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India at last launches $35 Android tablet as the Aakash

updated 10:45 am EDT, Wed October 5, 2011

Aakash tablet gets formal release

After delays, the Indian government on Wednesday showed off the final version of its very low-cost Android 2.2 tablet. Now called the Aakash ("sky"), the $35, seven-inch tablet is created by PocketSurfer inventor DataWind and will be made within India. It keeps costs down by using an older 366MHz Connexant chip, 2GB of internal storage, and 256MB of RAM.

The slate will still find room for a microSDHC card slot and a pair of USB ports for expansion.

An initial run of 100,000 tablets is deploying to schools over the next few months. Millions of students should have access to the Aakash, ministor of communications Kapil Sibal said. A more home-focused version will cost the equivalent of $61 with extra features, though the details weren't outlined.

The tablet has been development for over a year and was intended to bring computing to schools across India. Only eight percent of Indians have Internet access, most of those located in the largest urban areas, and many still often consider even a low-end desktop PC too expensive. Tablets are more limited relative to computers but, for a population that has rarely ever used a computer, still has the potential to raise the standards for education and communication.

Apple currently dominates tablets in India, with 60 percent of the market to itself. Samsung as elsewhere is a distant second, with Galaxy Tabs reaching 25 percent. The market in the country is still likely much smaller than it is in North American or Europe as the higher prices rule it out for all but the more affluent people in the country.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. rvhernandez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    -1

    Landfill Material

    Seems like they're making a bunch of stuff that will end up in a landfill sooner than later.

  1. icewing

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008

    -7

    Now we know...

    ...what the Hindi word for cr*p is.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +2

    Remember OLPC?

    OLPC was "One Laptop Per Child."

    Now there OCPC - "One Craplet Per Child."

    Too bad. If the Indian government had held out a few months longer, they just might have been able to score PlayBooks for $35.

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Dec 2007

    +4

    Arrogant pricks

    Grow the he|| up. I think it's a great achievement to get the hardware down to that price. India is still a developing nation. It will expose a lot of people to technology that they wouldn't be able to afford.

    But oh, no... if it's not an Apple product or as nice as the iPad, it's cr@p.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +5

    Better than nothing

    I'm in line with those who feel sure that this tablet is -- by our standards -- a piece of c***. It sure is.

    BUT it's still a marginally functional device -- which is way above anything the kids growing up in huge swaths of India have right now. Much of that country is terribly poor, so you'll have to forgive them if they can't quite manage an iPad -- or even a $99 fire-sale "real" tablet -- right now.

    It's a tiny foot in the door to modern living and technology. A lot of the kids that are going to get one through their schools are people who don't even have telephones, never mind any other form of technology.

    So for THEM, it's a huge step up -- but more importantly its intended as a learning and motivating tool to dream of a different and better tomorrow -- you know, the way you Americans used to do.

    You can scoff at these tablets now, but some of the kids that get them will be eating your kids' lunch in 30-40 years, because you take it all for granted. Chew on THAT.

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