In a push to ramp up kids' tech skills, Thailand's government is preparing to buy a Chinese-built iPad-esque tablet PC for every first grader.
The key phrase here is "iPad-esque."
Thai kids, it appears you're getting the "ScoPad." Like an iPad, it's slender, WiFi equipped and assembled in China.
The difference is ScoPads are designed by a company you've never heard of – Scope – and they're a whole hell of a lot cheaper. According to the Bangkok Post, the little-known Chinese firm will churn out the 7-inch tablets for just $81 a pop. (Higher bids came from Chinese companies Huawei, TCL and Haier, the China Daily reports.)
Shipping is not included in that price. Nor is the cost of pre-installing educational software: an extra $10 per unit.
But provided the ScoPad proves durable enough to withstand the wreckless fingers of 700,000 first graders, Scope is poised for a long relationship with the Thai government.
The ruling party, during last year's eleciton season, promised to eventually outfit all Thai students with tablet PCs.