PORT-AU_PRINCE: Better known for producing third-world poverty and political mayhem, the Western Hemisphere’s least developed country, Haiti has made a surprising entry into the high-tech world with its own Android tablet.
Sandwiched between textile factories in a Port-au-Prince industrial park next to a slum, a Haitian-founded company has begun manufacturing the low-cost tablet called Sûrtab, a made-up name using the French adjective “sûr,” meaning “sure,” to suggest reliability.
Unlike the factories next door where low-paid textile workers churn out cheap undergarments for the U.S. market, Sûrtab workers are equipped with soldering irons, not sewing machines.
With only a limited selection of expensive imported tablets available in Haiti, Sûrtab is the cheapest device on the market.
The company has a retail distribution deal in Haiti with Digicel, a global telecom company that dominates the local cellphone market, as well as sales to Haitian government ministries and local non-governmental organizations.
A university in Kenya also ordered 650 Sûrtab devices.
Sûrtab is hoping to diversify its product line beyond tablets, said Patrick Sagna, director of business development.