That other tablet that was announced just a week ago sure doesn't seem to be setting Fusion Garage's Joojoo off course. Not only did it see an increase in orders after the iPad announcement, but Fusion Garage CEO Chandra Rathakrishna just told us that production of the 12-inch tablet has kicked off and that the product is on target to start shipping this month. And it doesn't sound like legal fees from fighting the TechCrunch lawsuit over the product are depleting Fusion Garage's bank account: Chandra told us it's teamed up with OEM CSL Group of Malaysia, which will be footing the bill for manufacturing in exchange for a "low single-digit" percentage of product revenue. We have our doubts about the math, but we'll see how happy everyone is if and when the Joojoo starts shipping. (We'll also see if James Cameron notices that Fusion Garage keeps using unlicensed Avatar images in its promo pictures.)

Chandra still wouldn't budge on revealing what's powering the device, but he was more than happy to confirm that the tablet will support full Flash at launch, and HD Flash content once Flash 10.1 is officially released -- YouTube HD will play right now using a separate player plugin that takes advantage of GPU acceleration. "We have a bigger 'app store' than Apple because we have the full Internet," he told us. Nevertheless, Fusion plans to launch a "web store" that will allow people to find web applications on the Joojoo. Speaking of Apple, Chandra was quite blunt about the iPad: "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery." No really -- he told us everything from Steve Jobs calling the iPad a "magical product" to the couch being on stage during the keynote to the $499 price point was a nod to the Joojoo, since "juju" is an African word for "magical" and the Joojoo was positioned as a couch computer when it launched in November. Uh, sure. Trash talking aside, we're very excited to see what this thing can do -- a 16:9 720p tablet that can play Hulu sounds pretty interesting to us. Check the full press release after the break.


Show full PR text
FUSION GARAGE MOVES INTO FULL PRODUCTION OF BREAKTHROUGH JOOJOO WEB TABLET
Innovative Manufacturing Agreement and Investment from CSL Group Helps
Reinvent Consumer Electronics Business Model

SINGAPORE, February 3, 2010 – Fusion Garage today announced that its category-creating JooJoo Internet tablet has moved into full production with initial shipments expected to reach consumers at the end of February. Helping fuel the JooJoo's arrival and Fusion Garage's next phase of corporate growth is an innovative manufacturing agreement and strategic investment from mobile device OEM and distribution giant CSL Group of Malaysia.
Fusion Garage is expected to announce a second round of investment within the next two weeks which would augment today's investment from CSL and the company's initial round secured in November 2009.
CSL, established in 1998, has rapidly grown to a major conglomerate, with sales of nearly $300M USD, and the organization is one of the largest manufacturers of cell phones, mobile devices, netbook and notebook computers in SE Asia.
The strategic relationship between the companies calls for CSL to absorb all up front manufacturing costs associated with JooJoo production. This agreement virtually eliminates the normal high cost of mass market entry - often in the tens of millions - for any emerging Consumer Electronics (CE) hardware developer. In exchange, CSL will receive a revenue royalty from each JooJoo sold globally. Additionally, CSL has made a strategic venture investment in Fusion Garage which will help the company to move to the next phase of its corporate growth and product development.
"This is landscape changing manufacturing agreement in the CE hardware market in much the same way Dell changed the PC business model with its direct to consumer sales approach back in the 1990s," said Fusion Garage founder and CEO, Chandrasekar (Chandra) Rathakrishnan. "CSL's confidence in JooJoo and strategic investment enables us to concentrate on the expansion of our organization, software development and, ultimately, building a world class CE company."
"We are justifiably bullish - not only on the promise of the JooJoo and the Internet tablet market's potential but also on Fusion Garage's forward looking vision," said Dato Eric Chuah, Chairman of the CSL Group of Companies. "We have an opportunity to expand our business via this relationship, enter a hot market with a trusted partner and turn the traditional CE hardware manufacturing model on its head. We are betting on volume here and firmly believe our bet will be a winner."
About JooJoo
JooJoo, officially introduced in December 2009, is the category-creating Web tablet that provides near instantaneous Internet access and the best online experience. The African word "joujou" means magical object and Fusion Garage's JooJoo brings users into an online world where everything on the Internet is just a single touch away. Powered by Fusion Garage's innovative browser-based operating system, JooJoo enables users to quickly and easily tap into Internet applications, news, music, high definition video, social media and web services. JooJoo has revolutionary hardware, including the largest capacitive touch screen of any device on the market – 12.1 inches –providing full screen content viewing. Its ultra-portable, ultra-thin design offers the best Internet experience anywhere – on the couch or on the go, standing or sitting. JooJoo's gesture-based user interface allows easy transitions between Websites and turns pages in a digital publication via the movement of a finger. A full-size touch keyboard appears when users need it, and disappears when viewing content or paging through digital content. JooJoo is available directly from Fusion Garage at www.thejoojoo.com.
About Fusion Garage
Fusion Garage enables the best Internet experience through innovative software and hardware devices. Founded in 2008, Fusion Garage's core browser-based operating system provides near instantaneous Internet access and has spurred the development of an entirely new category of consumer electronics devices dedicated to online usage. Fusion Garage is based in Singapore and is privately funded.