Hardware is dead
In the US, when we talk about tablets we usually mean the iPad and increasingly the Kindle devices, but beyond that there is not much else in the market. I had heard that tablets in China had already reached low price points. You can buy a reasonable Android phone for $100 retail, and I wanted to see if I could find a $150 tablet. This consultant pointed me to a mall filled with hundreds of stalls selling nothing but tablets. I walked into the middle of the scrum to a random stall. I pointed to one of the devices on display and asked, “How much for this one?” 300 kuai. My Mandarin is a bit rusty, so I had to ask again. Slowly, the stall owner repeated renminbi 300 yuan.
If this were a movie, the lights would have dimmed and all the activity in the room frozen. 300 renminbi is US $ 45. And that was the initial offer price given to a bewildered foreigner in China, no haggling. I felt a literal shock.
If dual-core Android tablets are under $100 it just becomes a matter of what is loaded on them. What a kid learns depends on what is loaded on the technology, not the technology.