Despite Legal Woes, Failed 12-inch JooJoo Tablet Re-envisioned with Android

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know about this “JooJoo” tablet until today. According to the light bit of research I did before writing this post, it sounds like this thing was supposed to be the “tablet of tablets,” for its time. It seemingly had everything everyone wanted: social networking, amazing web-browsing capabilities, and a gorgeous 12-inch display on which to get all of your po– eh, I mean news.

Then the iPad was announced.

After being sued by TechCrunch’s then-Owner Michael Arrington, who made the large investments and poured a lot of time and resources into the development of this tablet before having it ripped from his hands, Fusion Garage – the manufacturers – were said to have only sold 64 units of it. This came after a poorly written email to its customers which revealed that they have no concern for customer privacy as everyone’s email address was visible to each other in the CC field. (Many have made arguments in Fusion Garage’s favor citing staggered email blasts to go easy on servers, but I’m not buying it. And it doesn’t change the fact that they don’t know how to – at the very least – use blind carbon copy.)

But I’m venturing too far from the road, here. The point is, this failed tablet and the company behind it went through a lot (Deserved? I reserve judgment) and it seems it’s about to reemerge with Android at the helm. After reading all of the reports and the comments about this tablet and the falling out with Arrington, I’m a bit embarrassed that they’ve chosen Android for its rebirth.

joojoo-tablet

According to Gizmodo, this new version likely won’t have access to the Android market. FG is taking Android and molding it to be the experience they believe is missing from the tablet market these days: a social hub. They mentioned taking all of your social, messaging, and information services that you use on a daily basis and presenting it to you in 12 inches of awesome. (Not in those exact words, but you can’t disagree that a 12-inch display is awesome by virtue of scope alone.)

While it’s far too late to be an iPad killer – and the exclusion of an Android market won’t do anything to help its case – it’ll be a nice change of pace from the sudden onslaught of 7-inch Android-based slates that have been flooding the market lately. We’ll be on the lookout for more on this device as they move forth with their new Arrington-less strategy.

If you want to read more on JooJoo’s and Fusion Garage’s history with TechCrunch and Arrington, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start here. A quick summary of the situation can be had from this quote, which – for all intents and purposes – tickled me.

“Err, what? This is the equivalent of Foxconn, who build the iPhone, notifying Apple a couple of days before launch that they’d be moving ahead and selling the iPhone directly without any involvement from Apple.”

And that’s why this tablet now interests me more than it probably would’ve otherwise. Bring on the JooJoo!

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  • Jonathan

    The hardware wasn’t too bad; the software was the biggest issue, as I recall. An Android version could actually be somewhat compelling if they don’t eff that up. Lack of Market access would be a pain but not a total roadblock.

  • zed

    apps are just shortcuts to the internet or pages remodelled for a small screen 99% of the time. if this has a good browser and social network feeds and is aimed at the home user (surely 12″ is not really portable) as well as having the standard movie/music playback built in then the lack of app market may not be as much of a concern as on a 7″

  • Darkseider

    Meh. In the next week or two we will have the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Elocity A7, Archos 70 and Archos 101 available. These four alone could make me care less about the JooJoo. Particularly the Elocity A7 with it’s Tegra 2 250 guts and capacitive Froyo goodness.

  • Don

    Lack of market is death…unless you have a special need for the LARGEST android screen system you can get your hands on.

  • MVTom

    So, bigger is better? I think 10″ tablet is about right, 12″ is almost a laptop. What are the other specs, especially price? Android market access may not be a big deal if this has enough power to realistically surf the net.

  • Logan

    The lack of market won’t be the death of anything soon enough, with all these new app stores opening up.

  • Brian Hanifin

    If that is how they treat their business partners imagine how they will thumb their nose at their customers?

  • Todd

    Don’t believe all the crap Arrington is shoveling. All he did was promote the thing. From what I hear, Fusion Garage was already hard at work on a tablet, then approached Arrington to put his name on it, much like the George Foreman grills. They expected to do more than he did, so they said, “Screw you, Mike,” and went their own way. He should have let them walk, since until this new version, all he can hope to win is a really big debt.

    I might actually consider getting this for my parents if the hardware’s good. 7 inch would be way too small for them, and 10 might still be too small. Since this is 16×9, it might be skinnier than the iPad.

  • Spencer

    Interesting…sell it a place I can try like best buy and I might buy it instead of the Galaxy Tab or the Verizon/Motorola Droid tablet