Indian government's ambitious ultra low-cost Aakash tablet may see the light of day by next month. DataWind, the company tasked with the first batch of Aakash 2 tablets, has said that it has started the supply of the new version to IIT Bombay, and expects it to be launched in October.
"Supplies are on to IIT Bombay. In the next few weeks, it should be launched. I do not have the exact date, but HRD Minister (Kapil Sibal) has said he wants to launch on the anniversary date which is October 5," Datawind CEO Sunit Singh Tuli is quoted as saying.
Tuli further said DataWind had begun the supply of the Aakash 2 to IIT Bombay since the last one month a half. Tuli declined to divulge other details.
The Aakash 2 was once again in news after the Union Minister Kapil Sibal at an event in Hyderabad recently said that the Aakash 2 would be “launched soon”. Without disclosing an exact launch date, Sibal remarked, "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.”
There had been a lot of excitement and anticipation for the ultra low-cost device earlier this year. The project however got delayed due to a spate of controversies. Union minister Kapil Sibal in June officially unveiled the Aakash 2 tablet, an improved version of the original Aakash that was rejected due to poor set of specifications.
The Aakash 2 features Android 4.0 ICS straight out-of-the-box. It sports an 800MHz processor, 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.
The launch of the Aakash 2 tablet would come at a time when the Indian market is already awash with a wide range of the budget tablets. Indian manufacturers such as Micromax, Zen Mobile, Zync and Karbonn have already launched their low-cost tablet PCs. It's notable DataWind has also launched the retail version of the Aakash 2 tablet, UbiSlate 7C. Check out the latest in the hotly contested sphere of budget tablets, here.
What do you think of the Indian government's plans with the Aakash 2? Do you think the it has lost the first mover advantage? Let us know in the comments section below:
Source: Economic Times