updated 10:45 pm EST, Sun November 14, 2010
Toshiba Folio 100 pulled from UK sales after bugs
Toshiba's entry into Android tablets hit a major setback today as UK retailers have stopped sales of the Folio 100. A set of leaks of company memos from Dixons chain stores Currys and PC World have shown that both are freezing sales after a "high return rate" for multiple issues. Shops have pulled it off their websites and deliberately boosted the price to £999 ($1,613) to deter customers from asking about a sale.
Among the issues reported at MoDaCo's forums have been the absence of Android Market and Flash support despite the use of Android 2.2, random wakeups from standby and a lack of responsiveness. Some owners have also commented on a poor-quality display and low build quality with a relatively fragile plastic shell compared to the tighter build of the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the aluminum iPad. Flash should be available on Monday, but most workarounds have so far involved rooting and installing custom firmware.
Toshiba hasn't commented on the halted sales, and its lack of communication has been cited by some forum goers as a reason for returning the Folio 100.
In addition to affecting Toshiba, the abortive launch could spell trouble for the early days of Android tablets. The Galaxy Tab has had modest success in its earliest days but is so far the only device with a concerted, international launch and generally favorable reviews. Other devices have either faced troubles like Toshiba's or, more commonly, have been sold through relatively niche channels such as Borders' sales of Velocity Micro's Cruz Reader and Cruz Tablet. Google's second wave is most likely to hit in early 2011 with models LG and Motorola among those expected to arrive. Lukewarm reception and quality issues in the inital batch of Android slates has helped give 95 percent of the tablet space to iPads so far in 2010.