|Wednesday, 02 November 2011 16:08|
The general South African consumer will soon have access to an incredible usable, low cost tablet. Wise Tablets, a South African based company with more than 8 years telecoms experience and 20+ years in IT, marketing and sales, have developed over the previous 12 months a local SA tablet, specific for our SA market.
The tablet is called the WISE TOUCH 1 and has been developed in SA for SA. The tablet will be available in a 7" and 9" (capacitive multi touch) screen format, the entire range runs on Android 2.3 but apart from the hardware, it is more what is on the device that is a major benefit for the user.
"The problem with tablets available today is that all of them offer exactly the same thing, software markets!" This offers no true uniqueness between them; frankly the public opinion is that a tablet is a hybrid phone/laptop combination seen as just another gimmick or techno toy. Well, not anymore, the Wise Touch brings a new edge to the game. This edge is not a special camera or a killer app. No, what makes the Wise Touch South Africa's first South African tablet is what's on the inside," explains Gian Shipton, MD of WISE Tablets.
With the WISE TOUCH tablet you get all the regular Android content but also preloaded are extra South African applications. The majority of the content has been developed on behalf of South African brands and pre-loaded on the tablet. This localized content is presented in the form of a WISE Shopping Mall, WISE Business Park and a WISE Education Centre. The Wise Shopping Mall contains applications that include local retailers, travel shops, banking, food courts, videos, TV, movies, toys and many more. The WISE Shopping Mall features more than 15 departments with 115+ applications developed for SA.
"The Wise Shopping Mall was developed especially for the Wise Touch to offer the user an easy, unique, interactive shopping experience as an alternative to the e-commerce options available today. Combining the touch functionality from a tablet with the Wise Shopping Mall's unique user interface, the user is offered easy access to all of South Africa's most popular shops, media & content, all through only a touch of a finger. "Within the Wise Shopping Mall you have a variety of shopping options available, just as you would have in a physical mall. Read a Magazine or today's newspaper in the Magazine Store, order Take Away from your favorite restaurant in the Food Court or do all your shopping through the various Retail Stores, all of this from the comfort of your own home," says Shipton.
We found that most of the average SA consumers have a problem with the current high prices of the brand named tablets, but apart from the pricing issue, it also relates to the fact that none of the tablets in the market, including the Apple iPad presents any form of local content.
Our main aim is to provide a localized tablet with practical application and well-known local brands already loaded on the tablet. We found many new uses for a tablet and we believe they are the way of the future. We have had incredible contribution from our ‘tenants' on the tablets and have found development uses for tablets in almost all industries, from end-users, education, retail, travel etc. We have developed a tablet platform for South African companies to use in their industries as well as further the normal functionality for end-users.
On the tablet the consumer still has all the normal Android access to the android market with thousands of applications. Our biggest concern with these markets were that they only present software solutions, where as our tablets also include local branded content that relates to real life e-commerce and education. All these Android and WISE features come standard with all our tablets.
WISE TOUCH is aimed at the general volume consumer in South Africa with a device for the general user. Now everyone can have a tablet.
A big addition to our WISE TOUCH project is our focus on the education market. Bundled with the WISE TOUCH will be the ability to get access to various educational content and will include a public school syllabus. We also have universities, private schools and colleges that we have been working with that are developing their own educational content more specific for their students, but will use the more affordable WISE TOUCH as the tablet of choice.
"We have found that there is not a lot of assistance available when it comes to tablet support. This is unfortunate as most of the South African population might not be proficient in the operation of Android & so would be denied the functionality of having one. We have gone out of our way to fill this gap & will offer support & training on every level possible. From Online Support to an always available Call Centre or even through one of the national Wise Repair Centers, it doesn't matter what race & age you are or even where you live, if you have a Wise Touch tablet or Android device you can be confident that a Wise guy will be ready & willing to assist you when & wherever it becomes necessary," Shipton explains.
Finally a major addition to our product is our support infrastructure. WISE probably has one of the largest Android FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) databases in the country and now has nationwide walk-in support centers. We believe there is not enough support infrastructures currently for all the Android devices and we will support not only our own Android tablets, but will assist any consumer with an Android device if they choose. Most of our feasibility studies show that Android devices are still not used to their full potential and consumers are left to ‘play' with them to figure out what Android can do. We will change this and always work to expand our local support. We aim to educate the SA consumer on the true functionality of a tablet & the pleasure of online shopping available from a WISE tablet.
We thus supply a locally developed, locally branded, locally loaded tablet with nationwide localized support.
Many of our customers ask how we compete with the larger and better known brands such as Apple and SAMSUNG. In reality, we don't compete. Those brands represent the top end of tablets and the customers that have those, all potentially are still customers of ours. Primarily because we believe that we represent the tablet for home use and applications, which is why we present content that relates more to local branding, e-commerce, local media and education. We focus on a completely different market segment. The 9" WISE TOUCH tablet will retail for less than R3500, the most popular version, the 7" 3G tablet will retail for less than R2500 & the entry level 7" Wi-Fi for less than R1500. A very competitive offering considering that all the localized apps are pre-loaded for free, including education access.
Where are they available? We are constantly signing up wholesalers and retailers and ANYONE that wants to sell tablets or develop on them can contact us. Our channels include retailers, educational institutions, wholesalers and many more. The SA public will thus be able to buy their WISE tablets countrywide.
We expect the first tablet batch to arrive in SA in the middle of December but we will probably not have devices available for our consumers during the December month. The official launch date with stock in SA however is planned for the first quarter of 2012 but we are already building an order book with existing reviewers, resellers and educators.
Because we are in the pre-launch phase of tablet supply to the public, we invite people to register with us to review our tablets before launch, as well as make contact for distribution into their various markets.
A tablet is supposed to offer easy access to information, education, each other and the world. The Wise Touch will now make this possible by offering South Africans access to relevant education, communication & commerce with the rest of SA. It is clear that the Wise Touch will change the way consumers think of, interact with & utilizes technology. How will it change you?
"TAKE A TABLET..."