The prototype for a $35 Android tablet.
The prototype for a $35 Android tablet.

JULY 23, 2010 • As part of its ongoing education technology initiative, the Indian government worked with professors and students at the country’s elite technical universities to design a $35 tablet to be used nationwide in schools. Materials for the prototype, which runs Google’s Android OS, cost a paltry $47. The Indian government is looking for a manufacturer to produce the design, and expects unit cost to drop to $10. With subsidies, the government hopes to sell the tablet for $20 to students. The unit comes with a virtual keyboard, camera, a video camera, a 2GB memory card and Wi-Fi for web browsing.

Impact: After seeing many failed tablet products, DFC Intelligence was skeptical about the idea until we saw the iPad in action. A product like the iPad seems perfect for education and seems to make more sense than many of the netbooks on the market.  Of course, the initial iPad is an expensive product for the techno-elite, not the average student in India. However, we think Apple has shown the way for a new category that will see countless imitators in short order. In the long term, DFC believes that tablet devices will become a crucial part of education. Of course, when students are concerned this also means games.

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