For those who haven’t heard, Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has been talking up a device called the ‘CrunchPad‘. The CrunchPad is in effect the ultimate couch potatoes dream. A lightweight way to surf the internet. The first real tablet PC.
Quite frankly it is a neat looking device. They had talked about keeping the price down, and if it came in at the $300.00 target price, I was going to buy one to support the project (I’m not sure what I’d do with it, but hey, $300.00 isn’t that much).
On Novemeber 30th Arrington blogged The End Of The CrunchPad. The story as he tells it is one of greed on the part of the hardware partner, or rather the hardware partner’s investors. I’m going to quote Arrington here so you can understand his side:
Chandra also forwarded an internal email from one of his shareholders. My favorite part of the email: “We still acknowledge that Arrington and TechCrunch bring some value to your business endeavor…If he agrees to our terms, we would have Arrington assume the role of visionary/evangelist/marketing head and Fusion Garage would acquire the rights to use the Crunchpad brand and name. Personally, I don’t think the name is all that important but you seem to be somewhat attached to the name.”
If this is accurate, Arrington, and the entire TechCrunch project has been backstabbed, Fusion Garage, the hardware partner.
Interest across the internet has been high. The Register was their usual smart ass selves. The LA Times, The Inquirer, The Washington Post, Gotabemobile, Wir sprechen Online, jkOnTheRun, What Not To Do, Teleread, Clashgear, EricTric, BetterElevation, Techdusts, Engadget, and Gizmondo. There was a lot of interest in this baby. A lot. And there’s a lot of disappointed people out there.
So let’s get into the fun stuff. I did a quick Google on a couple of things.
The only reference to Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan is on Crunch Base, a part of Tech Crunch. Fusion Garage has an entry there as well. Chandrasekar’s profile on Crunchbase is weird. In the incoming links section is the LA Times article about the death of the Crunchpad. His blog is listed but its 404. Luckily our friend, the Google Cache has a copy and based on it, Arrington owns the project:
The collaboration with the Crunchpad project happened as a result of meetings we had with Mike Arrington and co, subsequent to TC50. We worked closely with Louis Monier in getting the software in shape for the hardware prototype B. We continue to work with them in getting the software in shape to make crunchpad a easy to use device. This is where we stand as of prototype-B: (Details over at TechCrunch’s update )
Needless to say, I now have a copy archived, and would be glad to supply if the Google Cache somehow gets sanitized.
In Twitter Arrington and Chandrasekar are still following each other. Possibly they can workout something via Tweet. Who knows. But I’m hoping for a resurrection of the Cronchpad, and for Michael Arrington to get his due. Scoobie has tweeted Chandrasekar
@rchandrasekar I think it would be good for you to come out with your side of the story. Soon. Like now. Don’t be “the guy that ruined it”
If he does, I will be updating this.
One final note – a competing Windows 7 device is being touted. I wonder if that had anything to do with the crash of the Cruchpad.