The CrunchPad is dead: who cares!

The fabled CrunchPad is dead, declares TechCrunch's Michael Arrington.

Michael Arrington's CrunchPad, a dream device that would allow quick and easy Internet access on a touch screen tablet, is vaporware indefinitely, but not for the cost-related reasons you'd expect.

In a lengthy explanation, the TechCrunch founder said "the entire project self destructed over nothing more than greed, jealousy and miscommunication." In short, partner company Fusion Garage, its chef executive Chandra Rathakrishnan and its shareholders decided, according to Arrington, it would rather sell the 12-inch, Atom-based Web tablet without Arrington and his CrunchPad branding.

There are more details you can read, and Arrington said TechCrunch "will almost certainly be filing multiple lawsuits against Fusion Garage, and possibly Chandra and his shareholders as individuals, shortly." I feel sorry for Arrington that things ended this way, but hasn't this project been doomed for some time now?

Before Arrington broke the news, all bets were on the CrunchPad vaporizing due to higher-than-expected costs. (Well, all bets except those of Popular Mechanics, who named the CrunchPad one of the "Most Brilliant Products of 2009.")

Originally, the target price tag was $200, but it then ballooned to $300. A later report by Straits Times estimated a street price of $400. At that point, it was easy to write off the CrunchPad as a niche product for Silicon Valley geeks.

Arrington addressed some of the price issues in his tell-all, but it seems too good to be true. Investors were lined up. A "major multi-billion dollar retail partner" was going to initially sell the CrunchPad at zero margins, pay for the devices on order and ship them from China on their own planes to cut costs. Intel, meanwhile, was providing "ridiculously generous" pricing on its Atom chips, Arrington claims, and other partners were willing to help for little or no benefit, just to support his pet project. Sponsors would help seal the CrunchPad's "near ... $300ish cost."

But here's the kicker: All of this apparent good will from retailers, sponsors and tech companies stands on a concept that is unproven. No one knows whether consumers will want a couch-bound Internet tablet, and while Apple may be able to invest in something like that, the CrunchPad relies on too many moving parts from companies that are being eerily friendly. The tablet would have to go mainstream for all those companies to make their money, and that's a big "if."

So maybe this turn of events is for the best. It'll give Arrington time to re-evaluate the market and see whether a 12-inch Internet tablet is viable. But by the time the legal mess is resolved, will anyone care anymore?

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tablet PCs

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?