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CrunchPad tablet project self-destructs

updated 12:05 pm EST, Mon November 30, 2009

Division ends CrunchPad project

News site TechCrunch on Monday said that its CrunchPad tablet project has 'self destructed' due to a legal dispute. The touchscreen slate was to have been unveiled soon but is effectively being shut down as the actual developer, Fusion Garage, has claimed it will sell the device without further input from the co-developer and would only carry the CrunchPad name, using site founder Michael Arrington only as a product evangelist.

Arrington has rejected the option and pointed out that the decision, supposedly made under pressure from Fusion Garage's shareholders, amounts to intellectual property theft. TechCrunch had been jointly developing the product and still owns both part of the technology rights as well as the CrunchPad name. The site is filing lawsuits to prevent the sale without its involvement and refuses to accept any counter-offers, comparing it to a contractor betraying its client at the last minute.

"This is the equivalent of Foxconn, [which builds] the iPhone, notifiying Apple a couple of days before launch that they'd be moving ahead and selling the iPhone directly without any involvement from Apple," Arrington wrote.

The project was intended to prove that a web-only, touchscreen device could be made for $300 and was receiving help from multiple sources to reach that price target, including a "major multi-billion dollar retail partner" that would have sold it at cost, steep discounts from Intel for Atom processors, and ad sponsors that would subsidize the cost of the device. It would have carried a 12-inch capacitive touchscreen, run Linux and had just 4GB of storage onboard, instead depending entirely on sites like Hulu, YouTube and others for media and similar features; it could also have theoretically run Google's Chromium OS or even Windows 7.

Many had expected the CrunchPad to stand as an alternative to closed-source and likely more expensive alternatives expected next year that could include, among others, Apple's rumored tablet or a production version of the Microsoft Courier.





By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +4

    No......

    The project was intended to prove that a web-only, touchscreen device could be made for $300 and was receiving help from multiple sources to reach that price target, including a "major multi-billion dollar retail partner" that would have sold it at cost, steep discounts from Intel for Atom processors, and ad sponsors that would subsidize the cost of the device

    Sorry, guys, but you're not making it for $300. You're making it for more, than getting various people to shell out cash to reduce the 'final' price. But if you require deep discounts on parts and ad-sponsorship, you're only subsidizing a larger cost.

    It's like saying Apple has proven they can make a $200 iPhone. No they haven't. They've made a $500 iPhone which is sold for $200.

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    if it were open source ...

    if both the hardware and software are opensource, then ... how is it possible to steal it?

    Also ... if Apple is selling the iPod touch for $300, how can they sell a 12-inch tablet for $300 and make money?

  1. barryjaylevine

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2003

    0

    Subsidized? Sounds familiar

    Just like the iPhone and AT&T. In order for AT&T to make back the subsidy money they pay Apple, you are required to shell out $200 for the phone plus at least $85 per month for the next two years. Then you continue to pay $85/month for the privilege of using the device on the network.

    As the CrunchPad was storing almost nothing on-board and would require network access in order to download its content from various vendors, you can be sure this device would (will?) cost about $100/month in service fees.

    Yet another answer to a question no one has asked.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: If it were open source

    How does one 'open source' hardware? And where does it say it is?

    In fact, it says that arrington owns part of the tech rights to the device.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Re: Subsidized

    You wouldn't need a data plan. That's what wifi is for. The iPod touch goes for $300 without subsidy or a data plan. And they said the subsidy comes from other avenues (discounted costs, ad revenue, etc).

    you can be sure this device would (will?) cost about $100/month in service fees.

    Where the h*** are you getting this value from? Data plans on devices go for around $30. Stand-alone data plans go for $60 or $70 a month. Yet you've determined that, I guess because it has a big screen, they'll need to charge more per month?

    Yet another answer to a question no one has asked.
    Well, it isn't any more or less an answer to the unasked question than Apple's rumored iTablet. And yet people are salivating over the thought for some reason.

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