Of Infibeam Pi, Android Devices and A Call to Bring “Better” Chinese Imports

Let me admit a couple of things here:

a. I am a huge fan of Android (more because of Samsung Galaxy S). Fandroid, just not because of the OS, but because of the democracy it brings to app developers, who are otherwise strangled to death by iCompanies or telecom operators.

b. I was an early adopter of Infibeam Pi and spread the word in my circle (and even otherwise) about the device. Mostly because of love/respect of an Indian startup dreaming big and also because of massive opportunities an eBook reader brings to the Indian market (especially in education sector).

Now back to the title of this article.

Well, I mentioned yesterday (coverage of Infibeam Pi2), that we will share the pictures of Infibeam PI after-6-months-of-usage) and here are they:

Infibeam Pi Ebook Reader Screen
Infibeam Pi Ebook Reader Screen
Infibeam Pi Ebook Damaged Screen
Infibeam Pi Ebook Damaged Screen

To give you my usage context, I have been a normal user of the device , i.e. used it for max 4-5 hours/week especially while traveling; but one fine day the device decides to misbehave (for no rhyme or reason/it wasn’t exposed to any sunlight/not at all mishandled).

And its not just me alone, several other friends who bought the device (based on my review/feedback) too have complained about the distorted screen. And all of these complaints (i.e. distorted screen) within 9-10 months of purchasing the device. While I can ‘hopefully’ get the device fixed, I decided not to and instead will end up buying Amazon Kindle, or better, an iPad (i.e. ditch desi products and go for a better quality American product).

Apart from the fact that it brings a sense of guilt to me (that I did so much of WoM for the device which was probably not worth it), it also pegs an important question to Infibeam – is there any quality control on such devices which are simply imported from China, without much of engineering/design depth.

A Look at Infibeam Phi

Would you buy an Android tablet that still comes with 1.5 version of the OS? As per Infibeam’s support, there is no upgradibility of Android version (source: forum).

Then why sell a device that is just not upgradable? Or maybe the device is upgradable, so why not come out clearly on a date/year by when Infibeam will release the upgrade? Least – why not put up the OS version detail on product page (it’s a standard practice these days)?

And that brings an important question for Google – Is there a Promise Of Upgrade/Quality when device manufacturers decides to stuff Android OS? Or is it left to device manufacturers? If it’s the latter, expect a lot of fly-by-night device manufacturers (i.e. anyone with a Chinese visa) selling Android devices and this will eventually bring bad name to Android. The time to act is now.

And it’s not just about Infibeam, the above is true for all Indian companies who are in a hurry to make quick money by selling branded Chinese products, without adding any significant value in the entire process.

What has been your experience with such products?

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