$50 Tablet Taking India by Storm


Time for an update on the story of the “computer for masses,” an Android-based tablet with a price tag of only 2,500 rupees (~$50) thanks to government subsidization. The road to cheap Android for all wasn’t a smooth one, as the Indian government had to cancel their initial contract before finding a new manufacturer to produce the device. After much speculation, the tablet, now dubbed the Aakash, went on sale December 14th. The response has been “overwhelming” according to a spokesperson for Datawind, the British company now in charge of manufacturing the slate. Around 400,000 Aakash tablets have been sold, more than the 300,000 combined tablet sales in India for the year prior to the release of the subsidized offering.

Through April the Datawind plans to churn out “75,000 units per factory per month” and an updated version, the Ubislate 7, is already scheduled for March. The Aakash should see its price fall to the promised $35 mark through further subsidy and could eventually be available for as low as $10.

[via AFP]


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  1. $10? Really? lol

    1. The operative words are “thanks to government subsidization”. India is determined to be a technological powerhouse. And their government seems to feel this will come from giving it’s people access to it. 

  2. I’d like to see Android tablets in every single persons hands. Sadly I don’t think anyone is in a rush to produce a cheap tablet for us North Americans.

    1. you can buy some cheap android tablet for around $70 

      1. Ya, the 100 dollar capacative 7 inch a page or 2 back caught my eye. But the 10 spot price just seems awesome for so many reasons. When you get to that kind of price point there’s so much you can do with it.

    2. Since you’re an Android developer, can you explain to me why Android apps are, for the most part, very ugly. It seems like no effort is ever put in to the polish and GUI of the apps.

      1. Your right, there are a bunch of ugly android applications out there. They all use the stock .PNGs provided by Google for the user interface. But does that make an app bad? Does it take away from the app’s functionality?

        1. It does not not make the app bad nor does it take away functionality, but it does make the app worse. Think about it this way: Would you rather have the iOS version of Words with Friends or the Android version? Obviously you would choose the iOS version, not because it has any more functionality, but because it looks better. It is the same with the contacts, except reversed. ICS contacts is better than Gingerbread and iOS contacts, not because it has any more functionality, but because it looks better.

          1. You should try and make some apps. :) Android provides more for the developer because you are not restricted to strict guidelines. Apple must adhere to the guidelines to protect their image. Which is not bad either, they would not be where they are now if they had not. My point is, everybody has different tastes. My taste just happens to be in android flavors. (Lol, i made a funny)

      2. The open nature of Android me and a matures can produce apps with the big players. Also Apple is known to reject apps based on looking bad.. the combination of the 2 reasons means Android apps often look worse. That said the open nature of android means apps can do more and have more potential to look better.

        Fragmentation is not always bad. You can make Tegra apps for example to make desk top quality games. You can even put android on your desk top… make your self some office software, games and drivers and replace your desk top if you had the incenation.

        Apple set a minimum standard that was reasonably high… Android will just take a bit of time for the markets competition to boost are apps there and beyond.

    3. Cheap tabs are available. They just suck. 

  3. wow. India is doing the right thing to distribute portable computing devices to its people. Now, the US or State Governments should do the same thing for elementary and middle school students too.

    The future I see when my kids go to school:

    All homework will be cloud based. (This brings up the possibility of cheating because anybody can host the correct answers online. But that is why they have tests.)

    With cloud based homework, the students have the ability to work on it on the school provided tablet/computer, home computer, or school library computer.

    Class lessons will be interactive with interactive textbooks installed on the tablets.

    Yep, there a few schools that already do this. Makes me wish i was a kid again to take advantage of all this :D

    1. Real work never gets done when the same device that you do your homework on can also play SNES games or Jelly Defense.

      1. so when students write reports on the computer, they dont get detracted by the interwebs? As a parent, are you not reviewing your child’s work? You are not asking if they are done with their work?
        And besides, in schools a tablet can do a lot of good. Schools can save money on buying updated textbooks for the devices. (Holt McDougal Larson Pre-Algebra © 2012 hardcover textbook is $73.65 for schools. where the same book in epub is $39.35. At 100 books thats $3935 dollars saved! That is assuming there is three algebra classes teaching 33 students each.) And this is already from the money already available for school budgets. Lets not forget the teacher book is more then $100, where the epub is the same price as the student book.

        1. I am said child.

          1. LOL!!

        2. as a child i can agree with you as this is where education is definitely going. however parents cannot and do not watch their child’s every move. its nearly impossible and as a child I can tell you i can get around my parents quite easily. my dad is a sys admin and i can still get around him. it will be up to children to regulate themselves.. 

        3.  My cousin’s kids have netbooks issued by the school. Trust me, more minecraft is played on that than school work. Even her kid says so.

  4. Tell me more!

  5. I think the U.S. govt. already gives too much to its people. They don’t need to take more of my tax money to give to someone else because they don’t feel the need to work as hard as I do for what I have. I’m tired of paying taxes to drive on roads that ruin my car, and watch winter crews spread salt that ruins my car even more. I already pay enough for nothing, my 4 1/2 yr old son has a tablet because I bought one for him, no one else bought it, the govt didn’t buy it, my wife and I bought it.
    I shouldn’t have to help support parents who aren’t willing to help their own kids in the first place. I don’t want to support a family on welfare with 5 kids to 4 dads, it’s not my job to do so. It’s hard enough to make sure my own son will be able to go to college and have a little something when we are gone. And it’s bad enough that I will pay taxes on the money we leave him only to have our govt take more from him when he gets it.
    Ok I’m done ranting now, if I’ve offended you, too bad, get over it.

