Datawind shot to instant stardom with its tablet priced at an ultra low $35 announced it has a similar offer for the US as well. The company has lined up three versions for the US market, with the range starting at $38, while the top of the line model is priced at $130.
The specs are fairly down to earth, which is hardly surprising given the price, though as Datawind CEO Mark Tully has mentioned, they aren’t out to compete with rival tablet makers on the spec front. Rather, what they’d like to achieve is to unleash the power of the web to even the least affluent sectors of society.
“Affordability shouldn’t be the reason people can’t get on the Internet,” said Tuli. “We want to specifically reach a customer base that right now is not on the Internet.”
As for the tablet devices and their jaw dropping price tags, the company has been relying on slightly outdated tech coupled with cost effective manufacturing practices to arrive at the price points. To put this in a better perspective, the top of the line Ubislate 3G7 offers roughly the same specifications as the first generation Samsung Galaxy Tab, which launched more than three years ago. The Ubislate 3G7 is also the only version to come powered by a dual core chip, a camera on the front and rear, and with Android 4.1 as the OS.
All the models come with 512 MB of RAM and offer 4 GB of internal storage. Fortunately, all three versions support micro SD card slots. Also, while the base model Ubislate 7Ci connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, things are a bit better with the mid-range Ubislate 7C+ in that it offers 2G support. The flagship Ubislate 3G7 takes things further by incorporating support for 3G networks. Also, true to their intended business model, the company is offering a year of basic browsing with the Ubislate 7C+ and 3G7 models for just $20 more, though the exact terms of the deal is yet unknown.
What remains unanswered is whether there will be enough buyers for the tablet even at this price tag, which itself runs the risk of making the tablet seem too expendable to be worthy of any serious consideration. While the top end model sports slightly better specs than the rest, it still has to ward off competition from cheap Chinese versions offering better specs. Instead, it is the cheaper versions that might seem enticing for first time tablet buyers or for parents who want their kids to be introduced to tablets and the internet without having to break the bank. In any case, the tablets are not expected to sell in huge numbers in the US, a stumbling block that has been a problem for the company even in India.