Frugal engineering, or the process of trying to reduce the complexity and cost of a particular product, has been fashionable in India for some time now. Today, even as Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy and Microsoft’s Surface battle it out at the pricey end of the spectrum, the tablet wars in India are being fought at the bottom of the pyramid.
Prices are falling to very low levels. Canadian company Datawind has launched a $40 tablet, with schools in India being its target market. However, this isn’t Datawind’s first foray in the country. The Indian government ordered close to 2 million tablets, branded Aakash (sky), from Datawind as part of the National Mission on Education.
These tablets were priced even lower — with subsidies, they cost $35 for students and teachers. But delivery delays, failure to provide customer support and other problems resulted in the government ending its association with Datawind. The company is now offering its tablets — branded Ubislate — on its own.
Via Daniel Oporto Calderón