TechCrunch Kills Off “CrunchPad” Tablet Project….Over Supplier Problems?Nov 30th, 2009 | By James Lewin | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players
If you’ve been hoping for a touchscreen Internet tablet, it looks like you’re going to have to keep waiting.
TechCrunch today announced that they were sending their much-hyped CrunchPad design to the deadpool.
According to TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington:
The CEO of our partner on the project, Chandra Rathakrishnan, sent me an email with the subject â€œno good news.â€
Bizarrely, we were being notified that we were no longer involved with the project. Our project.
Chandra said that based on pressure from his shareholders he had decided to move forward and sell the device directly through Fusion Garage, without our involvement.
This is the equivalent of Foxconn, who build the iPhone, notifying Apple a couple of days before launch that theyâ€™d be moving ahead and selling the iPhone directly without any involvement from Apple.
Except that Apple wouldn’t wait to the day a product was to be launched to hammer out their legal agreements. And if Apple had problems with a supplier, it would find a new one.
Did Anyone Want A $600 CrunchPad Tablet?
While TechCrunch says they’re deadpooling the CrunchPad over partner/supplier problems, you have to wonder if there would be any market for it, if they could get it built.
TechCrunch puts their costs at “300ish”. Realistically, the CrunchPad would have had to have sold for $500-600 for it to be viable.
The CrunchPad had very limited capabilities, though – much more limited than already-available netbooks. It’s hard to imagine the target market for a device like this – tech geeks – paying that much of a premium to get so much less.
There’s a real need for a portable touchscreen tablet computer that offers more capabilities that the Kindle and other ereaders. There’s a need for a touchscreen tablet that’s designed with the future in mind – the Internet, rather than the past – books.
Someone will find that sweet spot in the near future – but it’s not coming in the form of a CrunchPad and it’s not going to be cheap.
Update: Fake Steve Jobs offers his take on the announcement, Arrington boned by this extremely handsome man-weasel:
Little bit of advice for you, Mike. You say youâ€™re confused because the folks at Fusion Garage wonâ€™t return your calls and email? And now, youâ€™re just mostly feeling all sad about the whole thing? Bitch, please. Get some guys, get in your fucking cars, and drive over there and beat some asses with baseball bats. Do you not understand this? And please donâ€™t tell me you donâ€™t have the stomach for physical violence, because if thatâ€™s the case, what the hell were you doing trying to get into the hardware business in the first place?
This isnâ€™t blogging, where you pussies have your little bitch fights over someone reprinting your stuff and not giving you enough credit for the scoop. Youâ€™re not having a little Twitter fight with Kara Swisher. Good God, man, This is hardware.