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Not all official, but tablets, e-book readers are here if you want them

The makers might not have bothered to bring them to the Indian market yet-- but for those willing to pay a small premium, the most iconic e-book readers and tablet PCs can be easily bought in India today.

Apple has shunned the India market as far as the IPad is concerned -- it did the same with the iPod for many months, and no one can quite figure out their convoluted and seemingly self defeating marketing strategy. But for those willing to fork out between Rs 40,000 and Rs 52,000, the 3G versions can be had in India, delivered by the IndiaTimes shopping arm. The 32 GB 3G version costs Rs 46K, while the 16 GB is Rs 40K and the 64Gb is Rs52K.

The shopping portal 20North.com offers the Amazon e-book reader, the Kindle in its version 3 -- around Rs 10,000 for the WiFi only and Rs 13.6K for the 3G version. At almost similar prices you can also order them at IndiaTimes. 20North also offers a range of more affordable 7 inch tablets ( the iPod is 10.6 inch) from sources like Viewsonic. The only 7 inch international Tablet widely advertised and launched in India is Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Tab whose official price is Rs 35K.

The delay in bringing IPad and Kindle to India has created a brisk opportunity in the grey market: Places like National Market in Bangalore, Nehru Place in Delhi and Penta Menaka in Kochi have shops openly selling and even taking advance orders for IPad 3G. The asking price is around Rs 40K for th 64 G version which is almost 10K cheaper than the web portals. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is also stocked and the asking price is 30K.

Jan 1 2011