India's low-cost tablet race
Just went to the launch of a new Indian tablet running ICS 4, costing Rs 9,000 ($180). The Zync Z990 and its sister products are the first foray into IT for Apple Group of Companies, which is better known as a steel, iron and engineering company.
Following the arrival of Aakash, the flawed but attention-grabbing device that claims to be the world's cheapest tablet ($35), low-cost tablets are gold in India, it seems (NB Zinc's device is made in China using parts from China and Korea). Reliance's 3G tab released last year costs $240, but the company is expected to launch a device closer to the price of the Aakash.
Zync said they're betting on the $100-200 tablet market, and have no intentions of making higher-end devices. Many in the industry have been surprised by the fairly slow uptake of high-end devices in India. Zync's response?
"Indians won't jump on to a new market, they tend to start at the lower end and then move up once they've tried something," Zync's spokesman said.
The company predicts they will sell 240,000 units in the next year, and estimates that 1.5-2 million tablets will be sold across India in 2013.