IChip India unveils web browsing device
Now, this is truly game changing.
As per news release on EETimes, just out, Hyderabad based IChip India has pretty much removed the hardware entry barrier to the internet for a vast majority of Indians.
” Hyderabad-based IChip India Ltd has launched @ Box, a small ultra low cost Internet access device that allows the user to access the net through display devices like TVs or projectors.
Initially priced at Rs.4,971.92 ($100) per device, @ Box is touted as an affordable replacement for home entertainment PCs. The new device is sold in a standard package with a key board, track ball, power adaptor and cable to connect to the TV.”
Will this finally make deep penetration of internet possible, in just a couple of years? Well, as always this will depend on:
– Broadband availability and access speed at affordable cost; if it is still WW Wait, instead of today’s 70 mllion frustrated users we will have 70 crore frustrated users.
Let me explain; in Hong Kong, 2 years back, we paid 200HKD per month for a 2MBps ADSL connection. Unlimited downloads. All local calls free. I believe rates are lower now. Also, today it is possible to take a 18MBps connection at home in HK (it is not cheap, but hey, the option exists). Can we get 2MBps pipe to every home for about Rs. 200 pm? About the same we pay for a local cable connection?
How many villages does the government plan to connect up with broadband connection? What about electricity?
– Availability of local content. I have spoken about it so often before. See here and here. This underscores the urgent need to perhaps replicate the local programming model of the local language TV channels into the internet space. Without strong local language content, all this innovation will mean nothing to the vast majority of our people.
In terms of business opportunities, this opens up huge opportunities for SMEs to create businesses around content creation, user training, deployment and creating targeted locally relevant advertising. The fun has just started. I just hope the $100 PC is not a joke like the $10 PC was.