So-called CrunchPad tablet project goes kaput

Cyber Monday Sale over 400  deals“Our plan was to debut the CrunchPad on stage at the Real-Time Crunchup event on November 20, a little over a week ago. We even hoped to have devices hacked together with Google Chrome OS and Windows 7 to show people that you could hack this thing to run just about anything you want. We’d put 1,000 of the devices on pre-sale and take orders immediately. Larger scale production would begin early in 2010,” Michael Arrington “reports” for TechCrunch. “And then the entire project self destructed over nothing more than greed, jealousy and miscommunication.”

“On November 17, our deadline date for greenlighting the debut three days later, the CEO of our partner on the project, Chandra Rathakrishnan, sent me an email with the subject ‘no good news.’ Yuck, I thought. Another delay, probably with the screen that had been giving us so much trouble – capacitive touch at 12 inches isn’t trivial. And sure enough, the email started off with ‘no good news to update. updated hardware is still on its way , so that’s a timing issue. friday will be a challenge now,'” Arrington “reports.”

“But the email went on. 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,” Arrington states. “Err, what? This is the equivalent of Foxconn, who build 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.”

“Chandra also forwarded an internal email from one of his shareholders. My favorite part of the email: ‘We still acknowledge that Arrington and TechCrunch bring some value to your business endeavor…If he agrees to our terms, we would have Arrington assume the role of visionary/evangelist/marketing head and Fusion Garage would acquire the rights to use the Crunchpad brand and name. Personally, I don’t think the name is all that important but you seem to be somewhat attached to the name,'” Arrington states. “And with that, the entire project self destructed.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Color us wholly unsurprised.

That TechCrunch tablet thing (CrunchPad) is just plain weird (unless it’s a publicity stunt, in which case it’s genius). If it’s real, the weirdness lies not the actual tablet so much (which, last we heard, sounds too heavy, among other things, to fly), but the maker(s). We’re not sure the comfort level is there for prospective buyers. We’d launch our own tablet, but, alas, we’re cursed with too much sense. – MacDailyNews Take, August 18, 2009


  1. Arrington = arrogant asshat. Maybe now this self-important frigtard blogger will understand that technology is not a child’s game. And perhaps he will begin t appreciate what Apple has accomplished. Being the wanna-be that he is, perhaps he’d like to crash a White House dinner…

  2. Typical, those who can, do.
    Those who can’t, should stick to writing about it.

    “I’m just sad, I don’t know squat about manufacturing, law, business, or anything else. I just kinda thought that things would work out…”

    Cccc can’t we all just get along? Next I’m going to invent a hand cranked computer for $100.00 and it will change the world – until reality sets in.

  3. MacDailyNews can be such dicks. Techcrunch seem like cool people with a fun project. I thought it would be nice to see it in the market. I guess Techcrunch is taking traffic away from all the pop-ups on this site… I hate people who are happy when others fail.

  4. This thing always seemed to be “pie-in-the-sky” but the email–if true–is truly bizarre. There are probably about a dozen other ways Fusion Garage could have hijacked the product which would have been a lot stealthier and avoided many legal problems.

    The method they chose seems to be begging for a court battle.

  5. ‘Cool people with fun projects’ usually turn out to be tits on an ego trip. No exemption here then because to make cool things actually work it helps to have some business acumen too, or at least legal claim over what you are doing.

  6. Just read the article. I don’t know why everyone’s coming down on them. It seems to me that they were only trying to recreate the scenario that Jobs and Woz originated all those years ago – a few guys with stars in their eyes who wanted to give people something good.

    The product itself looked fine and we should be sad it won’t see the light of day even if was only to keep Apple on their toes and provide decent competition which, lets face it, they’re never going to get from the likes of MS and Dell.

  7. Guess Errington never thought he’d be zuckered. Hope he’s got a work estimate/contract in writing, owns the legal name to CrunchPad, patented some features, or have open sourced/licensed the whole project to begin with.

  8. These guys are idiots.

    If their manufacturing partner could just “walk off” with the whole project, what does that say about the product they’ve designed? That they didn’t bring anything to it themselves. That they just cobbled together a bunch of off the shelf hardware and software.

    TechCrunch obviously doesn’t “own” any of it.

    FoxConn can’t sell iPhones because the iPhone is more than a collection of off the shelf parts. The manufacturing partner doesn’t own any of the intellectual property. Apple created and owns the OS, iTunes and the pre-installed Apps. They own the logic board design, the industrial design, the custom chip designs. They have patents on key technologies that go into the product. Apple has brought a lot of value to the equation.

  9. If building a popular, working gadget was that easy, the other Michael (Dell) would be selling one by now. There is a reason why Apple and Google are so secretive about their clandestine plans and own such sharp legal teams. Arrington should’ve stick with people who can help him honestly, like the Open Moko project.

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