World’s Cheapest Tablet Aakash 2 To Become More Affordable At Rs 1500

Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal has indicated that the government would like to make the world’s cheapest tablet more affordable and offer the Aakash 2 tablet to consumers at Rs 1500. Addressing a function, Sibal said that he would like to see this tablet in the hands of each and every student in the country.

Currently, the government is procuring the tablet from its maker, Datawind, at a cost of Rs 2,263 per tablet and selling it to students at a subsidized rate of Rs 1,130 per tablet. Sibal also stressed on the need to develop expertise in making cutting-edge technology more affordable and accessible and would like the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to work on realizing this. He also mentioned that C-DAC should work on developing technology that can help ensure the safety of women.

Kapil Sibal also talked about the need for India to scale up its technological skills and become self-reliant in this regard, especially in the area of super-computers. He wished to see C-DAC and India providing technological solutions to countries globally.… Read the rest

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Parts of Low-cost Aakash Tablet Outsourced from China: Datawind

Makers of the low-cost Aakash Tablet Datawind have clarified that while some parts of the tablet PC have been outsourced from China, the pieces are assembled and programmed at their facilities in Delhi and Amritsar in India.
“For the first 10,000 units for IIT, and for expediency sake we had the motherboards and kits manufactured in our Chinese subcontractor’s facilities, and then the units have been ‘kitted’ in China at various manufacturers for expediency, whereas the final assembly and programming has happened in India,” Datawind has said. The company also added that they had approval from the government to source some parts from China.
The company said, “We finished this batch of 10,000 units and delivered them to IIT and will be starting another batch of 20,000 units for them in two weeks.”… Read the rest

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There’s Nothing Chinese about Aakash 2: Datawind

Makers of the world’s cheapest tablet Aakash 2, British company Datawind, has denied reports that surfaced in Indian media calling its latest innovation something that’s been bought off the shelf from China. Hindustan Times recently published a news report where an unnamed source alleged that Datawind had no role in the design or manufacture of the Aakash 2.

According to this article, Datawind apparently purchased over 10,000 ‘A-13’ tablets from four manufacturers located in Shenzhen and Hong Kong between October 26 and November 7 for $42 per unit, and charged the Indian government the same amount for these devices. HT named certain documents as sources which show how the tablets were procured from these four firms – Dasen International Electronics, Shenzhen Shitong Zhaoli Technology, Kalong Technology and Trend Grace Ltd.

Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli has countered in EE Times Asia that this report is “inaccurate and misleading”. According to Tuli, for expediting the order for the first 10,000 units for use at Indian Institute of Technology, motherboards and kits were manufactured by Chinese subcontractors, and then kitted in China as well. However, the final assembly and programming of these devices took place in India.

Datawind also has four partner manufacturers in India that will start working on the assembly and delivery of Aakash 2 to the government starting in December. The company remains hopeful that these tablets will be better received than the earlier offering, the Aakash. The Government of India has ordered for 100,000 units of the Aakash 2 to empower students and make education a more interactive and digital experience.

 … Read the rest

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Budget Tab: Akash 2 Tablet To Come Out In Dec. for Rs 3,499

In an announcement made by Datawind, the firm said it has started the delivery of its latest tab- Aakash 2 to IIT Bombay. The manufacturer of low-priced Aakash tab also declared that this affordable device will be out in the market this October.

According to a statement made by Sunit Singh Tuli, CEO, Datawind to PTI, “Supplies are on to IIT Bombay. In the next few weeks, it should be launched.” He also hinted at launching the device on Oct. 5th, which also marks the tab’s anniversary date.

Also see: Who rules the world of 7 inch Tablets?

Tuli added that the launch date of Aakash 2 depends upon the schedule of Kapil Sibal, HRD minister. He further informed that Datawind was ready to launch the device since the last one month and a half. However, details remained undisclosed.

Earlier, Sibal had announced making the latest version of Aakash tab with a battery backup of three hours, a capacitive touch screen along with other new features at the same low price.

Datawind got the tender to manufacture and supply Aakash tablets for price of around $49 per unit. Apart from this order, the firm also received orders for 55 lakh more from other customers.

The company has delivered most of the pre-paid bookings, announced Datawind CEO. He also said that the focus now stays on supplying for the non-paid bookings.

He said that out of 55 lakh orders, Datawind got four to five per cent of pre-paid bookings. And the firm will supply all pre-paid booking within a week or 10 days. He also added that the firm is giving offers to upgrade Aakash 2 to Android 4.5 version.

Currently, Datawind is working on to supply around 1,500 to 2,000 tablets each day. These tabs are assembled both in India as well as outside the country.

Datawind is also in talks to sell the device across country, after it has supplied all pre-booking orders.

The price of Aakash tablet starts Rs. 3,499 for UbiSlate 7+ model and Rs. 4,299 for UbiSlate 7C, which is with a capacitative screen. Visit the link for more details on the low-cost tablets the rest

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Aakash 2 Launched at US $35, Has 3.5 mln Bookings

The cheapest of them all, the Aakash 2 tablet is all set for an October launch in India. This tablet will cost US$41.15, but after a subsidy from the Indian government, it will cost $35 a piece for students. This means, it will cost approximately Rs.1960. The tablet’s commercial version Ubislate will retail at $63. This will be available for the India public. A higher-end version of the modest tablet will also be on sale in the U.S. for $79 (pricey) but only next year.

While the previous version of the Aakash did not receive much appreciation, Aakash 2 has impressed reviewers. They say it is a much improved version of the first Aakash in all categories. The looks are better and the use of Android 4.0.3 makes it more responsive. So you will be able to access your apps much after. Where the previous version had a RAM of 256MB, the tablet now has a 512MB RAM.

Aakash 2 will come with a USB port, a card slot, 4GB on-board storage, on-board speaker, microphone and front-facing camera. This camera, however, might not be able to support video chat. The commercial version of the Aakash has a sim card slot alongside.

Officials at DataWind, makers of the Aakash 2 are thrilled with the reviews they have been getting. This tablet was built in close cooperation with IIT Bombay and the company has already lined up 3.5 million booking orders. While this number is exciting, will the company be able to deliver the number it promises?… Read the rest

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