What happened to the $35 "Aakash" tablet?

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Do you remember the $35 “Aakash” tablet that the Indian government was promising some time ago? The Aakash is a low-cost Android tablet with a 7-inch touch screen, ARM 11 processor and 256 MB RAM. Other features include: two USB ports, access to Getjar (instead of Google’s Play Store).

Aakash tablet

Here is an update on the Aakash project from Datamation:

The Aakash project never produced a $35 computer, but instead a more expensive one riddled with bugs and problems. A few students got clunky, nearly unusable units, but the whole project fell apart and the promise was never kept.

This brings me to the subject of low-cost tablets. Are extremely low-cost functional tablets possible in that price range? How low can a tablet cost before usability and performance suffer?

We are well too aware of the numerous name-less tablets of Asian origin and the usability issues that they come with – often unresponsive displays, poor colour rendering and viewing angles, as well as poor battery life. Most of these cost close to $200. In the light of those, how practical and functional will even a $100 tablet be, much less a $35 tablet?

As I have always maintained that as a rule, below a certain price point, something has got to give, whether you are offering a service or a product.

I do not doubt that over time, such a tablet will be practical, as cost of technology generally drops over time. However, I seriously doubt that any such project offering tablets at that price range stand any chance at this time.

Your thoughts on the subject?


  1. It seems the private sector is always 2step head of nation govts.they seem not to get things right even when technology is on there side

  2. Producing a tablet worth $35 and producing a tablet which would be given out at a subsidized rate of $35 are two different things. While the former is practicably impossible given the specs i believe they actually meant the later. But like you rightly pointed out, some things below a certain price range would mean compromising standards of some sort to make up for the price differential. I believe the China phone phenomenon in this country says it all.

  3. @ Belushi – that is because everyone in government wants to have a say or have a cut.

    As these government contracts and projects go, too many people want a hand in it, too much conflict of interest which leads to its downfall. Private companies are far more focussed, only have to please the shareholders and investors i.e. make them some money!

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