A pair of Indian companies are touting a homegrown handheld, eyeing both
the local market and a wider audience.
But the ambitions of the device's makers don't stop at the country's borders. "We have taken the first steps of an Indian product company building a global brand," V. Vinay, chairman of PicoPeta, said in a statement.
The Amida won't be alone in the Indian market. PalmOne, for instance, offers a range of Zire and Tungsten handhelds at its Indian Web site.
The Amida Simputer comes in three models, with prices ranging from about US$240 to US$480 (9,950 to 19,950 rupees). It is powered by a 206MHz ARM processor and features 32MB of permanent storage, 64MB of RAM, a 3.8-inch touch screen and a smart-card reader. It can be connected to a landline or a Code Division Multiple Access phone for Internet browsing, and it doubles as an MP3 player.
The device was originally developed for use in rural areas and for applications such as microfinance and e-governance. Prototypes were used in such projects in India.
It is available online and at showrooms to be opened in Bangalore next month.