Is the new Cherrypal America Tablet vapourware? We’re not sure…
Cherrypal, a company with a colourful reputation, to put it mildly (try searching Google for “cherrypal scam”), has announced a 7″ tablet running Google’s Android operating system. The Cherrypal America, as it’s called, is offered at $188 US, with an additional $18 US shipping, regardless of destination. What are the specs? Well, they vary. For example, they initially stated the wireless would handle 802.11 b/g/(n). What is “(n)”, you may wonder? Is it the same as “n”, absent the comforting braces? According to their support board, the Cherrypal America “can receive “n” wireless signals in “g” speed”. Hmmm. Odd.
The company initially advertised the units would use a Samsung Arm 11 chip, however a smart poster to their support forum deduced from the specs it couldn’t possibly be a Samsung chip, to which he received the reply, “We used a Samsung ARM11 in a pre-mass-production batch but decided to switch over to Telechip recently. All orders will get shipped with the Telechip processor. Sorry for the confusion.”
The only evidence of the tablet’s existence is a very poor quality youtube video – you can see it here (by the way, mute your speakers before you click the link, because you’ll get blasted by very poor music).
Cherrypal Americas are sold via an online outfit called Zecozi, which seems to aspire to be some sort of mash up of a commerce site with a social component, such that one can post one’s purchases for all to see. Funny timing for conspicuous consumption, given the economy and all, but we try not to judge.
There are other conflicting bits of information: the Cherrypal site indicates all units ordered by Oct 13th will ship on Oct 15th. However it wasn’t until Oct 20th that we received notification that our unit had shipped. The site also states units ordered within the US will be shipped from the US, while orders placed from other countries will ship from Hong Kong. We’re not in the US, but we received an email indicating a USPS (US Postal Service) tracking number. Oh, and about that tracking number, it’s a link, but it doesn’t actually link to the USPS tracking site. Instead, it performs a Google search for the tracking number (which returns no results). And what does the USPS say about our tracking number? “There is no record of this item.”
The support “forum” isn’t actually a forum either: one can post questions, but one cannot reply (it seems only administrators can reply).
We also received an email from Cherrypal with the following:
“We have noticed that hardly anyone reads printed manuals anymore. That’s why we make user guides and instructions available online only going forward. Thank you for your understanding. See attached “Getting Started User Guide 1.0″”
Of course, there is no attached user guide.
The same message appears on Cherrypad’s support site, also claiming a user guide is attached, only there is no attachment or user guide or link or anything else.
Does the Cherrypal America exist? We’ll keep you posted if and when we receive ours. But we strongly recommend against ordering one until there are confirmed units received by paying customers. This appears to us to be either a scam or a profoundly poorly managed operation. We’re hoping for the latter.