India's tablet market has been growing with over 50 models of Android tablets available in the market today, as well as Apple's iPads, RIM (Research in Motion) Blackberry, and several new models running on Linux.
Most of them are affordable and priced in the US$50 to US$500 price range. The two sectors touted to gain from an increase in tablet penetration are the Education and Healthcare. Several initiatives are already underway in the education space. For example, in November 2012, Pearson Education had announced the launch of a new tablet-based education application for schools in India.
It is known as a MX Touch Platform which promises school children access to more effective, personalized and collaborative digital learning, with rich digital content, 3D animations, quizzes and videos.
Similarly, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) launched Aakash iTutor, an education tablet targeted at students preparing for various medical and engineering entrance exams, as well as foundationa-level examinations, such as the National Talent Search Examination and Olympiads. In addition, AESL launched iTutor Labs, which offers schools and students educational content available for view 24/7.
Tablets are now growing as a medium due to both its accessibility and reach. The Indian Government is also promoting tablets as an effective medium for learning. As a result schools are increasingly adopting digital teaching products to engage with students in order to make the learning experience a more enriched one.
Tablets can help bring quality content to rural India and improve the education system at the grassroots level. However, Purushothaman does not see tablets penetrating rural areas in the next three to five years. There are also other reasons why tablets are not making their way into villagers. For one, the state boards are not as forthcoming.
Moreover, most of the content created for tablets is in English, and the lack of keyboards in Indian languages has been a huge challenge. Only 11% of the Indian population known English.
Well, things according to the time are changing. On January 28, Mumbai-based technology and electronic manufacturing company WishTel introduced a new range of BSNL IRA ICON tablets loaded with Hindi OS interface. The device enables Android users to type in Hindi, as well as read and access all functions and icons in Hindi.