Student Tablet Maker Kno Reportedly In Talks To Sell Off Its Tablet Manufacturing
Kno, the makers of single- and dual-screen tablets for students, is looking to sell off the hardware manufacturing part of its business, according to All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher. Swisher reports that “sources close to the situation” say that Kno is in talks with two major consumer electronics manufacturers.
The Kno had been touted as an alternative to the iPad – and a high-profile one at that, with a $46 million investment last fall from Andreessen-Horowitz and a strong endorsement from Marc Andreessen who called the device was “the most powerful tablet anyone has ever made.”
But the device has never really materialized. Initially set for release around the holidays, shipments have been delayed, according to Engadget, and Kno website now says “there aren’t enough to go around.”
The Year of the Educational Tablet?
Kno, short for knowledge, aimed to be a touch-screen tablet focusing on providing digital textbooks, course materials, note-taking, web access, and educational applications. The device boasted a stylus so that students could take notes directly onto the screen. But many have been skeptical about Kno’s promise of seizing the student market, due in no small part to its price, ranging from $599 for a single screen and $999 for the dual screen device.
Despite some of the drawbacks with the Kno, many people (myself included) have predicted this to be the year of the educational tablet, and schools and students are moving to adopt them – iPads and Android devices alike.
And while Kno may be looking to get out of the tablet manufacturing business, Swisher suggests it isn’t leaving the educational tablet market altogether. Rather, the company will shift to “deliver textbook and other student-related delivery system [that] would be a better path for all that investment money, since Kno has established a wide range of partnerships with colleges and universities.” Indeed, Kno co-founder Osman Rashid has multiple connections in the industry, as he is the co-founder of the textbook rental company Chegg.