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Datawind Debuts Ubislate 7+ and 7C Tablets; Content Partnerships

Aakash Tablet maker Datawind has launched two new low cost commercial Android tablets,  Ubislate 7+ and Ubislate 7C.

Content Partnerships: Along with the new tablet announcement, Datawind announced content partnerships with The Indian Express Group and Yahoo. According to this agreement, Ubislate 7+ and Ubislate 7C will come preloaded with the Indian Express news app, and customers of these new tablets will receive a 50 percent discount on annual subscription for The Indian Express and The Financial Express. The tablets will also be preloaded with Yahoo! Cricket and the Yahoo! Mail app and Yahoo! India Homepage will be the default browser homepage for Ubislate 7+. Earlier this week, Datawind had partneredwith GetJar, the independent app store, to pre-install the GetJar app store on all Datawind tablets, including Aakash and UbiSlate.

Another interesting tie-up is with Reverie Technologies which had previously developed an Indic language framework for digital platforms including mobile phones, Digital TV and PCs. This tie-up will allow the new Ubislate tablets to support over a dozen indian languages including hindi, marathi, tamil, and punjabi/gurmukhi among others.

Other tie-ups include:

– Aircel ,to offer an unlimited GPRS Internet plan at Rs 98 per month for the Ubislate tablets.
– InMobi to help deliver applications for free to consumers. We feel that this would be through an ad-supported app download model.
– Mango Learning solutions for game based educational modules, interactive smart books and the full CBSE curriculum.
– RKS Learning Private Ltd for TestBag, a testing and e-assessment solution.
– Intelligaia finger tracing apps to teach letter writing for toddlers
– Pixatel for tablet oriented utilities and games.
– PokeTALK for call back long distance services.
– MyJobs for job postings and resume submission.

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After the Micromax Funbook and the UbiSlate, it’s good to see tablet makers making a content eco-system available for end-users, out of the box. It only remains to be seen how many of these tie-ups get new sticky users for content companies and how many of these services actually turn out to be useful for the customer.

Device Specs: Both the tablets feature similar specifications i.e. They run on Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ and are powered by a 800MHz Cortex A8 processor, 256MB RAM and 3200mAh battery.

The only difference between the two tablets are the display screen and the internal memory. While Ubislate 7+ comes with a 7-inch resistive screen and 2GB internal memory, Ubislate 7C comes with a 7-inch capacitive screen and 4GB internal memory. Besides these, there are the usual connectivity options like Wi-Fi, GPRS, USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headset jack, phone functionality and an external memory card slot with support up to 32GB cards. The company has partnered with Hyderabad based VMC Systems to develop these tablets after payment disputes with Quad Electronics related to the Aakash tablet.

Pricing and Availability: Ubislate 7+ is priced at Rs 2999 and Ubislate 7C is priced at Rs 3999 and the tablets are expected to be available by May-end after the completion of existing orders. However, the tablets seem to be available for pre-order on the Ubislate website.

It would be interesting to see if DataWind is able to deliver the new tablets to consumers on time. Was it a wise decision to announce a new product when the company has not able to fulfill demand for the existing one?

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