Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hoping For A $35 "iPad"

India recently came out with a prototype for “an iPad-like touch-screen laptop” with a price tag of $35. However, the laptop is still in its initial stage of development and the Indian government is still looking for manufacturers to produce the device. When I heard this news, it got me thinking: how come a technology that can be made for as little as $35 be sold for $499 (which is the price of an Apple iPad)?

Don’t get me wrong, I know that the prototype is just…a prototype so it may still cost significantly higher when it goes into production. And I am also aware that a substantial part of the price tag of an iPad includes other costs aside from the production expense. However, when we look at it, $35 is still a far cry from $499. I think that this is an important issue to consider. Any technology which has the potential to provides an avenue to access information, which would not have been available to people otherwise, should be made obtainable to as broad an audience as possible. The iPad has the capacity to do this. Had an iPad cost cheaper, it could significantly help students in developing countries (like the Philippines) bridge the information divide that exist between people who have access to the Internet and those that doesn’t. But because of the steep cost, people who could have been helped by such technology are made to wait for a cheaper alternative (which may or may not come).

Hopefully, the $35 prototype will ultimately be made available for mass production. Until then there is nothing left to do but wait and continue praying that the iPad lowers its price.

1 comment:

Leo Rafael L. Quesada said...

China has its version (more of a rip-off) of the iPad, called the iPed, which sells for $105. Not as cheap as $35 but definitely cheaper than Apple's $499. :D