Simputer Update

Rediff has a story on the Simputer, stating that the handheld will no longer be cheap – “[it] is likely to carry a price tag of anything between Rs 12,000 and Rs 20,000. Encore’s entry-level model will cost Rs 12,000, while the most expensive one will be priced Rs 22,000. PicoPeta is likely to price its Simputer, Amida, at about Rs 15,000.”

, why would anyone opt for a Simputer and not go for a desktop PC or a handheld device?

For its portability and the range of features it offers, argue PicoPeta and Encore.

“Our Simputer comes with a smart card reader. It has a USB master that can host different kind of peripherals. It has an in-built modem, GSM/CDMA data interface, GPS receiver and the equivalent of a 400 MHZ Celeron. It is a power packed machine,” says Samyeer Metrani, group manager (embedded systems), Encore Technologies.

Says PicoPeta’s Professor Manohar: “The Rs 20,000 that a desktop costs is only a part of the total ownership costs. How many people can use the standard PC? You need to know Windows, English, how to operate a mouse, et cetera. The Simputer will give them applications that they can handle easily.”

But clearly, somewhere along the line from conception to development, talk of the Rs 9,000 Simputer that would become the computer for the poor man, has been lost.

I think that Simputer will find its niche, but it will not be the mass market “simple / cheap computer” that was once envisioned. To take computing to the mass market, the cost has to be Rs 5,000.


Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.