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Future is in low-cost tablet, says Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli

Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli says the government must look at reducing duty on computing devices to benefit from the economic prosperity that the move could bring in.

Nandagopal Rajan | July 22, 2013 | Updated 18:16 IST

We would like our tablets to be even cheaper to reach a mass base in a country like India. But 17 per cent of the cost of a tablet is duties and taxes.

The mistake the Indian government is making is that they are using duties as a budget-balancing tool. They should actually be looking at reducing duty on computing devices to benefit from the economic prosperity that it brings in. There are many studies that show a 10 per cent increase in Internet penetration will lead to a 0.5 per cent increase in GDP.

The duty on cell phones is just 2 per cent, and a smartphone is 6 per cent. But the government does not consider the 7-inch tablet a smartphone, even with calling, because of its size. And someone must challenge this, as a tablet now meets all definitions of the smartphone, except for the size. But then the latest smartphones are over 6 inches.

I wish the government will wake up and see the benefit of making computing devices more affordable. It is very difficult to pull down inputs cost after a point.

We have always been focused on price and have looked at the price point where computers would really take off. We think this is at about 25 per cent of the average family's monthly salary, that would be around Rs 2,500 in India. We think the future is in low- cost phablet and not low-cost tablets.

Suneet Singh Tuli

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