Perhaps it is a bold statement, and it may even see a bit premature seeing as Fusion Garage just retooled the operating system, but it seems fairly obvious that the JooJoo has no chance of succeeding.
So, why do I feel this way? It’s a multi-faceted answer, but it pretty much all comes back to two things: Fusion Garage themselves, and the fact they aren’t Apple.
When the JooJoo started life it was supposed to be a joint venture between technology blog TechCrunch and Fusion Garage, and be released under the name CrunchPad. After a lot of back-and-forth, and potential legal issues, it seems TechCrunch is no longer involved, but that is for a court to have the final say on at some point.
And therein lays part of the problem. There is a question that hangs over the JooJoo, no matter how good the device may be, you have to wonder if you will ever get the device if you pre-order, and even if they do deliver, will the company be able to stay in business if the court ruling goes against it? Do you really want to invest $499 in a device to have the company go belly-up in six months in a court ruling, leaving you with a device that will never be updated again, and potentially have no one to service it? There is every chance Fusion Garage may also win the case, but do you have that kind of money to gamble with?
Then there is the case of the fact that, well, to be blunt, the JooJoo isn’t the iPad. By no means are we trying to say that Apple is the be-all-end-all of tablet devices, but if you had to buy a tablet today, and with both the iPad and the JooJoo being priced at $499, which one are you more likely to buy? A device that you have no personal knowledge of how it works, or one that, even if you haven’t touched an iPad per se, you have a general idea of how the operating system functions?
None of this is to say that I am against the JooJoo due to who made it, but I think there is a point when you are spending around $500 that you have to let practicalities kick in. There is a certain amount of gambling involved with this particular product, and with any big gadget from an unproven electronics company.
And this is also certainly not an Apple bias (i.e. I do not have an iPad on pre-order), it is just the easiest example. There are a ton of tablets coming out in the near future from companies with proven track records of support, at lower price points and so on. It is most assuredly a buyer’s market on the tablet front right now because so many companies are going to be fighting for your attention, and almost all of them will be on store shelves, and possibly have test units on the floor you can try … except for the JooJoo.
If it had made it out a while ago, if it hadn’t been embroiled in mud slinging with one of the biggest technology blogs and if Fusion Garage just had a way to let people test it hands on, maybe it could have made it. As things stand now, my money is on the JooJoo being a footnote in a Wikipedia entry someday, but they will be about the extent of it.