Manufacturing Tablets Proves Harder Than Expected

Over the years we have witnessed a few newcomers in the tablet computer industry try to manufacture a new tablet of their own. Some of these companies have been privately funded, but some of the others have been crowdfunded, which is always something of a gamble for the funders.

The largest disappointment in that regard last year was the Jolla Tablet, a tablet that was basically very similar to the Nokia N1, but which Jolla gave it's own Sailfish OS instead.

The crowdfunding was over in November 2014, but it took until November-December 2015 recently before Jolla actually sent out its first batch of Jolla tablets to a few of the earliest backers. The rest of the backers were just told to wait for it, and were then given a ticket number that indicated their place in line.

Jolla have decided to continue to disappoint its backers in 2016, by signing off a new year's greeting recently which read that Jolla has financial challenges, and that not all the backers will receive the tablet that they paid for. Jolla believes they will be able to ship a few more tablets in 2016 though, and will start sending out “invitations” as they called it, this January.

The Jolla tablet has become the crowdfunded tablet project that has gotten the most attention as a tablet fail, but believe it or not there are some other tablet fails that are even further behind schedule.

Jolla Tablet
Jolla Tablet

Remember Meet Earl? No? Well nobody will blame you.
Earl is supposed to be a outdoor tablet, also a tablet project that was successfully crowdfunded, but as far back as May 2013. This tablet would be very unique, if only it had been out there on the market.

The last update on this project was in July, when it was announced that the project was still under way with a new partner. Another update from this time last year, had a headline that read “Yes we’re still here!” probably not the best sign in the world if you were a backer yourself.


A few other tablet manufacturing start-ups and projects have been abandoned a lot earlier than Earl and Jolla over the years, which in retrospect has been better than ending up like Jolla with lots of rightfully angry and disappointed pre-ordering customers and backers.

One of these were Linshof, who announced in November 2014 that they would launch a Linshof Performance Tablet with AMOLED display, 2048 x 1536 resolution, 3GB RAM, 80GB storage, and a 13MP rear camera, just to mention a few highlights.

It didn't take long for Linshof to abandon this tablet project altogether though, after investors decided that it would be too risky in the end.

So for anyone who either wants to start a new tablet brand, or for those who may consider backing a new crowdfunded tablet project in 2016, there are lessons to be learned from all these companies.

Linshof Performance Tablet
Linshof Performance Tablet

– Tom Bowen