The World’s Cheapest Tablet Launched in India

IIT Rajashtan and other institions in India developed and launched the world supposed to be cheapest tablet “Aakash” (Sky in Sanskrit) at around $50

1. 7-inch touchscreen
2. OS : Android 2.2
3. HD video co-processor for good multimedia experience
4. Wi-Fi connectivity and has support for optional 3G modems.
5.Two full-size USB ports are integrated into the unit.
This table was distributed to college students by Government of India .
The production of this table is done at  Hyderabad based facility of Datawind.
so, India has done it. Can students in US too get cheap tablets? If not $35, $50? $100?
Sometime back I saw tablets by Koby, a chinese manufacturer, at around $140-150 at Fry’s electronics. Last month when HP emptied its inventory of TouchPad at $99 there was a huge reponse. May be $100 is the magic number. I predict Tablets would be the maximum sold  gadget in this holiday season.

Adobe Acquired PhoneGap Maker Nitobi

No doubt Adobe is making all out efforts to regain its position for flashy apps on web as well as on mobile. Adobe acquired Nitobi, the maker of multi-platform Apps development opensource, PhoneGap. We are using it in myBantu Apps. It pretty good for providing portable App for Android as well as iPhone. It provides an abstraction to call native services and gives a very good experience as Native App without writing it natively.

It is also an validation of HTML5 . When iPhone was announced, Steve Job declared war on Adobe flash by not supporting it and promoting HTML5 instead. Whether it has compelled Adobe or Adobe is seeing the writing on the wall, but Adobe is rapidly positioning its toolsets to provide a leadership in tools for HTML5 based apps.

Steve Jobs Billions Dollars Gift to Apps Developers

A latest report on Mobile Market by Ovum Research  informs that there would be   apps downloads this year itself. Though many of the downloads are free, the paid / freemium Apps download adding direct wealth of collectively billions of dollars in the pockets of Apps Developers. Of course, this number is bigger if you add Advertisement revenue or Apps triggering transaction revenue. The direct download market would reach to  $3.7 billion in 2011, growing 92 per cent over last year .  Though the Android share in the total downloads is higher, the iPhone consumers are paying more with projected $2.86 billion in 2016, compared to $1.5 billion for Android. Credit goes to Steve Jobs and Apple for creating such a huge market opportunity. Consider it is a gift of a one geek to the geeks community!

Costly Patent War Heating Up

Google announced today that it is buying Motorola Mobility at 12.5 billion with  60% premium. At prima facie, this move may seem like Google’s entry into mobile hardware devices to challenge Apple. However, Google never positioned itself in hardware or devices moreover. So, if Google is serious about entering into making mobiles, it would be in a direct competition with vendors like Samsung, LG, HTC who are manufacturing mobile devices on Google’s Android platform. This would negatively impact the partnership. As per Google, since Android is open-source, this move by Google should not cause any worry to the mobile devices manufacturers. Of course, this comment would not reduce the worried of the devices manufacturers. so, would Google really enter into the mobile device manufacturing? What is the rational for paying such a huge amount for buying ailing Motorola Mobility? Is there any other reason behind this? May be there can be another motive of this buy. For that, we need to see what was happening in last few weeks.

Recently Apple and Microsoft bought 6000 patents portfolio of Novell. Google was bidding for the same but lost the bid. A consortium led by Apple and Microsoft paid 4.5 billion for the patent portfolio. Immediately Google complained that Apple and Microsoft are ganging up to choke Google’s Android platform.

On this background, it is important to note that recent buy would give Google an access to Motorola Mobility’s 17,000 patetns and 7500 patent applications . May be it is the patent war that compelled Google to throw $12.5 b for Motoroloa Mobility.  Or is it Google going to be serious to take on Apple in its mobile devices turf?

First time hands on Android SDK

This week I played around with Android SDK.  Compared to iPhone SDK, Android SDK has a definite advantage for Java developers. For iPhone, it is completely new development environment as well as need to have Mac platform. That is an upfront development cost. In contrast, Android development can be done with using Eclipse Plugin. However, for those who are not UI developers, there is a learning curve.  Android uses a lot of xml based declarative definitions for various resources. The SDK comes up with xmlparser and more suitable for JSON based interactions. For SOAP based, one may need to depend on other SOAP libraries.