Forget the $499 iPad 2: The Indian government is beginning the process of distributing a 7-inch, ultra-cheap Android-based tablet to millions of students. It will retail for 1,750 rupees (about $36).
The tablet revolution arrived ahead of schedule and any barriers to mobile and Internet access, as well as travel marketing, in developing and developed countries are being removed even faster than most people imagined.
The new tablet in India is called Aakash and it comes from a partnership between the Indian government and DataWind Ltd. of Canada, The Wall Street Journal reports.
There is a pilot program under way, and then the government intends to begin distributing the tablet to millions of students. The rollout process may be a prolonged one, however, since the manufacturer may have difficulties in scaling up to the task, according to reports.
The touchscreen tablet has Wi-Fi capabilities and an Internet browser, multimedia and video-conferencing features, two USB ports and a maximum of 32 GB of storage.
It is no revelation to state that it is easy to envision a day when small tablet devices will be more commonly used than laptops and desktops, and travel companies undoubtedly will have to adapt to the platform, preferably sooner rather than later.
Of course, the travel industry already is focusing on the iPad, and the $199 Kindle Fire and $35 Aakash will only accelerate the push.
In that regard, it was symbolic of the changes under way that KLM revealed this week that in collaboration with online marketing agency Mirabeau, the airline has optimized its website for tablets.
Responsive Design technology enlarges the clickable areas, automatically altering the display of KLM.com to mesh with the size of the tablet, the airline says.
Here's more about the Aakash tablet in India.