TABLETS FOR STUDENTS MAKER Kno appears to be abandoning its hardware for offering just software.
This news might worry those that have pre-ordered the firm's dual-screen tablet that finally got a 14 April shipping date this month. The company had announced in December that it had started shipping tablets but that must have gone wrong somewhere along the line.
So news that Kno is divesting its hardware manufacturing, or in other words the tablets it appears to be making now are not being made by it at all, is not going to be welcome for some.
The start-up seemed to think that it had a viable business model in trying to sell an $899 dual-screen clamshell tablet to students. The firm has a slightly cheaper single screen tablet for $599, the same price as the Ipad.
While UK students have been known to buy a new stereo with their student loan dosh, the more heavily debt laden US young people might have balked at such a high price for a tablet.
The upside to these expensive tablets was supposed to be cheaper digital textbooks and Kno's management had been working with publishers. Kno says that its tablets will pay for themselves in a year with the money students should save in textbook costs.
Kno did not return the phone calls from the Wall Street Journal, but a source had told the US newspaper that the firm is seeking to sell its hardware business.
The WSJ says, "the company will focus on its robust software and services to offer students on the Apple Ipad, as well as upcoming tablets based on Google's Android mobile operating system and others." µ
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