CrunchPad Wars: the JooJoo Strikes Back

The dead simple JooJoo tablet

The dead simple JooJoo tablet

In what is quickly becoming a technological online soap opera, Fusion Garage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan just finished an online vidcast where he responded to Michael Arrington’s “Death of the CrunchPad” post and showed off the tablet-formerly-known-as-CrunchPad — the JooJoo.

To start, Chandra quickly refuted claims made by Arrington that TechCrunch had any legal claim to the CrunchPad device. In fact, there’s no contracts whatsoever between Fusion Garage and Arrington’s company. The relationship seems to have hinged on a promise by Arrington to market the tablet and get investors for the project — a promise that expired on February of 2009 without satisfaction. According to Chandra, that led Fusion Garage to seek an alternate method of release for the now renamed JooJoo.

While we at BTR showed a weariness to believe what notorious internet boaster Arrington claimed in his post last week, we are more inclined to accept Fusion Garage’s side of the story for one simple fact — not one lawsuit has yet to be filed against Fusion Garage by TechCrunch. Considering Michael Arrington’s former vocation and promise that “it’s legally impossible for them to simply build and sell the device without our agreement,” chances are if there were any truth to his claims they would have been filed by now. Remember, this is something that Arrington knew about since November 17th — plenty of time to simply copy legal documents (if they exist) and shoot them off to your lawyer to file a lawsuit. Regardless, the only change to the project seems to be a simple name change — from the CrunchPad to the JooJoo.

Fusion Garage decided to name the tablet JooJoo as “this device delivers magic.” While we’re pretty sure there’s no wizard included in purchase, we get the idea. The JooJoo will be able to boot in nine seconds and bypasses a traditional OS to power up immediately in browser mode. From there you can connect to the internet via it’s embedded WiFi and use it’s 12.1-inch capacitive touchscreen to surf around. The battery charge is said to last five hours and it can render and run HD video. While the JooJoo only has a 4GB SSD it will utilize a cloud computing concept where most apps and programs exist on a server accessed through the internet. This keeps the JooJoo’s considerably low hardware processing ability focused on performance instead of all that hard math. The limiting factor will be a user’s internet connection which will dictate how fast programs can relay information from the server to the device.

Fusion Garage will begin selling the JooJoo this Friday (December 11th) at www.TheJooJoo.com. Still, with the feud between TechCrunch and Fusion Garage still going full steam, it’s unlikely that the JooJoo will find a mass market appeal. Aside from the much higher $499 price tag, many people excited about the CrunchPad have been turned off to the device by the recent series of events. It’s clear that no matter who you believe, the success of the CrunchPad/JooJoo has been torpedoed by hot heads and hurt feelings more than “greed, jealousy and miscommunication.”

We doubt this will be the final movie in the saga either. Grab your popcorn and stay tuned for CrunchPad Wars: The Fusion Garage Menace followed shortly by The Tablet Wars. It ought to be a doozy!

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