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India’s $35 Tablets

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The Indian Human Resource Development Minister plans on rolling out small tablet devices to students starting in 2011. The devices will have either 5″, 7″ or 9″ touchscreen displays and will come with a PDF reader, web browser, a video conferencing application, media player and OpenOffice. Those features sound like pretty standard fare these days, until you realize that the Indian government plans on making them available for $35 at launch and as low as $10 after government subsidies.

At first glance this looks like an excellent idea, but it may be unrealistic to widely distribute such a device for $35. Of course, $35 does go a lot further in India than here in the U.S., but I doubt the Indian government will be able to get such a device produced for that price. The OLPC, which has noble intentions, tried to produce sub $100 computers for children in developing nations, but the best they could do so far is about $200. The Indian government introduced a $10 laptop a while back that never saw the light of day.

via BBC

Xavier Lanier is the publisher of Gotta Be Mobile and a photographer. He uses too many devices to count, but his current favorites are the iPhone 5s, HTC One, Nikon D800 and Sony RX 100M II. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

5 Comments

  1. RandySpangler

    07/23/2010 at 8:18 pm

    Maybe they can make one, just don’t drop it…

  2. SAM

    07/24/2010 at 9:41 am

    Didn’t they also promise a $20 laptop a while back?

  3. kafantaris

    07/24/2010 at 2:09 pm

    It seems unfair that the United States, as other countries in the world, should have to compete with others elsewhere where very cheap labor is their primary advantage. Yet complaining about our house getting flooded won’t make it any drier. Only our hard work will do that, and only the ingenuity and savvy of the American people will see us through.
    In facing the challenge, let us not forget that we still excel in the important areas of education, technology, individual freedoms, the arts, entertainment, elective government, our courts, natural resources, and yes, even our health care. Moreover, labor costs should eventually reach an equilibrium across the globe, since people and their needs are the same across the globe.
    Yet, an even greater challenge lies ahead, and with far greater consequences than cheap computer technology: This is the abundant energy from the sun, and our constantly improving ways to capture it and store it the form of hydrogen. Thus while the sun for centuries had dried-up huge lands, it is about to make them vibrant with cheap electricity for industry and living.
    By the time we take notice, the geopolitical implications will be beyond anybody’s control. For those of us who are accustomed to having our way, times may get a lot rougher ahead. But there ain’t no going back to the world of yesterday. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can roll up our sleeves to compete on the global stage — the only forum left.

    • No Stranger

      07/25/2010 at 3:15 pm

      ‘It seems unfair that the United States, as other countries in the world, should have to compete with others elsewhere where’.

      What? You find it ‘unfair’ that the bastion of capitalism that is the USA can’t compete in an open market? I’m by nature a capitalist, but really, the irony in your statement is stunning!

  4. nano_watt

    07/27/2010 at 12:30 am

    What is it with the Americans. They can’t take healthy competition anymore. Go India go lets have more optimism and less negativity.

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