updated 01:55 pm EST, Mon February 1, 2010
FG says JooJoo tablet better than Apple's
Fusion Garage has taken steps to safeguard its business against both its one-time partner TechCrunch and its rival Apple. The Singapore-based creator of the JooJoo tablet is now known to have filed a request to dismiss TC's lawsuit on the basis that there was no legally binding deal between the two. The 31-page request insists the suit doesn't target anything that could merit a payout and that the claims are "so vague and indefinite" that they would need clarification just to go ahead.
Among the claims are those that "misappropriation of business ideas" isn't a term under California law, that the site never had a product of its own to claim losses on, and that many of the claimed trade secrets were freely posted online. It adds that claims about a merger in June aren't true, as talks were still underway in November, and that TC can't make complaints on behalf of its founder Michael Arrington, especially without direct evidence of some of the supposed fraud.
The motion has gone without an immediate response, though it's likely to receive stiff opposition from TC, which is believed to have reached out first to Fusion Garage to make the web-only tablet.
Regardless of challenges, Fusion Garage's CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan on Monday said it doesn't necessarily fear the pressure from Apple's iPad. He noted to SGEntrepreneurs that the JooJoo has a considerably larger 12-inch touchscreen, a front camera and likely a faster boot time as it goes directly to its web browser. Its native 1080p support is also an advantage over Apple's 720p limit.
The executive also observed that the iPad may be having a "halo" effect on the JooJoo as pre-orders actually increased by an unnamed amount after the iPad introduction. Rathakrishnan hasn't provided numbers, though the newness of the company and its much smaller marketing budget aren't expected to translate into large-scale plans. Apple is a help in driving up popularity for tablets as a whole, he said.
Shipments should start this month for the tablet, which will cost about $499 for a version with only Wi-Fi. A 3G version may come in the near future.