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Test Drive The New $40 Tablet [Video]

[ 0 ] December 4, 2012 |

After much fanfare, and a considerable wait, the Aakash 2 has arrived. The tablet generally gets a thumbs-up from critics — considering the target market and $40 price tag…

Datawind's Aakash 2 tablet is marketed outside India as the Ubislate 7ci

The world’s cheapest tablet computer, the Aakash 2, has hit the market with a mix of lower-end components designed to get low income earners online.

The Android-based tablet, produced by British company Datawind (with materials and assembly sourced in Canada, China, and India), will sell for $40 each in a bulk buy from the Indian government. The government, in turn, will slash the price by half in hopes of getting them into the hands of students.

CEO of Datawind Suneet Singh Tuli, speaking to Fast Company magazine, said he believes the barrier to the internet is device price point.

Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli. Image thanks to Fast Company magazine.

“That gap is not because of connectivity or access—they’re using mobile phones, they have some way of charging those things. That gap is affordability. Killing the affordability gap is going to bring on the next 2 or 3 billion people.”

He sees the price tipping point coming when the device reaches less than 20 percent of monthly income — the point where computers took off in the West. The Aakash 2 does that for Indians.

For international broadcasters, there are obvious ramifications for how content is packaged and distributed. The developing world has leap-frogged technologies in the past, so it’s hardly a stretch to imagine — much less assume — most of the world accessing the internet for the first time on a low-end tablet.

Critics generally agree that while the tablet will not satisfy a Western customer, considering the target and the purpose, it beats other low-end tablets offered at the $100 price point.

Worth watching is this interview with Suneet Singh Tuli from Fast Company

A critic’s take on the Aakash 2 from Engadget

More in the full Fast Company article.

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Category: Ideas and Innovation

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