Pakistan's Air Force designs consumer tablet

The latest entry into the tablet market is a suppler which is better known for dropping bombs. The Pakistan Air Force has been working with local manufactures and Chinese hardware companies to get a foothold in the consumer market.

The PACPAD 1 is a clone of the iPad, but it is unlikely that Apple will be able to do much to stop them. After all, Pakistan has nukes and Apple doesn’t.

Assembled at an air force base in Kamra in northern Pakistan, it is built by avionics engineers when they are not working on the airforce’s latest campaigns.

According to CBS, the PACPAD runs on Android 2.3. It is on sale for $200 which is less than half the price of Apple or Samsung devices and cheaper than other low-end Chinese tablets on the market.

PAC stands for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, where it is made. The base also makes an e-reader and small laptop.

It is not so strange for the Pakistan military would be involved in such a project. The military owns land, flour and sugar mills, hotels, travel agents and sells its own breakfast cereal.

But the move into IT has annoyed some of the technology companies. As Jehan Ara, head of Pakistan’s Software Houses Association, said, even if the airforce could sell a billion units, he could not see the point. The air force is supposed to be protecting the air space and borders of the country.

Others think that it will boost national pride for a country which is seeing its arch rival, India, do extremely well in the high-tech field.

Only a few hundred of each products have been made so far, though a new batch will be completed in the next three months.