The Russian’s manufactures, involved in the gadget industry, are planning to bring something exclusive for the worldwide PC tablet market until this year ends. According to the Russian Sky Link operator, the world first tablet with GLONASS apps preinstalled is almost ready to be released. The devices will be manufactured in China, by the Mastone Company, and then delivered to Russia where Sky Link is going to sell them under its own brand. The tablet will come with both GPS and GLONASS, so we should see it coming on different markets too.
For those of you who don’t know, GLONASS is a radio-based satellite navigation system, being an alternative for the, already “famous”, United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS) and for other world navigations systems such as: Compass navigation system-China, Galileo positioning system- European Union and Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System. GLONASS was first used by the Russian government for their Space Forces, but now they are trying to introduce the application for the commercial use. GLONASS can be useful for usage in northern latitudes, where getting a GPS signal can be problematic. Beside these, you should know that it has a constellation of 23 operational satellites, which cover 100% of Russian territory and 98% of world’s territory.
This is not Russia’s first attempt for promoting their satellite navigation system for commercial use, as last month, the first GLONASS smartphone became available at MTS (Russia’s leading mobile phone operator). The device is featuring a 3.2-inches TFT capacitive touchscreen and the Android Froyo operating system. The phone’s name is MTS GLONASS 945 and it is manufactured by ZTE, coming with a GPS/GLONASS chipset made by Qualcomm. The handset is available for about $388, which means 10,990 Rubles.
Now, as I was saying in the beginning, until this year ends we should have the first GLONASS Tablet in the world, in Russia. The device will be named Xpad and some of its specs will include an 800MHz Qualcomm processor, which will provide GLONASS support in the system, 512 MB of RAM, a 3.2MP camera, a 7-inch display and the Android 2.2 OS. The battery-life is said to be 5-7 hours, for the web browsing mode. The Xpad will also have a SIM-card slot and according to the manufacturers any mobile operator may be used to make calls.
Being something exclusive for the tablet market, this is just an engineering sample and many aspects are yet to be decided. We will update you with all the fresh news as soon as we will have something official. As a rumor, the Xpad price will be 14,000 Rubles and that is around $500. The GLONASS Tablet is expected to be released somewhere in the IV quarter of 2011, but this is wasn’t yet confirmed.
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