I have reported on the development of the CrunchPad by the founder of TechCrunch, Michael Arrington, and I was excited about the project. Basically the CrunchPad was going to be a touch screen flat panel device that you could use on your lap from the comfort of your couch. It was slim in design and looked very futuristic. This is a photo of the prototype:
So what happened to cause the project to collapse? Here is what Mike says happened:
Our plan was to debut the CrunchPad on stage at the Real-Time Crunchup event on November 20, a little over a week ago. We even hoped to have devices hacked together with Google Chrome OS and Windows 7 to show people that you could hack this thing to run just about anything you want. We’d put 1,000 of the devices on pre-sale and take orders immediately. Larger scale production would begin early in 2010.
And then the entire project self destructed over nothing more than greed, jealousy and miscommunication.
On November 17, our deadline date for greenlighting the debut three days later, the CEO of our partner on the project, Chandra Rathakrishnan, sent me an email with the subject “no good news.” Yuck, I thought. Another delay, probably with the screen that had been giving us so much trouble – capacitive touch at 12 inches isn’t trivial. And sure enough, the email started off with “no good news to update. updated hardware is still on its way , so that’s a timing issue. friday will be a challenge now.”
But the email went on. Bizarrely, we were being notified that we were no longer involved with the project. Our project. Chandra 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.
Yipes! Sounds like a case where the only winners are going to be the lawyers. Oh well. Maybe someone else will find this device intriguing and come out with a tablet of their own.