Notion Ink has released a beta version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich for its Adam tablet. Adam users can download the update from here. The update process is a little trickier than a regular OTA update like most other tablets get, but we are sure Adam’s users are more adept at tweaking and modifying things on their tablets. We also caught up with Notion Ink’s founder, Rohan Shravan, to talk about the company, what makes its tablets different from hundreds of Android tablets available out there and much more. Read on… Also Read - OnePlus 9RT India price leaked ahead of launch: Here's a quick look at its specifications
Rajat Agrawal: Tell us about Notion Ink, the company, the people and the mission.
Rohan Shravan: Notion Ink is the result of persistently following a vision of “devices which enable people.” Technically, we are an OEM that does complete in-house hardware development, design our product, and then market them. People at Notion Ink are young, ambitious and driven towards the united vision. We see tablets as the means of creating an enabler of productivity. Also Read - Sardar Udham released on Amazon Prime Video: How to watch online for free
RA: You had some great ideas with the Adam. However, you ran into a series of problems first with shipping delays and then with display and battery related complaints. In hindsight, would you have done something differently?
RS: We have return rate of 2.3 percent and if you ask any experienced industry veteran, this is extremely tight number, specially because we include wrong shipments and seven day return policy. But you are right on the shipping part. What we have learnt is irrespective of whatever you have planned, there will be one component of more than 500 which we used, which might become the bottleneck. In our case it was the screen. This is a harsh reality and only solution is to have enough suppliers so even if one fails, other can ramp-up. Also Read - Nothing to reportedly launch its first smartphone in 2022: Details here
There is something else which changed the market. When we launched Adam there was no definition of what a tablet should be. You can trace us back to June 2009 when I first wrote the blog. We were designing a productive tablet, focusing on certain use cases. Adam was supposed to be a tablet which helps you with you presentations, reading documents, drawing, connecting mouse and keyboard and get a mobile computer. The iPad came, and re-defined the industry. Suddenly, an app store was a requirement, then 10 hours or more battery back-up and so on. Android Market is still struggling for good tablet application, there is still no tablet on Android which can beat the iPad on battery, but yes, screen technology is now on par. Lesson for Notion Ink? Be prepared for any storm.
RA: There are lot of tablets out there but the segment is dominated by Apple. Most analysts like to say there is no tablet market, just an iPad market. How does Notion Ink think it can compete in this segment? What makes Notion Ink different from other Android tablet manufacturers?
RS: Correct, there is just one product out there, the iPad. They defined an industry which is full of games, multimedia and content centric applications. Whole Android industry is following suit and competing with them. We never fought on multimedia or games. Our focus is on productivity. Qualcomm will launch a 2.5GHz quad-core SoC, and I heard HTC is integrating it in one of their phones. What will you do with it? You can’t watch four movies at a time. Importantly what I have also learnt one thing, if as a leader of a firm I talk about possibilities, it will be assumed as promises, so instead of going in detail, I have shared what we are looking at.
RA: The Kindle Fire has shown that hardware alone cannot sell a tablet and you need a strong content story too. How does Notion Ink address that front?
RS: Hardware cannot sell a tablet alone, right. But content is not the only story. Our focus is on modularity, ability that in the end you can actually use the tablet the way you want.
RA: So what happens to Eden UI with Android ICS? Does it take a backseat or you still plan to use just the Android source code and build everything on top of it?
RS: I will not be able to share details on this, since we have some update coming later this year on the topic.
RA: Are you looking at changing how you market and retail the Adam II – have them placed in brick-and-mortar stores? Also, do you think India will be a bigger market for Adam II, unlike the past where it accounted for just 10 percent of your total orders?
RS: India needs an honest device which can satisfy its needs. Currently there are no good apps or content which is India centric. We are building this particular base, and without right arsenal, its not a good long term strategy to enter in a big way. The Kindle Fire is three years late in the fight but right now at number two position because they came prepared. But yes, there will be a change in the marketing and selling strategy for India.