Micromax Enters Tablet Market With Low-cost Product; Can It Recreate The Magic Of Handsets?

Micromax Informatics Ltd, an Indian mobile handset manufacturer which is also number three in the Indian mobile handset market (with 5 per cent market share), has forayed into the already overcrowded Tablets market by launching its first product. The new Tablet is named 'Funbook' and it is targeted at students.

The company is promoting the Tablet with a tagline that states 'Paas hoga, timepass bhi hoga' (if you have the Tablet, you won't have a problem in passing time) and the company is also claiming that this is the first 'made in India' Tablet. The Tablet will be available at retail stores across the country and it is also being sold exclusively (at least that is what its website claims) on Snapdeal.com for Rs 6,499.

Since the Tablet is aimed at students, the company has added an e-reading app in the device that has content from publishers like GK Publishers, Scholarshub, Pearson and Universal Tutorials, among others. The pre-loaded content includes more than 500 courses that cover Class 1 to under-graduate level and also sample papers/study material for MBA, medical or engineering exams.

The Tablet has a 7 inch (800x480 pixel resolution) multi-touch capacitive touchscreen and runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system. The Tablet is powered by a 1.2 GHz Cortex A8 processor (Dual Mali 400- 2D/3D graphics processor for multimedia processing) and has 512MB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is 4GB which can be expanded an additional 32GB.

Funbook has a 0.3 mega pixel front facing camera for video calling and on the connectivity front, it has Wi-Fi, 3G (through USB dongle) and it also has a USB 2.0 and a HDMI port. The company is also offering a Tata Photon+ 3G USB dongle bundled with the device that will offer free data usage of 1GB for two months. The Tablet has a 2800mAh battery which the company claims will provide up to 5 hours of browsing time.

The device also comes pre-loaded with a number of entertainment apps like Zenga TV app for watching live TV and Big Flix app for watching movies. Additionally, around 6000 songs, 4000 videos and M clips will also be available courtesy Bollwood Hungama.

The dimensions of the device are 192mm x 122mm x 10.5mm but its weight is not available as of now. The Tablet is available in midnight black and slate grey colours.

Funbook will compete with Tablets like Wishtel's IRA Thing (Rs 5,500), Zync Z-990 (Rs 8,500), iBerry Auxus AX02 (Rs 9,900), Mercury's mTab (Rs 9,499), Beetel Teletech's Beetel Magiq II (Rs 9,799) and the recently launched HCL ME Tab U1 (Rs 7,999).

The other educational Tablets include e-class Tablet (Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000), AcrossWorld's educational Tablet ATab (for Rs 5,000) and Classpad (Rs 7,500 to Rs 14,000).

Last month, Spreadtrum Communications Inc, a fabless semiconductor provider in China, had invested $10 million in Micromax. The company had earlier appointed Deepak Mehrotra as its new CEO in late December 2011, besides hiring other senior people from Sony Ericson and HTC.

The question is with a new top management and a brand new category that is all set to take off in a big way, can Micromax recreate the magic that it came up with in attacking the low cost but feature packed mobile handsets market in India? Keep track of this space for updates.