What happened to the JooJoo tablet?

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The story of the JooJoo tablet stands out in the tablet world as being the least professional product development in history (read the full story on Wikipedia). It started back in 2008 when Michael Arrington, founder of TechChrunch, decided to go into the tablet business. This was of course two full years before the tablets we know today started popping up, and back then a web tablet was quite revolutionary. The price goal was $200, but this was raised several times during the development. The CrunchPad as it was called was in development for 1.5 years before finally being put up for preorder, and by then it was called the JooJoo tablet. The company that had partnered up with Arrington decided they wanted to release the tablet on their own, kicked him off the project, and changed the name. Quite the soap opera ensured for a couple of months, and then, nothing.

The JooJoo never became a success. If it was bad PR from “stealing” the project, the fact the thing was a huge buggy PC or the fact that the iPad was announced very shortly after its release is unclear, but likely a combination of all three. Only 90 preorders were made for the $499 tablet, and manufacturing delays meant it didn’t ship until March 2010. Poetic justice you might say, but not enough to make the company (Fusion Garage) give up. They promised to return with tablets based on more tradition OSes, and by their own estimate they would unveil these in the first half of 2011. That deadline expires in 9 days, no blog post has been made by JooJoo since last year, and I think it’s safe to assume we’ve heard the last from this company.

I guess that what we can take from the story of the JooJoo is that no consumer electronics device can really succeed when coming from a small company. They don’t have the distribution channels, design experience, programming team or technical know-how to compete in such a big market. The Notion Ink Adam is another example, as it too has been cursed with manufacturing issues, delays and various other issues. Personally though, I won’t be mourning the loss of the JooJoo.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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