New entrant Tablet PC maker, Websoft, expects new versions due out this July to deepen diffusion of Vantium in Nigeria, writes Bunmi Adeniyi
Lagos. July 2, 2012. The booming market for Tablet computers opening a new era of mobility and convenience for mobile users has also unfolded a new era of competition among technology companies hoping to meet the needs of the new market niche.
Chief Technology Officer, Websoft, Niyi Ewete says his company which is exploring stakes in this new business segment for the Nigerian market with its Vantium range of tablets is well-positioned to drive their diffusion across target segments of the nation’s technology market.
According to him, “the iPad by Apple opened a new market segment of people that will like to have a device more mobile and convenient to use than a laptop, at the same time that has a larger screen with more functionality than a smart phone.”
Surveys have shown that 90 per cent of computer users today basically use them for browsing, pictures, video, games, reading and music, when it comes to leisure, and Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, when they need to work, he adds.
“Research showed us that a lot of people that bought the iPad found it only useful for play/leisure but useless when they needed to work, particularly with Microsoft Office documents. In addition to this was the fact that, it was very difficult to move files from their laptop to the Tablet PC and vice versa. They only carry it around as a status symbol but ended up using their laptop for serious work”, Ewete says.
That was a vantage market that Websoft saw to push the innovation bar higher by unveiling its range of Vantium Tablet computers mainly to meet local market needs for an increasingly sophisticated and growing family of technology users in Nigeria.
For Websoft, with businesses straddling Web, Mobile and Enterprises solutions, its Mobile business division went to work to address local market needs by designing a machine that further complements the technology needs of Nigerians.
In the Nigerian market today, the growing family of mobile phone users have crossed the 100 million mark, a key segment that the Vantium machines hopes to serve by offering Tablet PCs that bundles that capability to make calls and send SMS over GSM networks, the leading telecoms network standard controlling over 95 per cent market share in the nation’s mobile telephony sector.
Ewete says the Vantium systems are created to remove the usual frustrations associated with other tablets as it is designed for work and also fantastic for play.
According to him, “it is lighter and faster than the iPad, you can create/edit/view Microsoft documents on the go, you can connect your Flash Disk or external hard disk as large as 250 GB and copy files directly into the Vantium.”
The Websoft CTO says you can enjoy Vantium to Vantium chatting just like Blackberry to Blackberry pinging and local and international news on the go on the system which has inbuilt 3G that enables you to just insert SIM card and start browsing. It also enables you to take unlimited pictures, shoot videos with the front and rear camera that come built into Vantium.
Ewete told Technology Times that the successor to the previous versions of Vantium, the Vantium m1 is due later this July into the Nigerian market bundling exciting new features and capabilities based on lesson learnt from the local marketplace.
Working with assembly plants in China, Ewete says that Websoft has now designed the Vantium m1 to bundles over 30 useful applications that may make users never need to visit any App Store among other features like Word To Go for document editing and USB port for users to transfer files to their Tablet.
According to him, the Vantium m1 is now equipped with DSTV, the satellite TV channel service that will now enable users of the Tablet PC to watch their favourite TV channels on the move. They will also not lose a call again as the Vantium m1 is also bundled with capabilities for voice calls and SMS services.
Websoft says that it is introducing the Vantium m1 into the Nigerian market at N59, 000 but is offering a group deal of N24, 000 per system to foster the faster market penetration and diffusion of its systems.
Under the group deal, a prospective buyer has two conditions to meet to qualify to buy the Vantium m1 at only the N24, 000 deals as against the standard retail price of N59, 000. The prospective buyer comes in with his N24, 000 as well as two other friends who are prepared to meet the two conditions too.
According to Ewete, the company currently has existing channel of demand points, existing pre-orders for several units of the Vantium m1 from students and working class folks and also working with the National Youth Service Corp, to offer a deal on the machines for Youth Corp members currently undergoing their mandatory one-year service across the country.
Websoft is also working with online services, DealDey and Mocality, to offer deals on the Vantium m1 on their leading online platforms to push the market for its systems.
Ewete is confident that the new entrant machines will perform well in the Nigerian market because, “the Vantium is perfect for everyday computing which allows you do all that you would normally do on your laptop and even more. The Vantium will do to the laptop what the laptop did to desktop computers. The Vantium will reduce your use of the laptop for everyday computer usage. With the Vantium, you may not need to carry your laptop everywhere you go again. The interesting thing is that you can have all these wonderful benefits at about half the price of its peers.”