Out-of-touch Apple fanboy Prime Minister Karim Massimov has created a problem for the government workers in Kazakhstan. Apparently he was so miffed that they were not able to answer his emails that he wrote out a demand that all government workers needed to have “a tablet” computer with them.
"Please carry tablet computers at all times," he said at a government meeting in October. "I can send you a message any time, and, as some of you know, I aim to reply within ten minutes. Some of you have not replied to me for three days."
Massimov is such an Apple fanboy that owning an iPad is seen as a mark of loyality to the Prime Minister. Few of his closest aids would be seen without one. Of course that would be ok for Massimov, as he is not short of a bob or two. However most government workers cannot afford an iPad, which Massimov's favourite manufacturer refuses to discount to poorer countries.
If Massimov had not specified "a tablet", workers would be able to buy netbooks which do all the same things. However since Steve Jobs says that people need tablets Massimov wants them all to have expensive tablets. Kazakhstan is a soft state with huge amounts of dosh made in the oil industry but not much getting down to the workers of the former Soviet republic who still have low salaries.
Now Bolat Basheyev, chief executive of Arta, an Astana-based software company on Friday announced plans to launch a 'Kazakh iPad' to take advantage of the surging demand. We doubt that Massimov will be pleased as it looks like the Kazahh iPad will be a lot better and cheaper than the Apple version. It will have USB ports, a camera, and a number of pre-installed programs designed for corporate use. It will cost about $500, compared to $1,200 for Apple iPads imported to Kazakhstan.