Indian telecom service provider Reliance Communications has launched a new Tablet device based on Google’s Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread). The 7 inch tablet, which is essentially a customized device built by Chinese hardware manufacturer ZTE, will be sold at all Reliance outlets as Reliance 3G Tab, and is priced at Rs 12,999.

The tablet will be pre-loaded with 15 popular applications including the office suite, Documents To Go, and a 4GB memory card will also be bundled with it. Initially being launched in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, the device will be available in R-Com’s 13 3G circles, in a few days. The company is also offering discounted monthly and advance payment data plans with the device. Customers can get a 39%-51% discount on data tariffs if they pay advance rental for 12 months, or 20%-33% discount on monthly data plans.

Our Take

– Specifications: The device runs on a version of Android that is not optimized for tablets, and is a little underpowered in terms of specifications (512MB RAM, 2 Mega Pixel Camera).

– Price Advantage: Price is a significant big barrier in making it a mass device. R-Com since its Infocom days has played on the price point to pull the masses. It is priced lower than an Netbook, which is the low-cost, portable device of choice for internet access and basic computing. Moreover, it costs less than a lot of mid-range Android powered smart phones in the market. So this might be a game changer, if R-Com markets it well.