October 05, 2011
India launches the world’s cheapest tablet computer
According to a report by Reuters, India launches the world’s cheapest tablet computer, to be sold to students at a subsidized price of USD 35. A retail version will be offered later in the Indian market at the price tag of USD 60.
Despite being a leader in software and IT services, India trails nations like Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get the masses connected to the Internet and mobile phones. The number of Internet users grew 15-fold between 2000 and 2010 in India, according to another recent report. Still, just 8 percent of Indians have access. However, Most of the India’s 1.2 billion people are poor and can’t afford high end products like Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab; they’re even beyond the reach of many in the fast growing middle class.
Through a program that will be initially targeting students and then later offered to the public, the Indian government will be buying the first units of the lightweight touch-screen device, that supports video conferencing, 2 USB ports and a 3 hour battery life, that is called Aakash or “Sky” in Hindi for USD 50 each from a British company which assembles these web enabled devices in India.
The government program will be piloted by 100,000 Aakash devices given to students for free in order to get student feedbacks and sentiment towards this device. The government aims to subsidize this device and sell them to student at USD 35 in order to encourage digital learning via a government platform that distributes books and courses.
A retail version of the Aakash will then be introduced in the market for the general public at USD 60, in order to get as much people connected to the internet via mobile devices.
Updated: October 05, 2011 8:29 PM