TABLET MADE IN ARMENIA - THE NEXT BIG THING?
Jan 20, 2014 4:52pm by Monica Ellena
It sounds improbable. Dogged by closed borders with Turkey and
Azerbaijan, a narrow export base, pervasive monopolies and an
over-reliance on remittances from abroad, Armenia's economic future
poses plenty of questions. Could one answer come in the shape of
In December, Technology and Science Dynamics Inc/ArmtabTechnologies
Company, an American-Armenian joint-venture, announced the first
tablet and smartphone made-in-Armenia. Both Android-run, the ArmTab
and the ArmPhone were designed in Yerevan and will be assembled in
Hong Kong and the US. The producer said the devices, available for
wholesale in a few weeks and to retailers in late 2014, were aimed
mainly at the regional markets.
The idea may not, in fact, be as improbable as it sounds. Dubbed the
Soviet Silicon Valley, pre-independence Armenia had more scientists
and specialists per capita than any other Soviet republic. Nearly 30
per cent of hi-tech computer and electronic equipment used for Soviet
defence and space systems were developed and produced in and around
the capital, Yerevan.
The government now hopes a re-energised Information and Technology
industry will turn this small, landlocked Caucasus nation into an
e-society. The government's 10-year industry development strategy,
adopted in 2008, focuses on building infrastructure, improving
the quality of IT graduates and creating venture capital and other
financial mechanisms to support start-ups.
In 2012 there were about 360 IT companies in Armenia, with average
annual growth of 23 per cent, according to the Enterprise Incubator
Foundation, the country's leading IT consulting firm. Revenues
accounted for 3.3 per cent of national GDP, with the industry
contributing 8 per cent of total exports. About one in 10 of the
companies has a turnover of $1m and over. The number of small outfits
with less than $100,000 in revenues increased significantly during
the last five years and, although they don't have a visible impact
on the industry's aggregate numbers, their rise is a signal of the
dynamism in the market.
"The industry is thriving," says Bagrat Yengibaryan, EIF's director.
"Of eight start-ups in 2012, six were local businesses and we
registered a 10 per cent growth in start-ups last year. For 2013,
we are talking about $300m in revenues. Most companies focus on
software development. Major firms like Pixar are starting to use
Armenian products. Partnerships with heavyweights like Microsoft
and Singapore Tech Kinetics are still essential but a new wave of
specialized professionals are exploring new fields."
Web entrepreneurs cram small offices around Yerevan, looking for the
next PicsArt, the world's leading mobile photo editor app for android
and iOS which has more than 90m users and is a fully made-in-Armenia
Although Armenia's figures are tiny compared with the likes of India,
they are significant enough to grab the attention of international
corporations. In 2011, Microsoft established an Innovation Center in
the capital and the same year Armenia and India set up a joint Center
for Excellence in Information Communication Technologies at Yerevan
Through events like ArmTech, an Armenian global high-tech congress
organised every year in the US, the government aims to build the
international profile of Armenia's IT industry. Unusually in Armenia,
the sector is also high competitive. A recent report by the World
Bank highlights that about 20 per cent of the economy is monopolized,
the highest rate among former Eastern bloc countries. Oligopolies
control nearly two thirds of the economy.
Still, Yerevan will not turn into the next Hyderabad just yet.
"We are still talking of a niche market," says Yengibaryan. "The main
challenge local companies face is entering international markets,
as many international partners either don't know Armenia or simply
don't trust low or middle income country representatives."
In 2012, Armenia exported $120m's worth of IT software and services,
mostly to the US, Canada and the European Union. The decision to join
Moscow's customs union in September 2013 scuppered progress towards
an Association Agreement with the European Union, including a free
trade deal. But it may also provide an opportunity for the IT sector
to boost its exports to Russia and other former Soviet republics.
"The custom union can represent an interesting option to expand
the industry's potential markets, ranging from engineering to
fully-integrated products that the sector is strengthening," says
Yengibaryan. "ArmTab is a good quality tablet with interesting
hardware and innovative design. I can see it well placed in markets
from Belarus to Kazakhstan."
TABLET MADE IN ARMENIA - THE NEXT BIG THING?
Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:24 PM
TABLET MADE IN ARMENIA - THE NEXT BIG THING?
Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:12 AM
18:31 04/02/2014 » ECONOMY
ArmTab officially presented in Yerevan
ArmTab, the first Armenia-made tablet computer, was officially presented today in Yerevan.
The presentation ceremony was attended by Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Economy Minister Vahram Avanesyan, Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan, President of Minno Tablet Eric C. Ryan and other officials.
ArmTab is being manufactured by Technology and Science Dynamics Inc, which is the first company registered in Armenia’s Free Economic Zone.
Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan thanked authors of the project. “I congratulate all of us on the launch of Armenian tablet. It is our pride. I am convinced that any young man will be proud to use Armenian tablet,” he said.
The tablets will be used at Armenian schools beginning 2015.