    1. You epitomize everything wrong with this country, you selfish, self centered, arrogant prick.

      1.  YOU epitomize everything that’s wrong with this country, you commie cocksucker.  Pay your own way and quit whining that someone owes you something. Go occupy your own ass.

    2. That would be cool if hard work was linked to high pay but its not… but the details of that convorsation is more appropriate on a 1% or political forum.

      I think however it would be nice to see more social programs involving tech. Internet is equally important anymore to phone and maybe even electricity. Ever tried to get a job recently? No paper applications accepted anymore at an ever increasing number of businesses. Were in the age of computers and the people with out them are kinda hurt alot by it.

    3. Want schools to save some money on Textbooks? Ask them to hand out tablets with ePub versions of the tablets on them? Could save the school district about 40% of the textbook budget.

      1.  Until the tablets get lost, broken, or stolen.

        1. so textbooks dont get lost stolen or broken? Have schools offer the student’s parents the chance to purchase insurance or all out buy the tablet.

    4. Most the welfare actually goes to Appalachian christian families in the south, statistical fact. In fact most the federal taxes paid in the Blue liberal states pays for roads schools and other local needs in the Red states with exception of Texas which is one of the few Red states who actually has a functional economy on their own.

      The investment in Tablets is an investment in education which will actually reduce the cost of books for local schools for at least the four years these things should last.

      1. Yes.. because the economies of California, New York, and Illinois are doing SO well… (/rolls eyes) Those are the biggest Blue States, and their economies are on the verge of insolvency.

        And as to your assertion about who gets the money:
        “Some 61 percent of welfare recipients are White, while 33 percent are
        Black, according to 1990 Census Bureau statistics, the latest figures

        The problem in this is that blacks make up about 18% of the general population, so have a disproportionate number taking welfare. And of course, this number has been skewed in the last 2 decades by the huge influx of illegals. Oh, and if this is the article you’re citing, well… It comes from Ebony magazine. Not exactly unbiased. So… Per capita, blacks take more welfare than whites. And this doesn’t even mention hispanics, which leads me to believe that they’re just lumped in with whites.

        Here’s a little more comprehensive study:

        Total means-tested welfare expenditures by federal and state
        governments amounted to roughly $384 billion in 1998. Of that sum, $212
        billion–55 percent–went to white recipients. Some $105 billion–28
        percent–went to black recipients, and $69 billion–17 percent–went to
        Hispanic recipients.

        Aid to black and Hispanic welfare recipients is greater in
        proportion to the size of their populations than is aid to white
        recipients. This can be seen by determining the average welfare
        expenditure per person for each ethnic group.

        As a group, the 207 million white residents in the U.S.
        population receive $212 billion in benefits. As a group, then, they
        receive some $1,022 per person in welfare aid.

        There are some 30 million Hispanic residents in the U.S., and
        Hispanics as a group receive $69 billion in welfare, or roughly $2,210
        per person. As a group, the 33 million black residents in the U.S.
        receive $105 billion in welfare aid, or roughly $3,230 per person.”, your assertion is right, if you skew the facts a certain way and squint a little, but in essence, you know not of what you speak.

        1. I dont think this article is about welfare. It is more about government subsidization on technology. Remember the huge subsidization roll-out of the digital tuner?

        2. Well Mr. Nunya seeing that race is where you took my post, I’ll just skip the formalities and say it “You sir are a racist.” A well read red neck I may add but a racist no less.

          My posting was more about subsidizing education for the benefit of the population, I believe that’s called the public school system. One could even argue that by creating a free operating system to be used on less expensive devices then computers Google has decided that a more informed and educated population is a more profitable one regardless of race. This was the key point. The reference to northern state investment in less productive states was just to give some quick incite.

          At the risk of maybe making the argument of the first poster, I will say, look at the USPO as a case study. If it weren’t for laws pulling money from them to support the government they would not have any deficits and still would be profitable. Which leads into the last part of the argument.

          Using heartland which is biased and assuming I used ebony which is also biased shows all your cards as to what I am dealing with. CA, MA, NY, IL, CT are more productive states by far then most red states. Federal subsidies like corn for instance are taken from the taxes of above mentioned states. So we are already heavily subsidizing products. If it wasn’t for this redistribution of wealth these states could take care of themselves with little to know deficits but because of earmarking and subsidies most the south are in fact welfare states. So you sir have no clue what you speak of but you are in deed well read…

  6. +1 deh2002

  7. The Maharaja has chosen…. Android!

  8. @05806504a06c37dfd1e6d8781e50b699:disqus    deh2002
    ,I get what your saying, I really do
     BUT it takes a village. 
    What India is doing is brilliant and will pay off for the country in dividends in short amount of time.I hope that your rant/sentiment  doesn’t stop at military spending. Think about how many cheap tablets could be subsidized for the cost a couple SCUD Missiles let alone the jet to fire them. Most of the people the that put the biggest strain on the system are bred from poverty and lack of education and those people effect you, your family, and your car that can’t drive on salty roads. This is a “teach a man to fish” moment for India. They are doing the right thing, and so should we.

  9. AFAIK, the $50 price is the retail price, the government subsidizes it to $35 for the students. The improved version will cost $60 retail, and has an A8 instead of ARM11.

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