It all began in 2005 with the Miami-based One Laptop per Child Association (OLPCA). OLPCA aims to provide rugged, low cost, low power and connected laptops to children in schools. The OLPC mission has been rejected by some developing countries including India as providing a Laptop to every child is a debatable need. There are other well-established needs on a higher priority in developing countries. In the last couple of years, the emergence of better and affordable form factors in Tablet PCs has enabled Governments in developing countries to proactively bridge the digital divide.
An Adobe Digital Index report says that Tablets have been transforming the way consumers and brands interact on websites. Adobe Digital Index has analyzed 23 billion visits to 325 brand websites across North-America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific.
The three major findings of the research are:
1) Website visits from Tablets grew more than 300% in the last year. Within 2 years of market introduction, website visits from Tablets grew 10 times faster than what Smartphones have achieved within 2 years of their market introduction.
Last week, Facebook announced that it is launching an App center where users can find Android and iOS apps. Initially I thought that users will be able to download apps directly from Facebook to their Android and iOS devices. But after going through many articles on the topic, I realized that the App center merely helps the users “find” apps. So, the app center is actually a directory of app listings.
The developer docs on Facebook say that there will be three types of apps that will be listed in the Facebook App center.
Cheap Tablet PCs are flooding the Indian market with Tablet PCs under Rs.5,000 and under Rs. 10,000. The Government sponsored Aakash Tablet PC will be given to selected Educational institutions and students at a highly subsidized price of Rs. 1,500. Aakash will not be available commercially, but there is no dearth of alternative cheap Tablet PCs in India. Let us compare six cheap Tablet PCs between Rs. 3,500 and Rs. 6,500.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippines, has proposed a low cost Tablet PC called Pinoy Tablet Computer that empowers farmers with critical information such as soil nutrients and farm goods market. DA is working together with Hyderabad, India based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to develop an affordable Tablet PC. The DA is seeking partnerships for this proposed low cost Tablet PC.
Datawind has launched two new 7 inch Tablet PCs – Ubislate 7+ and Ubislate 7C. Ubisalte 7+ has a resistive touch screen and Ubislate 7C has a capacitive touch screen. Ubislate 7C has an internal storage of 4GB and Ubislate 7+ has an internal storage of 2GB. The rest of the specifications are same for both the Tablets.
PeekTab is a Tablet Monitoring Software from Retina X Studios, LLC. Parents who want to keep their child’s Tablet PC usage in check or employers who need to monitor their employees Tablet usage for compliance requirements can use the PeekTab software.
If the Tablet has a voice call facility, PeekTab gives you a list of all calls made and received. It provides you a log of all activities in Voice calls, SMS/Text messages, Apps Installed, Web history, Contacts list, Photos and Calendar data. Its GPS feature allows you to track the Tablet’s exact position at any time.
2tionplus, an Education Android app from Chennai based Edserv will now be available via the Amazon Appstore for Android. The app is already available through the Android app market place ‘Google Play’. However, Amazon’s app approval process verifies that the app works as outlined in the product description, does not impair the functionality of the mobile device and poses no risk to the user’s data.
Gartner says that worldwide sale of media tablets in 2011 was 60 million units and forecasts it to increase by 98% to reach 118.9 million units in 2012. The dominant operating system continues to be Apple’s iOS followed by Android.
According to a report ‘Indian Tablet PC’s Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2016’ by TechSci Research, the global Tablet PC market has grown to USD 35.3 billion in 2011. It further says that the Indian Tablet PCs market will grow at a CAGR of 50.96%. Samsung is leading the Tablet PC market followed by Blackberry, Reliance and Apple.
The Aakash Tablet PC project is initiated by the Ministry of HRD with an aim to narrow the digital divide in the country and provide access to educational content to students. This has set a trend in the country with more private Tablet PC manufacturers eying the Education sector. In the last few months, we have seen a few manufacturers launching low-cost Tablet PCs for the Education sector. These Tablets are appropriately priced for the College students.