Kiddie tablet launched in the Philippines [Global Data Point]
(Global Data Point Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) LIFEWARE Technology Inc., makers of easy-to-use smart tools for electronic learning and teaching, has entered the Philippine market with the launch of its new tablet offering specifically catering to youngsters.
"There's no way we can complete with China on the mass-based, high volume, low-price game. And we cannot compete with Apple or Samsung. So we want to go into undeserved niche market where we have an advantage. So we think [of the] Filipino children, and a Filipino tablet is where we can have an advantage,' said David R. Cruz III, chief marketing officer of Lifeware Technology.
Called the Enlight KiddieTab, this locally made tablet is tailor-fitted for children ages 3 to 8. This first kiddie tablet in the country that runs on an Android operating system comes preloaded with about a hundred applications organized according to a child's developmental stage.
It has content that helps children count, read and learn the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication and others. The company designed it as supplementary to the traditional kinder to primary school curriculum. Now available in selected Toy Kingdom stores nationwide, this 8-inch, HD-capable multitouch tablet is modified to guarantee a safe, ecure and controlled environment for children.
Cruz said the company spent almost two years on research and development (R&D) wherein they found out that showed that young children have benefited from exposure to technology in educational settings.
"They have shown greater gains in intelligence, structural knowledge, problem solving and language skills compared to those who do not use technology as they learn,' Angela Halili-Jao, former head of child and adolescent psychiatry of the UP Manila College of Medicine-Philippine General Hospital, said.
To allay fears of some parents that early exposure of children to tablets, smartphones and other gadgets could lead to early digital addiction, she stressed that they would benefit more if they viewed technology "as an ally'"an aid to learning and the acquisition and mastery of developmental skills.'
Lifeware Technology has initially invested not less than $1 million for the whole R&D efforts and production of the tablets. The design of the Enlight KiddieTab is locally made, but the components and parts are sourced from different component providers overseas.
For this year, the company is looking at 15,000 units for inventory and expects to surpass such numbers in terms of sales.
"If you're looking at preschools alone, there are over 1,500 preschools in Metro Manila alone. For the [population of] children, we have definitely over 8 million to 9 million within that age range of 3 to 8. It's a sizable market if we're able to serve it,' Cruz said.
At present, Lifeware Technology, according to him, is building a whole Kiddie App Store for a more age-specific content, wherein there will be free and paid applications. This will be launched by end of September this year.
On the possibility of exporting the Enlight KiddieTab, Cruz was certain of this since they have an ongoing negotiations with an undisclosed Italian company for its distribution in Italy.
"We're proud because we're one of the unique Filipino companies who are actually designing, developing technology from the scratch here. It's indeed a Filipino design yet a global product,' Cruz said.
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