China introduces a communist tablet: the Red Pad

red padIf you thought iPads were expensive, think again. A new Chinese tablet called the Red Pad will cost $1,600 dollars, but not just anyone can buy it, even if you do have the money.  

After heavy criticism over its price from Chinese consumers, marketing and advertising featuring the Red Pad seemingly disappeared. Now, the Economic Times is saying that the manufacturer will only sell the tablet to bureaucrats and not the public. Originally the device was going to be available for anyone with the money (or the ability to subsidize the purchase), but the public backlash was so strong, the manufacturers decided to change its marketing tactics. It now looks like  some back-pedaling occurred, and as a result the tablets availability will be limited to only Party officials. 

But it’s not only the cost that will appeal to party members either. The Red Pad is specifically built to cater to their needs: the tablet from Red Pad Technology (which is supposedly in cahoots with the country’s Ministry of Information Industry) comes packaged with government database access and integration with the communist mouthpiece website, People’s Daily. 

What’s possibly most amusing about the Red Pad is its operating system. The 9.7-inch Red Pad uses the Android OS, which is surprising considering China’s ongoing issues with Google. Aside from its ironic use of this platform and outrageous price, the Red Pad is similar to any other tablet: it features an A9 dual core processor, Wi-Fi and 3G support, 16GB of flash storage, with a sub 10-inch touchscreen display. 

Last month we heard that a personalized iPad application was being developed for UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The supposed app would give him immediate access to government affairs and news. While the degree of this app has been questioned (it’s possible it’s merely a secure, Flipboard-like portal to this data), it’s clear that government leaders have become taken with tablets. 

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