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Fusion Garage Going After Lower-Price Tablet Market 196

Posted by Soulskill
from the wising-up dept.
nk497 writes "Fusion Garage has dropped the price of its follow-up to the JooJoo tablet, cutting the Grid10's price by $200 to $299 in the US and £259 in the UK. Outspoken CEO Chandrasekar Rathakrishnan has clearly been following the HP TouchPad fire sale, and noticed the importance of price when it comes to taking on Apple's iPad. He said there's no point in buying 'a poor carbon copy' of the Apple tablet for the same price. 'At $499, why would you buy — it's like going to China and buying a [fake] Louis Vuitton bag, at the same price as the real Louis Vuitton bags. It doesn't make sense, when you know it's a rip-off product,' he said."
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Fusion Garage Going After Lower-Price Tablet Market

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  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday September 12, 2011 @02:53PM (#37379408)

    Isn't this the same guy and company that ripped off the CrunchPad from Michael Arrington?
    I think the court case is proceeding.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JooJoo [wikipedia.org]

    After that sold only a few hundred units, they ditched the name and came out with a new tablet. The UI seems interesting, but I don't think this is going to sell many units.

    • by Flyerman (1728812)

      They had to drop the name when they screwed Arrington.

      I am not surprised that the thing failed to sell.

    • I am not interested in the Joojoo, in any incarnation.

      I have said from the beginning. EVERYONE wants a tablet, but NOONE can afford it.

      HP's fire-sale should have been an obvious eye-opener to everyone. I find any attempt to double your price per item like what HP had tried to do as a rip-off of the consumer. Yeah, the $99 and $149 tablet fire-sale did catch my eye, but their original pricing was gouging.

  • Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2011 @02:56PM (#37379444)

    ...Did he just say *his* product was a "poor carbon copy" and a "rip-off"?

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Hey! Truth in advertising! I like it.

    • by afabbro (33948)
      I guess the idea of trying to make a BETTER product never occurred to him.
      • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday September 12, 2011 @03:13PM (#37379624)

        I guess the idea of trying to make a BETTER product never occurred to him.

        Cheaper is better.

      • by tgd (2822)

        I guess the idea of trying to make a BETTER product never occurred to him.

        Innovation costs resources and money.

        • by macraig (621737)

          No, not always. What almost always does, though, is implementation. The new idea may cost you nothing but calories, but ramping up a specialized factory to make widgets will definitely cost you. Just ask Charles Babbage! His revolutionary ideas were free, but the implementation cost him dearly.

      • by tepples (727027)
        Unless there are as many definitions of "better" as there are iPad owners.
      • This chain of commentary is exactly what I was looking for.
      • All they'd have to do is add a USB port, Android, and flash support. Voila! A better product.

  • by idontgno (624372) on Monday September 12, 2011 @02:59PM (#37379488) Journal

    Did he just claim that every tablet in the world, his own included, is "a rip-off product", to quote the quote?

    Has Apple so completely won the mind-share fight that every tablet product, no matter how technically distinctive, is an iPad clone?

    The RDF is strong with this one.

    • Try bringing an Android tablet somewhere, and see how many people ask you where you got your iPad. People have come to associate tablet computers with Apple, so I think it is fair to say that as far as the public is concerned, the mindshare battle is over.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I fear you may be right, but I find it nauseating. It's as if the entire world has gone blind and addle-brained.

        I have a tablet coputer. It says "CRAIG" right on the front, is a 7" tablet, is shaped nothing like the iPad and bears no fruit logo. And people still ask me how i like my iPad. It's as if the entire world were collectively kicked in the head by a horse.

        • by MightyYar (622222)

          Humans have a grand tradition of ignoring trademarks in colloquial speech.

          iPad is a concise way to say "non-stylus based tablet computer". Just like saying Xerox was a nice concise way to differentiate a "new" photo copier.

          In Atlanta you buy a "Coke", no matter what kind of soda it is. One of the other posters already mentioned Kleenex. People "photoshop" a picture. You "google" someone. We went "rollerblading".

        • For the record-- what is the market share of each vendor of honest-to-goodness tablets?

          Now narrow it down to tablets produced in the last 3 years, what percentage are iPads, versus Motorola Xooms? Might that have something to do with it?

        • by rsborg (111459)

          I fear you may be right, but I find it nauseating. It's as if the entire world has gone blind and addle-brained.

          I have a tablet coputer. It says "CRAIG" right on the front, is a 7" tablet, is shaped nothing like the iPad and bears no fruit logo. And people still ask me how i like my iPad. It's as if the entire world were collectively kicked in the head by a horse.

          People like to associate canonical brands with generic items. Back in the day (say the 90s), a copy was a "xerox" (even for some folks today). Being computer proficient meant you had to know "windows" and "office". People wouldn't login to the Internet, they would login to AOL (now Facebook).

          The examples are legion.

