The Tablet Wars emerged in the last couple of months - in advance of any product being available in the market. On Saturday, April 3, Apple's iPads literally flew off the physical and virtual shelves (at last count 700,000 were sold). Such was not the case for a would-be contender. JooJoo garnered only 90 pre-orders, 15 of which ended up being cancellations. What went wrong? For one - if you don't have brand recognition, you might want to rethink going up against one of most endeared brand names in technology.
Derogatorily referred to as 'vaporware' by some, JooJoo's development company Fusion Garage didn't start off that way. Originally hyping their device to the press, they were able to make a pre-emptive strike, beating Apple's iPad announcement by more than a month.
Since that splash of publicity, however, updates regarding the JooJoo tablet has been scarce. Partially due to the legal juggernaut that eventually ensued between Fusion Garage's chief executive Chandra Rathakrishnan and Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. What started out as positive spin turned very dark in a short period of time.
Initially conceived as the "Crunchpad" due to the burgeoning partnership between the companies, Michael Arrington invested in Fusion Garage and provided his company's expertise to assist in the hardware and software development of the tablet device.
When the deal went sour between the two entities, TechCrunch filed a suit accusing Fusion Garage of false advertising, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of business deals, fraud, deceit and unlawful business practices. Not exactly the type of talk that helps launch a new product.
In a December 11 blog positing, Arrington wrote, "This was the first time I’ve ever filed a lawsuit, and it was certainly not the way I thought the whole CrunchPad project would end when I first wrote about the idea in July 2008."
TechCrunch vs Fusion Garage
He goes on further to counter the criticism that TechCrunch doesn't have the right to take ownership of this type of product: "A few people have suggested that we can’t own any IP in the CrunchPad because we are just a blog. That’s not correct. The entire blueprint of the device was created by me."
If the 90 pre-orders were a harbinger of things to come, at this rate, the JooJoo Tablet will be lucky to become a collector’s item on eBay. And according to this Gizmodo's spec chart, while JooJoo features the largest screen at 12 inches, it is the heaviest tablet on the market at 2.4 pounds and is the only device of this type that doesn't have the capability to read eBooks.
Gizmodo's Guide To Tablets
The African word "jujou," means magical device, According to its Web site hype, "JooJoo was conceived as device that defies categorization - and was built from the ground up to bring users into a magical, yet real world where everything on the Internet is just a single touch away."
Unfortunately, for JooJoo, their magical powers don't have the ability to conjure up a few more orders.