Wednesday 5 October 2011

The Sleeping Giant Awakes - eBooks and India - Pt 3

Back in July I posted about the potential impact that India would have on the eBook market if a device were offered with the right price tag. Then in July I continued with a second installment noting , among other things, the potential for the educational system.  
Imagine my surprise when I saw an article at The Passive Voice announcing that the Indian government has inked a deal with Montreal tech firm Datawind. I did a quick search and found a flurry of corroborating sources such as this article from PC World. The deal is for an initial order of 100,000 Aakash Android tablets at an initial price of $50 per unit though Datawind believes they can bring the price down with higher volume. The initial order is believed to be destined for a subsidised program at the nation’s universities.
As to volume, the government expects to buy eight to ten Million units before the current fiscal year end. That price is going to start sliding down to the sweet spot pretty fast.
Though the unit can handle web browsing, video and double as a cell phone, it can also handle eBook apps. Remember, were talking about the second largest population on Earth and with a unit price closing in on that magic 0.5% of per capita GDP, we are going to see a massive shift in how books are consumed.
Every now and then, I manage to anticipate the news. I just usually don’t get excited enough to write about it…

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