      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        People used to ask me what iPhone I had about 3 years ago or so. Now everyone asks me what kind of phone it is and when I mention Android they understand. So, no, the battle is never over.

        Regardless, the retail world of tablets is bigger than what the ill-informed lowest common denominator think. I mean, these are the people who call our Canon "the xerox machine" and when they want to know your email address ask for your "aol." They're not the cutting edge trendsetters you think they are.

    • OSS is more than a product sold on the shelf.
    • by hellfire (86129)

      Did he just claim that every tablet in the world, his own included, is "a rip-off product", to quote the quote?

      Yes he did. In the same way a fake Luis Vuitton is trying to copy on the success of a Luis Vuitton design, which is currently perfectly legal as long as it doesn't have Luis' name on it, the rest of the tablet market is trying to copy the success of the iPad by building something similar, which is itself also totally legal.

      Has Apple so completely won the mind-share fight that every tablet product,

      • In the same way a fake Luis Vuitton is trying to copy on the success of a Luis Vuitton design, which is currently perfectly legal as long as it doesn't have Luis' name on it, the rest of the tablet market is trying to copy the success of the iPad by building something similar, which is itself also totally legal.

        Except in Germany.

    • Actually the German patent office said that first
  • No sale (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday September 12, 2011 @03:08PM (#37379582)

    A no-name company with a skeevy CEO, a custom OS instead of Android or something more well-supported? Maybe at $100, or possibly even $200. But once you get into the $300 range, you've moved beyond the impulse buy and well into the realm where I want a name-brand reputable company backing it--and an OS that I know is and will be supported.

    • ... where I want a name-brand reputable company backing it--and an OS that I know is and will be supported.

      What, like HP?

      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        What, like HP?

        When I said "reputable," perhaps I should have specified a good reputation.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)
      Actually, "GridOS" is Android, and will in fact run Android Apps of Amazon Marketplace. As for whether it will be supported, who knows. But, then, most Android branded phones don't get supported well either, so for $299, if it has got decent specs, it might be alright.
      • by EdZ (755139)
        If it turns out to be easily flashed to vanilla Android, and to have a non-shit screen (the site's tech-specs section doens't even mention, so my suspicion is it's a rubbish TN panel), I'd pony up for one.
        • by Baloroth (2370816)
          Ok, wow, a quick check on Engadget shows it has a 1366 x 768 (best on market ATM I think) rez screen and Tegra 2 processor. Not bad at all. Not the whole story, but still looks like it could be very nice.
          • by EdZ (755139)
            It's also has only 512MB RAM rather than 1GB and that screen, while wider than 'standard', is also shorter: bad for reading image-heavy books that tend towards 1.41 aspect ratio (A-series).
    • A no-name company with a skeevy CEO, a custom OS instead of Android or something more well-supported? Maybe at $100, or possibly even $200.

      I fear your expectations for a $100 tablet [arstechnica.com] may be a bit high.

  • For what it's worth, it's now easier in China to buy real Louis Vuitton bags than fakes. Several years ago, the fake markets were wide open and real LV stores were nonexistent. However, since the Great Cleanup of 2008 (Olympic year), the fake markets have been largely shut down. Real LV stores have opened legitimate operations. There's one within two miles of my house, and believe me, it's real. After being in factory business for a while, you can tell a real from a fake by the quality of materials, th

    • 1) WTF does atheism have to do with cracking down on knockoff handbags?

      2) The problem with China's governing "no-bullshit-style atheists" is that if you disagree with them, you disappear off the face of the earth. [nytimes.com] You may not have a problem with that, since you agree with what they're doing today. But it'll probably seem a lot less appealing if you find yourself disagreeing with them tomorrow.

    • Imagine how better America would be if the government were run by scientists and engineers, and nutso religion-mongers were not allowed to hold office, much less vote?
      You know, I much rather prefer this sentiment expressed in the original German.
    • We need an intelligence test before allowing voting

      The United States tried that once [wikipedia.org]. It was outlawed after it was discovered that southern states were giving out more difficult tests to black people than to white people [crmvet.org].

    • Im not sure if youre aware of this, but:
      * China still has a very large, very thriving "piracy" sector. Im sure I could source fakes of just about whatever you want
      * Its kind of a stretch to call Obama a "nutso religion-monger"
      * Denying people the right to vote might just maybe conflict with some of the primary reasons people came over here to begin with, or with the founding principles of this country
      * Theres an 80-90% chance you are a troll, and

  • by rafial (4671) on Monday September 12, 2011 @03:18PM (#37379674) Homepage

    ...I feel bad these suckers who are lining up to buy "a cheap carbon copy".

  • 'At $499, why would you buy — it's like going to China and buying a [fake] Louis Vuitton bag, at the same price as the real Louis Vuitton bags. It doesn't make sense, when you know it's a rip-off product,' he said."

    This statement makes no sense.

