Kno Tablet: an Uphill Battle

Posted: November 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: EdTech, iPad | Comments Off on Kno Tablet: an Uphill Battle

As a quick followup to my last post on eTextbooks, TechCrunch is now reporting that the Kno Tablet will sell for $899 for the dual-screen version, and that the single screen version will sell for $599.

I just keep asking the questions I raised in the last post: will users really want to pay $600-$900 for a dedicated educational device with limited app support, when the iPad and Anrdoid devices cost far less and can generally do much more?  Will developers and content providers really be compelled to write apps and port content to this new and unproven platform?

The Kno team also says that they’re interested in the app and content market, not in the hardware–so why build a device at all?  Why not build killer educational apps for iPad and Android and make killer content deals?

We’re dying to see technology play a much larger role in education just like these guys, but I just can’t see it happening with this device.  I’m not prone to making tech industry predictions, but I’m going to make an exception: I predict that the Kno as a device is doomed.

I take no pleasure in this prediction, because I want to see wider adoption of technology in education and better educational apps and content, but I feel like the new hardware route is a mistake.  On the other hand, they’ve raised $75 million in funding, so somebody’s betting big on them, and they are well positioned to make some real content deals.  If they do stick around, they may have a strong second act as a software and content provider.

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