updated 01:15 pm EST, Mon December 7, 2009
Joojoo tablet designed only by Fusion Garage
As promised, Fusion Garage today responded to its legal battle with TechCrunch by formally announcing its results in the wake of the CrunchPad's "death." Now called the Joojoo based on an African term for magic, the device has the familiar 12-inch capacitive touchscreen and boots into its front end as little as 9 seconds. Its main menu has visual links to common websites like Hulu and Twitter and is now known to support the offline versions of some apps, like Gmail.
The tablet is already known to be based on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom, 4GB of permanent storage and Wi-Fi for networking. It's considered a better alternative than netbooks as it's both extremely thin and weighs 2.4 pounds; battery life is rated at about 5 hours. Future versions are also likely to have 3G.
Pre-orders start on Friday the 11th and will price the tablet at $499 and ship its first units in 8 to 11 weeks. Fusion Garage chief Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan has described TechCrunch head Michael Arrington's goal of a $200 device as "unrealistic."
In a press event, Rathakrishnan flatly rejected all of Arrington's claims to ownership. He asserted that Fusion Garage owns all the intellectual property and developed all the hardware and software; he went so far as to cite an April 10th TechCrunch post that gave "all credit" to Fusion Garage for developing the product. That TechCrunch owns any IP is "simply ludicrous," according to the executive.
He added that there aren't any contracts between the two companies and that there hasn't been any notice of a lawsuit. In justifying the last-minute split from TechCrunch, he accused Arrington of not actually helping the project beyond a certain point and of providing limited marketing beyond the blog, which wasn't considered enough.
"Pictures of a birthday cake do not mean a product is complete," Rathakrishnan said.