Sunday, June 06, 2010

Dawn of the Android China MIDs

This is my obsession for the week...MIDs! So how in the world did I get started with this? It's rather simple, I was reviewing for an exam, reading eBooks and tons of websites. Of course this meant I had to review using my laptop and after an hour or two you do get a crick on your neck. At the back of my mind, I was thinking, wouldn't it be great to have an iPad for occasions like this? Sure it would but I certainly won't shell out around PHP 20-40K for something like that. Finally news about the Chinese iPad knockoffs caught my attention.

From what I've seen most of these iPad knockoffs or rather MIDs have a similar trait:

  • Cheap looking plastic casings
  • Most are underpowered with around 600-800 Mghz processor speed
  • RAM falls short normally around 128 MB
  • ROM is expandable using SD cards
  • They are mostly using Google's Android with some units running Windows CE
    or Windows 7
  • THE PRICE IS DEFINITELY CHEAP COMPARED TO THE IPAD!

Let me get one thing straight, this is still a luxury device. Despite the cheap price it is something you can definitely do without...just like the iPad. But the price does make it accessible to people who read a lot of stuff using their laptops or PCs. Sure it can play video and music too which is an added bonus.

But the one thing that surprised me is how Google's Android is becoming a technology enabler. I'm loving Android more and more. I can't wait to develop for it!

Newer iPad knockoffs coming from China will have an Intel Atom and around 1GB of RAM! That's practically the standard for most netbooks these days! Of course that version would have a higher price tag (around $200) but still cheaper than the iPad and some netbooks!

Since this is supposed to be a gaming blog, let me relate the Android MIDs to gaming. Nintendo, as much as they want to deny it, is beginning to see Apple as a threat. More and more smaller developers are making games for the iPhone & iPad . These are casual games and not niche heavy games like the ones running on the PC, 360 and the PS3. Nintendo is a casual game company but they manufacture and distribute proprietary hardware. Apple also has proprietary hardware but their reach is wider because their hardware is not merely a gaming device but is multipurpose. Technically, the market for casual games is larger on devices such as Apple's and MIDs.

Now with the introduction of Google's Android, the flourishing Chinese manufacturers and the MID product introduction of known companies such as Asus...the market for casual games running on a MID will expand tremendously. Both Nintendo and Apple will face tough competition on the casual gaming front. Yes I know about the Apple store which is seen as the 'best' one for that market...but in the future there will be more of these stores cropping up and the choice will not be limited to the Apple store only. The future looks bright for these devices!

Before I go, here is a YouTube product review video of one of the China MIDs. This device is called the EKEN M001 which normally retails for around $50-100 USD in China.



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