It’s all too tempting to look at the Fusion Garage Grid10 and claim “vaporware”, but if Fusion Garage was able to get the Joojoo to market, then they sure as hell ought to be able to get the Grid10 out the door. The company responsible for the Grid10, which runs the ‘Grid’ Android-based OS, just hacked $200 from the initially announced price tag.
Now priced at $299 for the cheapest model (WiFi-only, 16GB), the Grid10 seems a whole lot more inciting, even if I don’t exactly agree with Fusion Garage on a number of points. The Grid10 has been available for pre-order for several weeks now, and it is set to launch, where available, on October 1st.
Fusion Garage is selling the Grid10 directly and through Amazon.com. While the Amazon product page for the Grid10 still lists the device as available for pre-order for $499 for the cheapest model, but the price drop ought to be reflect there as well by the time the tablet launches in just a few days.
The ‘Grid’ operating system is based on the Android kernel which means it will retain native compatibility with Android applications, but won’t come installed with the official Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and other core Android applications, nor will it be licensed for use with the Android Market. Android applications will come from the pre-installed Amazon App Store, while applications that are designed with the Grid OS in mind (using different interface paradigms) will come from Fusion Garage’s own Grid application store.
Fusion Garage has confirmed to us that the Grid4, a smartphone announced alongside the Grid10 (also running the Grid OS), will be launching in Q4 of this year, likely in time for the holiday season. The Grid4 is also expected to come pre-installed with the Amazon App Store as a source of Android applications. Pricing for the phone, which has a 4″ 800×480 screen, has not yet been announced. As much as we’d like to see Fusion Garage be able to undercut the iPhone with Grid4 pricing, Apple’s influence in the market means that they are in a far better place to negotiate subsidies with carriers, which means it will be very difficult for the Grid4 to undercut the iPhone unless the hardware costs significantly less to produce. Carrier availability has yet to be announced.
We’re expecting to see both devices to become available in the US, UK, Germany, France, and Spain, as Fusion Garage’s website has been designed for these regions.