Aakash tablet in trouble as DataWind-Quad Electronics feud escalates

By Kul Bhushan | Published on 17 Apr 2012
Aakash tablet in trouble as DataWind-Quad Electronics feud escalates

Quad Electronics has sued DataWind accusing the latter of not procuring its contracted inventory or pay for the Aakash tablets. DataWind has hit back at Quad saying it will not procure tablets until the matter is resolved legally.

In the legal notice, Quad has accused DataWind of defaulting $1.12 million dues. Quad has also claimed that DataWind procured only 10,000 out of total 50,000 tablets manufactured. "The letter of credit (LC) given was not honoured by Barclays bank as our bank (Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait) is yet to receive a single dollar on the LC given by them. The banks have proof of non-payments," Quad's Managing Director Raminder Singh Soin said in an e-mail query to PTI.

Quad MD also rejected DataWind's allegations that his company had breached intellectual property rights by signing MoU with IIT-Rajasthan. "The software and PCB Gerber (printed circuit board file format) required to design a product were not given to Quad and therefore there is no question of infringement since Quad was restricted to only manufacturing as per the specifications and instructions received from Datawind," Soin added.

Soin clarified that the MoU with IIT was for developing convergence products not for LCAD (Low Cost Access Device) and that DataWind was aware about the deal.

DataWind, however, has turned down claims made by Quad Electronics. On the issue of not honouring the letter of credit, DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said, "Quad should show why they weren't able to submit required documents in a timely manner to get payment through letter of credit. They've been entirely paid for their services. It'll now be resolved in the UK courts.”

The verbal spat between Quad and DataWind comes at a time thousands of retail customers wait for what has been touted as the world's cheapest tablet. The continuous delay has already dented the popularity of the Aakash tablet. DataWind is supposed to supply upgraded Aakash tablets to the government at the same price of the original Aakash. The government is planning to launch the device in May – which seems unlikely considering the spate of controversies engulfing the project time and again.

Source: Economic Times

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