Aakash – The world’s cheapest tablet computer was launched in India
Telecom and HRD minister Kapil Sibal launched the tablet – Aakash – priced at $35 (Rs 1,750) for students pursuing graduation and said that the government aimed to increase production to bring down the cost of the tablet to less than $10 (Rs 500). The government is sourcing the tablet from UK-based Datawind at Rs 2,256 – inclusive of all taxes, levies, freight and insurance charges, servicing and documentation.
- Datawind, which makes the tablet in Hyderabad at 700 units a day, will begin selling the tablet commercially by end of November at Rs 2,999 with a year-long warranty, under the brand name of UbiSlate, the company’s chief executive officer Suneet Singh Tuli said.
- Aakash is the first government initiative in the crowded tablet market in India, with more than a dozen Indian and multinational tablet makers vying for a share of the three lakh-units-a-year market. The world’s cheapest tablet comes to India at a time when Apple’s iPad holds more than half the market, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy that has cornered roughly a quarter and the rest of the turf occupied by low-cost manufacturers. The $35-tablet is Wi-Fi enabled with a 7-inch touch screen and is based on Google’s Android 2.2 operating system. It has an internal storage capacity of 2GB which can be increased to 32 GB with an SD card, a battery backup of nearly three hours and two USB ports.