Can the JooJoo (was CrunchPad) Compete with a $499 Price Tag?

Remember Mike Arrington (of TechCrunch fame) and his CrunchPad project? Its goal was to produce a $200 usable and useful tablet computer. Sounds cool so far, right. And, its price undercuts Apple’s cheapest iPad by $300. But, the project took a turn into the Twilight Zone in late 2009 when Arrington and his hardware partner (Fusion Garage) parted ways. I don’t claim to understand what happened but Arrington appears to have lost control of the project. And, the project was renamed JooJoo. VentureBeat tells us…

JooJoo CEO pledges to ship this month, claims deal with leading phone maker

However, its pre-order price is a relatively high $499. Can it compete against Apple’s iPad? Here’s how it differs from the iPad.

– 12.1 inch display (vs. Apple’s 9.7)
– 2.4 lbs. vs 1.5
– 802.11 b/g vs. b/g/n
– 4GB flash drive vs. a minimum of 16GB
– Camera for video conferencing
– Supports Flash web sites vs. not
– No apps vs. 100K+

Personally, I think it is too big and heavy (I think the iPad is a bit too big too, btw). Apple has set the tablet price bar at $499. And, it has also set expectations for storage and, more importantly, apps. I think JooJoo needs to lower its price to Arrington’s original $200 price vision in order to compete with the iPad.