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?