The past decade has seen several attempts to mass market PCs through innovations like the Simputer, Classmate PC and a $100 portable computer under the one-laptop-perchild initiative, some of which had Intel's involvement. Vishakantaiah said some of these initiatives did not fully appreciate the complexities of the Indian market. "Broadband connection is a problem, so is reaching rural areas. Classmate PC has been a success in Latin America, with success in one country influencing others in the region to take it up. But in India, success in one area is no guarantee that others will want to do it," he said.
So, apart from efforts to bring breakthroughs in chip architecture to make them both
low cost and multi-functional, Intel India will be looking at triggering innovations around low-cost chips, like the battery backup in the power adaptor. "Besides, in India, we can't just provide a box and expect people to know what to do with it, like in mature markets. We have to provide content, we have to work with the teachers using the PCs to explain what's possible.We will have applications
preloaded on the system which are activated only when the buyer starts using them;
and they pay only for the time they use the app.We will work with our partners and the entire supply chain to do all of this," Vishakantaiah said.
The company's chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, who was in Bangalore last week, told TOI he's starting what he calls a "frugal engineering" effort at its India facility. "It's intended to bring high technology to these huge populations, to those whom our products for the most part do not touch today. And India seemed to be the perfect place to do that kind of work," he said.
Rattner said he expects early results from the 'rethinking' initiative a year from now."We will do a number of projects in this area and quickly weed out the ones that aren't going anywhere, and focus on one or two that look promising," he said.
More at this link from Times of India!