Aakash Tablet, Sony Google TV, Samsung Chromebook, Baidu and Alibaba Smartphones...

Last January, Aakash made a splash with its $41 Android tablets (1.4 M UbiSlates booked online within a fortnight). Still made by UK's Datawind but slightly improved, the device is now sold $61. WiFi enabled, it can be also connected to a broadband device via USB. Otherwise, Airtel provides an internet connection for $1.7 per month, but that's on GPRS. Not exactly LTE... but then again, the iPhone was launched on 2G when 3G was all the rage. Since January, Aakash made a quantum leap from Froyo to Gingerbread (Android 2.2 and 2.3, both vintage 2010 stuff).

As announced during CES2012, Sony will launch its Google TV in Europe this summer. Sony NSZ-GS7 will cost $200, and combine a stylish set top box with a 1990sh remote control. The design tells a lot about Sony: a manufacturer who cares about how the most visible hardware looks, but pays little attention to the user experience. Software-wise, Google TV on Android remains behind Apple TV, but there's still some time until Xmas season. And the smart TV wars may be postponed because of The Great Depression.

$550 for a Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550 3G? A relief for Windows.

$650 for a Samsung Galaxy S3? Instead, you can get 4 Baidu smartphones in China: the Changhong H5018 goes for RMB 1000 (about $158 apiece), comes with a 100 GB cloud service, and runs on yet another Linux-based OS. After Alibaba's Aliyun, Baidu Cloud: the Google and the Amazon of China may be able to build decent user bases within months, and I wouldn't be surprised to see local players target emerging markets.

Nevermind the hardware: cloud-wise, it may become more interesting.
mot-bile 2012

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