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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    It should be interesting to see how this plays out. After all, this could help change the price structure of all slate type computers.....

    Take care,

    Jay

    India unveils $35 computer for students
    By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN, July 23, 2010 8:42 a.m. EDTNew Delhi, India

    India unveils $35 computer for students - CNN.com

    (CNN) -- India has unveiled a $35 computer prototype as part of its program to provide connectivity to its students and teachers at affordable prices.
    Kapil Sibal, the country's human resources development minister, displayed what he called a low-cost computing and access device in New Delhi on Thursday.

    The ministry said the price would gradually fall to $10 a piece.

    India said connectivity to all its colleges and universities is key to achieving its education goals.

    Home to a billion-plus population, the country's literacy rate stands at 65 percent, according to the 2001 census figures.

    Nevertheless, the South Asian nation has made giant strides in various areas since it opened up its economy in the early 1990s.

    The country ushered in a telecom revolution that delivered mobile telephony to nearly 600 million people in just a little more than a decade with highly competitive call tariffs.

    Now, India is preparing for another leap into the digital world.

    Recently, it auctioned off its airwaves for third-generation services to enable super-fast multimedia streaming of wireless.

    The move is aimed at bringing India's online market on a par with its booming cell-phone business through Internet penetration with technology allowing quick access, data transfer and entertainment on mobile handsets.

    The country has announced plans to link up all its 250,000 village councils by 2012 in a bid to plug massive broadband divides between rural and urban communities as it emerges as one of the world's few growth markets.

    Authorities say technical institutions involved in designing the new device are now setting up research to address price and quality issues in developing budget gadgets for students.

    "The aim is to reach such devices to the students of colleges and universities, and to provide these institutions a host of choices of low-cost access devices around Rs 1,500 ($35) or less in near future," the human resources ministry said at the launch of the computer.

    Ministry spokeswoman Mamata Varma said the government aimed to introduce the new touch-screen computing tool at higher educational institutions in 2011.

    The ministry, she said, is expected to tender out contracts to private companies for mass production of its prototype.

    The Linux-based computer is equipped with an Internet browser, a PDF reader and several other facilities, she said
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2.    #2  
    Hi all,

    Just an update...

    take care,

    Jay


    How can India build a $35 tablet? More details emerge

    By Christopher Dawson | July 24, 2010, 9:02pm PDT

    How can India build a $35 tablet? More details emerge | ZDNet

    On Friday I covered the $35 tablet prototype that the Indian government unveiled. Over the weekend, it’s been called everything from the “future of computing” to “devices [that] cannot compensate for [India's] crumbling education infrastructure and absenteeism of teaching staff.” A few more details have emerged, however, suggesting that this prototype is a lot closer to a reference spec than something that will see the light of day soon.

    I started digging into this a little bit further when a little birdie from Intel said “It doesnt add up - the sum of the parts is no where near the whole cost they are claiming…” Not a literal birdie, of course, but I’m waiting for an OK to attribute the quite reasonable statement to a source. Regardless, both the Times of India and thenextweb.com shed a bit more light on the device.

    According to the Times of India,

    HRD ministry has made an open invitation to one and all to come up with more variants that fulfills specifications spelt out by it. The ministry has set up several separate teams, which are involved in bringing out their prototypes…The $35 price, [human resources development minister Kapil Sibal] said, is inclusive of cost of manufacturing abroad. However, the cost of the solar panel has not been factored into the price yet….At the current price point of $35, Sibal said, there would be 50% subsidy to educational institutions, which will effectively bring down the cost to only Rs 750. The initial order will be for no less than one lakh laptops.

    On lakh, by the way, is 100,000. So not only is it apparent that the prototype only lays out the specifications for the tablet but that cost estimates rely on predictions of massive economies of scale and local government large-scale purchases. If this sounds familiar, it’s virtually the same rhetoric that Nicholas Negroponte used to convince the world that he could build a $100 laptop.

    thenextweb.com quotes a report from the AP in an update to their initial coverage of the device:

    India plans to subsidize the cost of the tablet for its students, bringing the purchase price down to around $20.

    “Depending on the quality of material they are using, certainly it’s plausible,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research. “The question is, is it good enough for students?”

    Good question, Ms. Epps. The specifications for this device are actually quite compelling, as is the goal of cheap, ubiquitous connectivity and access to the cloud via devices that are genuinely affordable. As with OLPC, however, the opportunity costs may be too high at this point, as many schools in India (as in other developing countries) struggle with simple infrastructural issues. An editorial in the Times of India rails against the government’s approach:

    When most of our government-run schools in the villages don’t even have basic infrastructure such as furnished classrooms, blackboards and toilets, our officials are itching to bring in subsidised computing devices.

    This isn’t to say that development efforts for highly-affordable student-centered computing devices shouldn’t continue in India and elsewhere. On the contrary, devices like these have the potential to leverage extraordinary advances in cloud computing and be part of both modern, connected classrooms as well as bridging the digital divide. A little dose of reality and perspective, however, is mighty important as we move towards those goals.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group

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