Apparently the iPad hasn’t quite killed off the idea that a tablet need only run a web browser. Both priced at $499, Fusion Garage CEO mentioned in an interview with SGEntrepreneurs that preorders for the JooJoo increased following the announcement of the iPad. Prior to the iPad event last Wednesday, Google Chrome’s designer posted mockups of a Chrome OS tablet. Like Fusion Garage, they see the tablet centered around the internet browser. Do consumers want a web-only device?
When Google announced Chrome OS towards the end of last year, they targeted the software for netbook-like hardware that’s meant to serve as a secondary device. Google is requesting that manufacturing partners build hardware atop the low-power ARM architecture, the same route Apple’s taking with their custom A4 chip. No specific announcements were made that any particular hardware manufacturer was on board but if Android adoption is any indicator, Chrome OS could soon make its way to plenty of netbooks and tablets alike.
Upon Chrome OS’s announcement, many pitted Google’s new netbook OS against the lighter versions of Microsoft’s Windows 7 that’s widely installed on many netbooks today. With these recent tablet mockups that have made their rounds, its seems Google may be competing with more than just Microsoft. Apple’s iPad and Fusion Garage’s JooJoo may find themselves with some unexpected, presumably cheaper competition.
One question remains: Will Chrome OS support Adobe Flash? Be sure to check out the rest of the Chrome Tablet concept shots at the Chromium Project. How soon will we see Google devices hitting the market? Will they eat the JooJoo and iPad alive? Only time will tell. Thoughts?