Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co won a contract to supply 900,000 tablet computers for first graders in government schools in Thailand under “One Tablet PC Per Child” scheme.
The Cabinet will approve this proposal next week for buying the selection of Scope under the cost of THB 2,482 (US$81) a piece in which the first lots will be distributed to first graders this May to promote a knowledge based and network-connect society.
The Education Ministry also plans to seek approval to purchase higher specification tablets for nearly 700,000 units for Grade 7 students.
Information and Communication Technology Minister Anudith Nakornthap said the project committee had chosen “the company that proposed the lowest price of $81, excluding transportation costs”.
The selection of Scope to supply tablets for the project was based not only on price, but also on other criteria, the minister said and added they included tablet specifications, insurance conditions, and delivery time among others.
The other companies in the bid had offered to supply the tablets at higher prices. TCL Cooperation offered $89, Haier Information Technology (Shenzhen) Co offered $105 and Huawei Technologies Co proposed $135.
A government committee set a starting price of 3,100 baht per unit plus 300 baht for uploading e-content. The cost excludes shipping costs to Thailand.
The decision was made after a committee visited the production lines of all four companies in China. Of the 900,000 tablets the government will purchase, 860,000 will be distributed to all of the country’s first-grade students and the rest will be earmarked for teachers and kept as reserve inventory.
Nakornthap said the current budget of 1.9 billion baht was only enough for 750,000 tablets. “We will have to use money from the fiscal 2013 budget to support the project,” he said. Scope’s tablets will come with a two-year warranty and they will be handed out to the students without returns.
Scope has a manufacturing capacity of 24,000 units a day, the minister said.
“As soon as the contract is signed, tablet delivery is expected to be completed within 90 days, in time for the next semester,” ICT Minister said.
The tablet’s specifications are a seven-inch touch screen, a main storage unit of 16GB, 1GHz dual core CPU or higher, 512MB RAM or higher and an Android 3.2 operating system compatible with Android 4.0.
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