board of Electric Classifieds Inc. and Match.com, and wor... Full Bio

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