iProf Learning Solutions India has launched a personal education tablet device called (not surprisingly) iProf. While the 7 inch touch screen, WiFi enabled tablet itself has been procured from Archos, and runs the Android OS with a Learning Management System installed on it. iProf has been priced rather steep, at Rs 14,900.
Tablet devices like Amazon’s Kindle, its Indian counterpart Infibeam’s Pi and Apple’s iPad already exist but where iProf is different is its target audience is specific, the students. Through the device, the company is starting with IIT-JEE preparation for which it has tied up with Brilliant Tutorials for content; preparation for Pre-Medical Test (PMT), CPT (Common Proficiency Test) and CA (Chartered Accountants) will also be added later. iProf is looking to mobilise investment worth Rs 1 Billion for its entire e-learning eco system in the next 18 months. The company has also launched iStudy Zones, a chain of e-learning centres that are being made iProf ready with high-speed broadband and WiFi so that content can be downloaded on the device quickly and securely.
Education is a big business in India, especially institutes that offer coaching via correspondence or class for competitive exams like CAT, CLAT, IIT-JEE etc and the hefty fee students shell out for these courses, but as opposed to personalized tutoring or coaching classes, we would be surprised if someone shells out Rs. 14,900 for an education specific tablet.
What’ll set iProf, is the content it will provide students: it needs to rope in more content providers on its platform, and offer students quick and easy access to content. At the same time, it’s not that the same content can’t be provided on a PC by some of these companies, or that Brilliant Tutorials can’t explore other partnerships. So what’s the differentiation?