SAN FRANCISCO—An Indian firm has begun offering in India a media tablet featuring a MIPS-based
processor and running the latest version of the Android operating system for about $125, according to a statement released Tuesday (July 31) by intellectual property licensor MIPS Technologies Inc.
According to MIPS (Sunnyvale, Calif.) the tablet, offered by Karbonn Mobile India Private Ltd. is the lowest cost tablet on the market featuring Android 4.1, also known as "Jelly Bean."
The Karbonn Smart Tab 1 tablet features an ultra-low power MIPS-based JZ4770 SoC from China's Ingenic Semiconductor Co. Ltd. The tablet is available now through Karbonn's website and online portals and retail outlets in India such as Reliance Digital and Walmart, MIPS said.
The Karbonn Smart Tab 1 tablet was first introduced in early July with the Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating system. An upgrade to Android 4.1 will be available to customers who purchased this earlier version of the tablet, according to MIPS.
Other low-cost Android tablets featuring MIPS-based Ingenic processors have launched in emerging markets over the past eight months. Last December, Ainol Electronics Co. Ltd. launched an Android 4.0 tablet in China for less than $100.
Google announced Jelly Bean at its developer conference in San Francisco last month. The latest version of Android includes a smoother and more responsive user interface, a home screen that adapts to fit content, a predictive keyboard feature that suggests the next word before a user begins typing it and more interactive notifications.
The Indian media tablet market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 71 percent from 2011 to 2017, according to a recent study by ABI Research. A statement released by MIPS quoted Jeff Orr, mobile devices practice director at ABI, saying 2012 is an important year for media tablets in India because an increasing number of models designed for the India market are becoming available at different price tiers."Keys to success for tablet vendors will be localized content, seamless connectivity and providing an enhanced user experience," Orr said.
Pradeep Jain, managing director of Karbonn Mobiles, said in the MIPS statement that Karbonn is the first company in the world to offer an Android 4.1 tablet at such an affordable price point. " We intend to be the leading marketer in the Indian tablet market wherein we wish to reach up to 200,000 units per month by focusing on enterprise business solutions segmentation, education, healthcare, hospitality and next-generation business verticals," Jain said.
"Millions of tablets are already shipping around the globe based on our design, and we anticipate increasing success as more and more companies recognize the differentiation our solution can enable," said Qiang Liu, chairman and CEO of Ingenic Semiconductor, in the same statement.
Gideon Intrater, vice president of marketing at MIPS, said MIPS has achieved a number of additional design wins since the announcement of the sub-$100 Ainol Android 4.0 tablet in China in December. "Working closely with Ingenic and its OEMs, we are seeing increasing success for the MIPS architecture in tablets, especially in emerging markets such as China, Indonesia and now India," Intrater said.