So You Bought a JooJoo – How Will it be Serviced?

I know, it’s crazy to talk about the JooJoo (formerly known as CrunchPad) a day before the iPad is released.  But the major gadget blogs do, having received a test unit – and that in itself is a bit of a PR coup for JooJoo.  They should enjoy it while it last.   Too bad it won’t turn into sales figures.  According to court documents, Fusion Garage has taken 90 pre-orders for their unit.  That is Ninety, not Ninety Thousand.

There are lots of comparisons, and without going into detail they all go like this:  for the same price as the entry-level iPad, the JooJoo comes with a bigger screen, Flash support, but clearly without the ecosystem and App Store Apple can offer.  Here’s what all these comparisons miss: where will you take it for service?

A $499 device is not a disposable gadget for most people, and guess what, it will inevitably fail.  All gadgets do.  Apple’s support is legendary, even though manufacturing quality id often questionable, Apple owners – fans walk in to an Apple store and walk out happily after full service in an hour. That’s how you turn customers into fans.  I recently had an amazing experience with Dell support (yes, I know, hard to believe) where they sent me a replacement unit for my sleek Vostro V13 before even asking me to return the defective one.

Now, how can you expect the same from a no-name company with uncertain financial background and a lawsuit to deal with?  The specs could be marvelous, but you have to ask yourself:  who you will trust for service: Apple or JooJoo?  And that’s why buying a JooJoo is a huge leap of faith.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve )


Google Gears-powered Offline Mail, Application Marketplace by Zoho

Planned releaseLeak?  it doesn’t matter anymore, InformationWeek has just pre-announced two planned major Zoho upgrades:

Zoho Creator 3 will come with an apps marketplace, something I asked for a while ago. The App Store will allow developers set their own prices and keep 100% of the revenue.  It will also become a code-to-order marketplace: if you don’t find an app you need, spec it out, and receive offers from developers.

Now for the fun part: since the Chrome Comic Book, what better way to introduce a major new offering then by a comic video?

(Update:  Since the news was indeed unintentionally leaked, not released, I took off the embedded video.  The 356 of you who saw it: consider it a preview.  An updated version will be back @ Launch)

The other major announcement is making Zoho’s Web-based Mail service available off-line, based on Google Gears.  This will no doubt give Zoho Mail a competitive edge for a while.

It’s somewhat ironic that Zoho is always first to implement Google Gears (is Zoho doing Google’s testing?)  but if the past is any indication, Google’s own Gmail should follow suit soon.

Both upgrades are expected to go live in the coming weeks.