    The ONLY reason to buy a louis vuitton bag for $500 is to show off to other people (especially possible dating partners) that you have the money to buy one, or you're romantically involved with someone who can afford it. On the scale of trashiness, its a bit above simply waving cash around, but not much above it. Humorously, it used to mean you had the money, but for a couple decades now it merely means you're willing to go into debt, which is not quite the same level of sex

    • by Samalie (1016193)

      Whoa, you appear to have missed the point somewhere...

      He wasn't talking about the "status" of the purchaser of a LV bag. He is comparing it to spending the same amount for a fake knockoff vs paying for the "real thing", regardless of what the "real thing" actually is.

      To compare it to cars:

      You go into a Ford dealership, and see a Pinto on sale for $10,000. You go the Frod dealership (yes, I meant the misspelling) behind the iHop next to the dumpster, and the guy there is selling the Frod Pinte for $10,000.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      The ONLY reason to buy a louis vuitton bag for $500 is to show off to other people (especially possible dating partners) that you have the money to buy one, or you're romantically involved with someone who can afford it.

      So, the exact same reason people buy iPads, then?

  • by sirwired (27582) on Monday September 12, 2011 @03:32PM (#37379834)

    In other news, I'm going to sell my entire stock of pink unicorns for fifty cents each.

    And I have as many pink unicorns as FusionGarage has $200 tablets that don't 100% suck.

    • Does anyone actually have "shipped" numbers for the original JooJoo? The only numbers I could find indicated "70" preorders. Color me impressed, Im sure their second try will be equally impressive.

  • Sorry, I caught the headline of this story across my RSS feeder widget on my Android phone. I have similar widgets on my Android tablet. Knock on them all you want, but it's the one thing that the iPhone users I know would like to have (instead of a screen full of program icons).

    I can appreciate what Apple has created, but there have been a couple things created outside of Cupertino.

    Also of note, I was wondering how a CEO can get away with talking down his products and then I saw that Fusion Garage
  • I swore to never buy an Apple product, lo and behold I ended up with an iPad 2. Ultimately, the aspect ratio of the Android horde was the deal breaker, the only one to successfully tempt me has been the Tab 10. The iPad 2 is smooth, sleek, works great, and most importantly works in portrait and landscape mode (I find myself using it in portrait more than landscape, since most web pages are vertical.) But the iPad 2 is not "magically better" than the other tablets. Having fiddled around with the Tab 10, I ca
    • I didn't fully appreciate Apple's lawsuit against Samsung over the Tab 10.1 - that is until I read the owner's manual trying to figure out how big of a SD or microSD card it would support and found this gem: "Note: This device does not support external memory cards" -- Congratulations, Samsung, you have successfully duplicated all the great features including the second most incredibly annoying "feature" (the first being inability to install whatever software you want) that Apple ever invented - the inabili
    • by Wovel (964431)

      It really was a bizarre comment. It is honest but stupid. He may have been able to say something that did not compromise his integrity and not be really, really stupid.

    • by Chirs (87576)

      And this CEO literally just said "The iPad 2 is better than our product!" Which is even stupider than Motorola overpricing the Xoom.

      Why is it stupid? A Lexus is better than a Toyota, and it costs more. Toyota still sells lots of cars.

      Given Apple's mindshare, either you compete on quality/features or you compete on price. These guys are competing on price.

  • Bad analogy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ubergeek65536 (862868) on Monday September 12, 2011 @03:48PM (#37380018)

    Why would the rip off Louis Vuitton bag be any worse that the real thing? There are good knock offs and bad ones. Some of those rip off items come off the same assembly line as the real ones.

    • Why would the rip off Louis Vuitton bag be any worse that the real thing? There are good knock offs and bad ones. Some of those rip off items come off the same assembly line as the real ones.

      In short, because of the decrease in cost of production of consumer goods, most all consumer goods have roughly similar quality, so what differentiates high-end goods from cheap stuff is the name because it can be copyrighted and protected. This is most obvious in t-shirts, where they all cost between about $3-$7USD in reasonably large quantities, but you can find people willing to pay $50 for a $7 t-shirt that says DKNY on it. So when you buy a Vuitton bag what you're buying is the name, so you can show

      • by Tim C (15259)
        In my experience in the UK, the really cheap clothes actually aren't as good quality as the "normally priced" ones, which in turn aren't as good quality as the really expensive designer ones.

        However, while the increase in quality going from "cheap" to "normal" is generally worth it, the increase in quality going from "normal" to "designer" isn't worth the increase in price. (IMHO of course, it clearly is to some people)
  • The iPad is great but costly. Androids in general have been sluggish in UI response and are somehow always behind the curve of the latest Android OS because the tablet makers don't want to bother with building an update for it. Too many tablet makers jumped on the ship of building an imitation iPad, few actually built a worthwhile tablet.

    What I do want to use such knock-off tablets for is for home control - mount the thing against the wall or in your shower for intermediate touch screen access. Can't justif

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