Perhaps … NEVER! The last few days have been full of rumors that the Crunchpad is dead, but is it? Are Mike Arringtons dreams of producing a $200 $300 tablet dead in the water?
The time-line behind the Cruchpad does play out like your typical too-good-to-be-true vaporware product, but the evidence of real working prototypes and even fancy packaging have leaked into the wild making this more than some drawing board pipe-dream. It’s real, it works and we’ve seen it.
Many seem to think that the project might be scrapped due to higher than anticipated production cost. Arrington has stated that he wants to sell the CrunchPad as cheap as possible — initially shooting for the $200 price point, and later saying “you can sell it for $300 and probably not go out of business”. Is cost the sticking point? Are they worries that people won’t pay more than $300 for a tablet that won’t do anything more than surf the web?
Another popular theory is that Fusion Garage and their Linux/WebKit based browser OS may be the hitch in the giddy-up. Perhaps with Google and their open source Chrome OS seemingly around the corner, Mike has made the decision to dump Fusion Garage and wait for the Google offering to become a reality. This would definitely put the CrunchPad in a holding pattern, but since Google Chrome OS is bound to be very well developed and more full-featured than the Fusion Garage offering, it seems it’d be a much smarter way to go.
So, is the CrunchPad dead? Has the project run into problem it can’t overcome or are the delays just a reflection of changes in market overall? I for one hope to to be sitting on my couch, surfing all my favorite blogs on a CrunchPad, or Google Tablet, in the near future.