August 16, 2011, 4:53 AM —
I was still living in Singapore at the time the proverbial matter hit the rotating device. Whether or not you think Arrington or Fusion Garage were at fault for their falling out, I reckon their squabble did more to set back Singapore's IT industry reputation than anything else in recent memory. In the papers and discussing it with IT professionals working there, there were sour grapes on both sides of the debate, ranging from people claiming Fusion Garage was being unfairly beaten up by an arrogant overseas blogger, to those who expressed resentment and even anger at a local company they claimed reflected poorly on their entire IT industry.
Is your JooJoo Tablet starting to feel a bit slow? A little outdated? Time for something new?
Well, Fusion Garage is ready to provide. In fact as of the time of this writing, the old JooJoo tablet site is giving a "500 Server Error: We have been notified of this error. Probably, you might need to try it again later. Thanks." so perhaps the JooJoo is dead? Or maybe they're just seeing more traffic than they're used to. In any event I have to confess that once the JooJoo launched, I totally forgot about it. I suspect most of you did, too, and I never expected to be writing about Fusion Garage again.
But here they are, back in the news with a new line of products. The Grid4 is a smartphone and the Grid10 is a tablet, both of them running the new GridOS. So what is GridOS? It's a custom OS built on the Android kernal and it "is stunning, smart, social and transportable," to quote Fusion Garage. What does that mean? I have no idea, but apparently GridOS can run Android apps. So, a new mobile OS based on the Android kernel and which runs Android apps. But it isn't Android. How is it different? Well, it supports Bing (according to a post at Engadget). Clearly this is something completely new.
As for the hardware, the Grid10 is a 10.1" tablet running on an Nvidia Tegra 2 with 16GB of storage, and it does set itself away from the pack of 10.1" Android tablets by having a 1366 x 768 resolution. It'll cost $499 for a WiFi version and $599 for a 3G version. Fusion Garage is taking pre-orders now (the old adage, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." springs to mind) for a September 15th launch date.
The Grid4 doesn't have a ship date yet. It's an unlocked 800x480, 4.0" smartphone running on a Qualcomm dual-core processor that is expected to cost $499. It too will run GridOS.
After the debacle that was the CrunchPad JooJoo launch, it's really hard to take anything that comes out of Fusion Garage seriously. At least (assuming they make their ship date) this won't be a long, drawn-out soap opera of a product launch.
So anyone out there brave or foolish enough to pre-order a Grid10?
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.