updated 12:55 pm EDT, Tue October 11, 2011
Doel Android model may be cheapest in the world
Officials in Bangladesh have unveiled the first laptop made in that country, the Doel. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the computer at a ceremony in the capital Dhaka on Tuesday. The state-owned telephone company, Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS), will produce four different models of the Doel. The primary model will run the Android OS and cost 10,000 taka ($130).
The government has launched an ambitious plan known as Digital Bangladesh. TSS managing director Mohammad Ismail hailed the Doel as a big step towards the goal of connecting the country digitally by 2021. Critics point out that the country's internet connectivity remains poor and that merely distributing laptops will do little to address the issue.
The laptop will be distributed to government departments at first. Eventually they will be made available to the tens of millions of students in Bangladesh and to the general public.
Ismail said that Bangladesh is producing ten percent of the components for the laptop. He claimed that 60 percent of the parts for the computer would be produced in-country within six months. [via BBC News]