Posted 08 February 2014 - 01:17 PM
Armtab: First tablet computer made in Armenia unveiled
The long-awaited tablet of Armenian make has become a reality. The computer called Armtab manufactured by the first production company registered in the Free Economic Zone of Armenia, Armenian-U.S. Technology and Science Dynamics, was officially presented to the public on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan attended the ceremony, thanking those who stand behind the program. He described it as a major success since “in a long-term sense Armenia finds one of the most important sectors of specialization in its economy.”
“I am convinced that any young person who will use this tablet will be proud to be using an Armenian device. If we are able to reap all the fruits of this industry, it will mean that in another 10 years’ time our economy will be more productive, and from the point of view of productivity we will be a competitive nation,” said the prime minister.
The idea of Armtab was first presented during the Digitec Expo 2013 international technological exhibition, and during the GITI-2013 regional event it received two awards for “Best Multimedia Project”, and “Year’s Software Support”.
The software and hardware support for the tablet is implemented in Armenia, while assembly is conducted in the United States and Hong Kong.
In the next three years Technology & Science Dynamics is expected to increase the production of tablets from 10,000 to 50,000, while the price of one tablet will be $180, with the self-cost estimated at $135.
Minno Tablet Corporation President Eric Ryan described this investment program as the best, saying that Minno Tablet will ensure an effective launch of the project and the necessary financial resources for its development, technology transfer as well as other support.
“I admire the Armenian technological talent and potential and I am sure that very soon with our support Armenia will get its worldwide recognition as a high-tech country,” said Ryan.
During the event, the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia and Technology & Science Dynamics signed a memorandum of understanding, providing for Armtab tablets introduction in the Armenian educational system in 2015.
“The Ministry of Education and Science will thus acquire a new and effective tool of creating a serious Armenian educational environment. It will also open up broad opportunities for cooperation for Armenian companies. We will do everything to boost the production proper in the second quarter of 2014 with a view to designing and developing PCB boards on which the tablet is based in Armenia,” said Technology & Science Dynamics Corporation founder Vahan Chakaryan.
Since 2008, information technologies have been considered as a priority sector of Armenia’s economy. The sector comprises 360 companies, with more than 9,300 specialists involved.
Speaking about the results in the IT sector in 2013 Prime Minister Sargsyan said that double-digit economic growth in it has a continuous nature, while the number of those employed in the sector has increased by 1,800 over the last year, standing at 11,000, of whom about 9,000 are highly qualified engineers.
Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:38 AM
WORLD MUST BE AWARE OF HIGH POTENTIAL OF ARMENIAN ENGINEERS AND IT SPECIALISTS
February 11, 2014 | 16:33
YEREVAN. - The world must be aware of the high potential of Armenian
engineers and IT specialists, co-owner of Minno Tablets Vahan
Vahan Shakaryan commented on the decision to assembly Armenian tablets
in Armenia istead of China.
"Of course, we can produce them much cheaper in China because of
lower salaries there. But instead, we spent money on a business trip
of Armenian engineers who checked the quality of the tablets. So we'd
better spend money on salaries of our experts," Shakaryan said during
a press conference on Tuesday.
He noted that the tablets will have the same brand name, Minno, while
supplied to the traditional markets of the U.S. and Latin America.
However, the devices will be supplied under the new brand ArmTab to
Arab states and former Soviet countries.
"We do it so that the world could become aware of the Armenian
specialists," he emphasized.
Technology and Science Dynamics company will coordinate the development
and assembly of ArmTab tablets.
Photo by Arsen Sargsyan/NEWS.am
News from Armenia - NEWS.am
Posted 13 February 2014 - 09:57 AM
ARMTAB AS OBJECT OF ENVY: BAKU TO LAUNCH OWN TABLET PRODUCTION
February 12, 2014 - 18:46 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Azerbaijani computer manufacturer KUR will launch
production of tablet computers in near future, Azeri media said citing
the Ministry for Communications and Information Technologies.
In this context, KUR Director General Rizvan Osmanov noted a certain
decline in PC market of Azerbaijan due to new consumer priorities
which lie in the sector of tablet computers.
According to Osmanov, competing with international brand names will be
a difficult task. "However, KUR can implement a new internet project
for sale of tablet computers," he said.
Seems like the thought of Armenian-made tablets to be released in
May keeps Baku awake at night.
Armenia is planning the launch production of locally made smartphones
The new Android-based devices - ArmPhone and ArmTab - were developed
by an Armenian-American joint venture, Technology and Science Dynamics
Inc/Armtab Technologies Company. As the venture chief Vahan Shakaryan
stated, trial versions of the 3D WiFi tablets with 7,85; 9, 97 and
10,1inch displays have been assembled in line with international
standards, yet to be offered at much lower prices (possible retailer
The design and software for the devices will be managed in Armenia
while the assembly will be implemented in the U.S. and Hong Kong.
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