updated 07:40 pm EST, Sat December 17, 2011
Fusion Garage site, social go offline
Fusion Garage may have quietly burned out of existence. Along with letting its FusionGarage.com and TheJooJoo.com web domains expire, users are reporting both in forums and on Facebook that the company has stopped shipping orders and at least sometimes hasn't provided refunds. Its social team stopped using Facebook in October and last posted on Twitter December 9.
The company's American PR agency, McGrath Power, informed The Verge Saturday that "none" of its efforts to get in touch had worked for weeks. The agency was stopping representation of Fusion Garage as of Sunday, according to an official statement.
While Fusion Garage has had a rebirth before, going under the fake TabCo name until it unveiled the Grid 10 and Grid 4 in August, the under-the-radar move suggests that the shut down this time may be permanent. The Singapore-based firm has regularly had trouble selling tablets and mostly launched the Grid series on fresh funding. If so, it would represent another casualty of competition against the iPad in the tablet space in 2011 that has at least temporarily claimed HP.
Signs of trouble might have emerged in September, with a rapid price cut to $299 happening just weeks after the launch.
The original Fusion Garage tablet, the JooJoo, was born out of controversy and faced a tough path from the start. It was originally supposed to be the CrunchPad, the concept for a $200 web-only tablet originally devised by TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington. At the last minute, Fusion Garage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan effectively hijacked the project, citing investor support that cut Arrington out of the final launch and the profits of a project he co-developed.
No word has been given of where Rathakrishnan might be, nor what the state of the resulting lawsuit might be.