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Is Android The Tablet For Autism?

Photo Courtesy of Watcharakun

Began as a Google+ question, became so long, I felt I better post it on my blog:

I was pondering a post to my blog with the above title.  This question feels like a betrayal, since I am a long time Apple fan, and loyal supporter of Mr. Jobs.

Nevertheless, it is a question I have been pondering, and one worthy of being asked.  Why should everyone purchase an Apple IPad, when their entry price is 500 dollars?

Shouldn’t we be looking at the system that provides the consumer with the sub $250 priced Barnes and Noble Nook Color?   It has received incredible reviews, and is more portable at 7 inches than the IPad.   How about the Archos Android tablets, which can be found for $199, and even less in some places?

My argument is on price.  Affordability.  What would it take to put one of these tablets in the hands of a family working to overcome autism?

Rather than have all these great stories written about the benefits of an IPad priced beyond the reach of most who read them, shouldn’t we begin a conversation about how to spread the benefit?

Phil McKinney, the CTO of HP, recently made the point that IPads had sold to the tune of 14 million units (updated number 28 million), but that pc’s in the same time sold 500 million units.   This means that the large majority of people haven’t decided to spend 500 dollars or more on a tablet.

No doubt this is an issue of them not seeing the value, but it is also a question of price.

What price could lure even 100 million consumers into the market, who would never consider spending $500 on an IPad?

Could Android lure those resistant or hesitant consumers into the market with a cheaper competitor?

I think so.   I think parents and family members of special needs children and adults need Google and their partners to get this done (maybe HP and Hacking Autism will help).

We need a sub $150 Android tablet, for special needs families, who desperately desire the opportunity to unlock their child’s potential with this tool.  People who could care less about aesthetics, and need a functional device with the right software to help their children learn and communicate…to help their children be included.

Personally, I think it ought to be about 7 inches, so it is portable enough to travel anywhere easily, but with a screen large enough to provide a tablet experience (a paperback size tablet).

If a tablet really can make a difference in the life of an adult or child with special needs, should the autism community begin to look for a company that prices their machine at an affordable price?  A company that doesn’t just notice the impact on autism, but gets involved in producing a machine accesible to the entire community.

Maybe I’m dreaming, but I think Google might be up to the challenge.  In any case, I want to remember families like my own, faced with the daunting challenge of autism, and in need of hope.  Families watching the IPad sensation in the autism community, but unable to participate.

Who knows, maybe Apple will read this and do something?

Note:  More Watcharakun photos found at…