Now that Michael Arrington has unleashed the legal dogs on Fusion Garage, I think that it's fair to assume that the CrunchPad is, at least for the foreseeable future, dead. But was it a viable idea in the first place? Was it a solution looking for a problem, or was it a product that would have revolutionized the way we interact with the web?
The CrunchPad was a touchscreen tablet that allowed users to browser the web. Yep, that's all it did. A bit like a TV for the web. The original goal was that this device would retail for around $200, but over time the price crept up. The disputed JooJoo which Fusion Garage plan on selling is a whopping $499.
Now, I don't know about you, but the idea of paying $200 for what is essentially a "web TV" is just plain crazy. I have plenty of devices that'll access the web already, and so the last thing I want is a physical web browser that I have to carry about and keep charged up.
Personally, I don't think the CrunchPad idea ever really had legs. I think that the concept was interesting but beyond that the market for it had to be tiny. TechCrunch did a good job of creating a lot of fervor around the idea by making it a "community" thing. Judging by the comments so far on TechCrunch, the vaporware gadget has a lot of fanboys.
Note: Just to show you the level of hype and fervor I'm talking about, check out Robert Scoble's comment:
"I never would have ... considered buying a Crunchpad if a major tech blog hadn’t been involved."
Maybe I need to introduce my own personal line of hardware ...
I think it's a shame in some ways that the project imploded because it would have been interesting to see what kind of reception it would have received. That said, I have little doubt that the CrunchPad never really stood a chance.
So, how much would you pay for a CrunchPad/JooJoo or whatever? Do you think the idea had legs or was it just mostly fantasy?