Tablets, netbooks, smartphones become favorites for Indian education

Telecom Lead Asia: Education market is becoming the hot destination for computing devices including tablets, netbooks and smartphones.

ABI Research says nearly fifteen million computing devices – mainly netbooks — will be shipped into the education market in 2013.

Media tablets and cheaper laptops with better performance capabilities and lower price points will soon begin to rout the netbook’s appeal.

Several players are leveraging demand for Internet for education.

Vuclip, a mobile video and media company, has launched its new mobile video channel. Initially, the channel will provide educational videos for K-12 and higher education, which can be watched on any of the 5500 different types of internet-enabled mobile phones, including the most basic to the most advanced handsets. The channel currently supports educational videos in English but will include course material in other languages as well.

ABI Research says nearly six million netbooks will be shipped into the global education market this year. Earlier this month, Acer and Asus announced the production halt of netbooks in 2013, following a number of other hardware computing OEMs that include Dell, HP, and Samsung.

Global annual netbook shipments are predicted to decline by over 50 percent in 2013 from last year. The smaller, lower cost, lower performance laptop seems to have its days numbered.

ABI Research senior analyst Josh Flood says netbooks opened the door for education institutes and other organizations to purchase suitable computing hardware at a very reasonable price while also offering numerous advantages to young children.

According to a survey done by Vuclip, Indians prefer mobiles over computers as their choice of medium for education. Females prefer mobile twice as much as computers and males prefer mobile three times over computers. This was true across all age groups, though was more pronounced in respondents above 18 years of age.

Nickhil Jakatdar, CEO and founder of Vuclip, says more than half of respondents in India cited money as the biggest obstacle to getting an education of their choice. However, Indians are relatively more open to learning at home, with only 18 percent preferring to learn in a school, compared to the global average of 25 percent in favour of a school environment. At 82 percent, Indians are also more responsive to receiving education through phones, than the rest of the world (80 percent).

70 percent males and 53 percent females in India said they were very interested in education through their phone, which again is above the global average, indicating a higher propensity to mobile-based education among Indians.

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