The Aakash tablet is once again in the news, and this time hopefully for the right reasons. Kapil Sibal, the Minister of Human Resources, has announced that the “Aakash tablet will be launching very soon,” when addressing the first convocation of BITS Hyderabad.
The last time the Aakash 2 was in the news, was back in late-June, when the tablet was officially revealed, with engineering colleges slated as the first recipients, with the rollout scheduled to begin in July, which never happened. Now, the tablet is expected to arrive by early September.
The Aakash 2 features updated specs when compared to its predecessor, and boasts of Android 4.0 ICS straight out-of-the-box. It sports an 800MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, 2GB of built-in storage, Wi-Fi and GPRS connectivity with voice-calling capabilities, and a 3,200 mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 3 hours of battery life.
Sibal elaborated on the dream that brought the Aakash to fruition at the convocation, saying:
"We have realised a dream that was germinated a few years ago. We have been able to tell the world that through our frugal innovation system we can conquer the world and that's exactly what we need to do for India as a country."
The latest announcement about the Aakash 2 comes five months after IIT-Bombay took over the project from IIT-Jodhpur. According to reports, IIT-B has already developed apps for the ultra low-cost tablet and is likely to incorporate few more. A tussle between IIT-Jodhpur and DataWind, which were spearheading the Aakash project, had reportedly delayed the distribution of the tablet in February, after which the Indian government handed over the project to IIT-B.
It may be recalled that Sibal had announced the Aakash tablet in October last year amidst much fanfare.