Fusion Garage’s Chandrasekar “Chandra” Rathakrishnan spoke in a press conference today about recent rumors surrounding the “CrunchPad” tablet device. His speech provided some excellent insight into the actual ownership of the tablet, while pulling a 180 degree view based on rumors currently provided by TechCrunch.
Rathakrishnan explained that Fusion Garage had solely developed the products OS without a single line of code being provided by TechCrunch, while also hiring their own employees to develop the products hardware and ultimately finish the complete product. As he put it “Fusion Garage is the actual only doer in this story.”
He also went on to state that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington had started CrunchPad IP with the goal of acquiring Fusion Garage via a majority ownership in the company, a promise that never occurred at any point. Instead Chandra hinted that Arrington’s over zealous attitude may have actually hurt the final product, stating “publishing pictures of an incomplete and unfunded product on a blog was not going to meet terms of future success.”
Further, Arrington, he said, had promised to find investors for the device and introduce Fusion Garage to the proper channels needed to develop and distribute the units. Instead Fusion Garage ended up having to find their own OEM and secure financing outside of Michael Arrington’s assistance. Currently Fusion Garage has arranged $3 million in funding since 2008, with their newest round to be announced shortly.
Rathakrishnan also repeatedly defended the companies prior statements that no contracts were put into place over ownership of the device and that no verbal agreement had given the “assumption” of ownership in any way.
He further went on to show off a video demo of the device which offers a 12.1 inch capacitive touchscreen and boots in only 9 seconds into an in-browser OS. Fusion Garage has also renamed the device JooJoo, after the African word for “Magic” and have revealed that the device will work “offline” while operating via cloud computing and offering full HD output capabilities. It will also operate for 5 hours online without a single charge.
Pre-Orders will begin for the Fusion Garage JooJoo on Friday December 11th for $499. Unfortunately that pricing isn’t really in line with Arrington’s $200 price tag which Chandar called “ridiculous” considering the pricing found on iPhone and other “tablet type” devices with much smaller displays.
Given this recent round of information it should be interesting to see how TechCrunch and more specifically Michael Arrington decide to fire back, from my point of view Fusion Garage should have an Epic Win on their hands.
Important Note: The Green Hue on the devices display was caused by the camera shooting the web conference not by the device.