Crunchpad fans were stunned on Monday to hear the news that the ChrunchPad tablet computer has officially died. Michael Arrington, the founder of the blog site Techcrunch, announced the end today of the CrunchPad bumpy saga. Strangely, just a few days before the CrunchPad was to make its long awaited debut, the announcement came out that legal issues have killed the CrunchPad.
The CrunchPad was announced just about a year ago by Arrington as a “dead, simple web tablet”. The CrunchPad was marketed as a cheap and very simple Web-browsing device only with a 12-inch touch screen. CrunchPad was going to be a small device priced in the sub-$300 range and would be able to send simple email and allow for Web-browsing on your couch or any other comfortable spot.
The CrunchPad had a prototype video that was released and that was enough for Popular Mechanics to name it one of the “most brilliant” products in 2009. CrunchPad wasn’t even a real product yet, just an idea on a video, and it was winning awards.
But today CrunchPad emotions are running high across the Internet as soon as the news was announced that the CrunchPad was not to be after all. The official statement by Arrington read: “Bizarrely, we were being notified that we were no longer involved with the project. [Fusion Garage CEO] Chandra [Rathakrishnan] 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.”
There is currently lots of talk of lawsuits and legal-ease floating through the blogosphere today when it comes to the CrunchPad demise. But you don’t have to look too far to quickly realize there was a ton of skepticism about the CrunchPad for some time. With the announcement of a tablet device from the gargantuan market-leader Apple, that put the viability of the CrunchPad in question.
Then there was the fact that Arrington, normally fairly vocal, had been very quiet since the summer about the CrunchPad. There was no indication from Arrington, TechCrunch or anywhere else that the CrunchPad may not come to fruition. There was some talk that the costs of the device may not lend it be manufactured and sold for the under $300 price tag that was previously stated.
In our world of ever decreasing prices on simple laptop computers I personally can’t imagine spending $300 on a Web-only device. I am totally Web-addicted and love to surf while sitting on my couch with my laptop. I like knowing that I have a full size keyboard so that I can post comments and send easy or complex emails as the mood strikes. I do not need a dumbed-down version of a laptop to surf the Web. With the economy as tight as it is and with disposable income fairly limited it just doesn’t seem like the never-to-be CrumchPad would have been a good buy anyway.