First tablet made-in-Haiti holds Haitian youth's interest

Published on by Joe Colas (author)

Locations(s): Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Laurent Lamothe holding tablet made in Haiti (photo: Joseph Guyler Delva)
Laurent Lamothe holding tablet made in Haiti

The first touch-screen tablet manufactured in Haiti and its affordable price have held the interest of Haitians, particularly within low income households and the youth, who believe they now have a unique opportunity to fulfill their dream to own one, as the use of technological devices grows in popularity in the Caribbean country.

The Android operating system-based tablet, called Surtab, the very first to be assembled in Haiti is a source for pride and hope for many who wish to have access to such technological tools to connect to the internet and enjoy the benefits of so many online programs and opportunities.

"We are proud to have this tablet that is made in Haiti and it works fine and as you can see I am using it," Prime minister Laurent Lamothe told HCNN as he held a Surtab tablet in his hands.

The Surtab company CEO, Belgian entrepreneur Maarten Boute, said his commitment is to offer a big-value product at affordable cost to make sure the youth and many professionals can have access to such a tool that they can use for their studies and their daily work.

"We want to democratize access and we want almost every single Haitian to be able to afford our product to serve the purpose of their technological needs," Boute told HCNN.

"We want people to know that Haiti can be an important crossroad for appliances and electronics manufacturing," said Boute who partnered with the Haitian Coles family in this endeavor. "Haiti has very good working people and they have the passion," he said.

The Surtab Wi-Fi tablet factory price is now $85, and the 3G model costs $150, but this model may be purchased from retailers at about $200, while the wi-fi version may cost $100 to the end user.

The Students and professionals are the most excited about the establishment of the new company because they lack means to afford the major brands on the market. "I am glad now there is a tablet I can afford and I am also glad to buy it because the company is creating jobs in Haiti," said Jacob St-Martin who is working as an English teacher.

"Finally, I am going to have a tablet that will help my with studies and online researches," Economy student, Jacques Monferrier, told HCNN. The company targets primarily the Haitian and the Caribbean markets and has already received orders from entities in countries such as Jamaica, Turks and Caicos and Suriname. Other Caribbean and Latin-American countries have also shown interest, according to the Surtab ownership.

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