Fusion Garage, the company behind the JooJoo tablet, has been embroiled in controversies ever since it had its first falling out with Michael Arrington, who was supposedly a partner in the Crunchpad project, which was later renamed to JooJoo. The JooJoo tablet bombed as it launched after the Apple iPad, which quickly took over the entire tablet market.
After that, Fusion Garage went underground and resurfaced in August 2011 with its new offerings – the Grid 10 tablet and the Grid 4 smartphone. However, it seems like even those new products weren’t able to save Fusion Garage. According to a new report by Business Insider, Fusion Garage is officially done, and is liquidating its assets to pay off its creditors. It owes a total of $40 million to its creditors, which it won’t be able to pay off completely.
While bankruptcy is common in startups, that’s not all. An employee of Fusion Garage tweeted this:
“I’m amazed about how badly a company can screw up, I can’t imagine that many people will be left once the new company is formed.”
Apparently, Fusion Garage is trying to start a new company with its old employees, enabling it to avoid paying off its complete debt as the assets of the old company are hardly worth $40 million.
If you had pre-ordered the Grid 10 or Grid 4 from Fusion Garage, you will probably not be getting your money back.
It seems that Fusion Garage’s law firm and PR firm saw it coming. Both stopped working with Fusion Garage in late-2011, just around the time they started accepting pre-orders for the Grid 10 and Grid 4 devices.
Back on August 4th, I wrote an article called “TabCo Creating a Lot of Buzz! Who Are They?“. The mysterious TabCo, which vowed to “reinvigorate” the tablet market, turns out to be Fusion Garage. That’s right, you’ve heard that name before. Can you say “Joo Joo” Tablet? The epic failure I am sure Fusion Garage would love to forget. Today they revealed the Grid 10, Grid 4, and the GridOS.
The Grid 10 is all about “eye candy” and it is obvious the designers wanted to create a visual experience. It boasts a 10.1″ screen with 1366 x 768 pixels. Designed to be a more “natural” navigation, the Grid 10 is completely gesture based and button free. One unique feature this tablet brings is the “wheel-based” interaction. Basically, you tap the screen with your finger and it brings up a wheel with context sensitive spokes surrounding it. Your finger turns the wheel to reveal more menu items. You tap on the menu item to activate it.
Below you will see the contacts. It is certainly not the typical address book one may be used to. It acts as sort of a hub for all things related to that contact. For instance, you not only get their phone number but you can also see their Tweets.
Some other technical aspects of note is that it packs a Nvidia Tegra II 1.2Ghz Dual Core processor, 512MB RAM, and 16GB of storage. It runs on the GridOS. It is Wi-Fi and 3G capable. It has a front facing camera that will work with its video calling feature that boasts one to one, and one to many, video calls. It also allows for HDMI connectivity. Currently the tablet is only available in the U.S. It retails for $499 for wi-fi only and $599 for 3G.
The Grid 4 was an unexpected surprise from today’s announcement. It is a 4″ phone with 800 x 480 resolution. It also runs the Grid OS. It has a whopping 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. It also has a front facing camera. It has a 4 points capacitive TFT touch screen. It comes with an impressive 16GB of storage.
Powering the whole thing is a new GridOS. It is built on the Android kernel so it will run Android Apps like “Angry Birds”! They claim to have rethought every process of the way a user interacts with the interface.
There was definitely a lot of pomp and circumstance when it came to marketing this new tablet. Fusion Garage has a history of epic failures however, it seems like they have done a lot of homework in the design of this new tablet. Will it “reinvigorate” the market? I doubt it. I do believe that it is a tablet worth looking at. Not to mention the Grid 4 phone which, I believe may end up being the better product before this is all said and done. Good luck Fusion Garage! I hope this goes better for you than JooJoo.
Fusion Garage, the company behind the controversial JooJoo tablet, or should I say the CrunchPad, is back with another tablet. The guys at Liliputing discovered a new listing for a device on the FCC website, by Fusion Garage. From the name and the design, it seems to be a 10 inch tablet. No other details are known yet, except that it might be codenamed the Grid 10.
The CrunchPad was Michael Arrington’s pet project, and seemed quite promising when it was first announced. Of course, the iPad hadn’t been launched then, so it had a good chance of being one of the very first tablets. However, things went bad between Techcrunch and Fusion Garage, the company which was developing the CrunchPad, and after some very public mudslinging, they broke up.
Soon after that, Fusion Garage launched the JooJoo tablet. But by then, Apple had already announced the iPad, and we all know what happened next. The iPad created the entire tablet market, and continues to dominate it even now. The JooJoo, which was a tablet version of what we now know as Google’s Chromebook, with just a browser, died a silent death.
Rumors suggest that Android Honeycomb may power the new tablet by Fusion Garage. If that is true, I am willing to wager that it will be a huge failure again. If the Grid 10 is just another Android Honeycomb tablet, there is no plausible way in which Fusion Garage can beat biggies like Samsung, HTC or Motorola.
For now, let’s wait and watch.