Tablets: Chinese company wins contract

Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co has beaten three other Chinese companies to win a contract to supply 900,000 tablet computers for first graders in government schools.

The selection of Scope, which will supply the tablets at a cost of US$81 (2,482 baht) apiece will be put before the cabinet for approval today.

The 900,000 tablets will be distributed to all Prathom 1 (Grade 1) primary students this year under the Pheu Thai-led government's One Tablet PC Per Child scheme, aimed at promoting a knowledge-based and network-connected society

The Education Ministry also plans to seek approval to purchase higher specification tablets for nearly 700,000 Mathayom 1 (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. They included tablet specificationsinsurance 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 costexcludes 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 Prathom 1 students and the rest will be earmarked for teachers and kept as reserve inventory. 

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