18th Apr, 2012
Aakash Tablet Reaches Only 366 Students In Six Months
Devices were given out for testing and feedback during the October launch.
After all the hullabaloo over the past several months, it has been reported that the Aakash tablet has reached just 366 students. The low-cost tablet was launched six months ago and its intended consumers were supposed to be students, with the primary purpose to help them in their education. These were given out to students at its 5th October, 2011 launch, in order to get them tested for obtaining feedback. Incidentally, these are the same units that are part of the batch of 650, which was accepted by IIT Rajasthan out of the lot of 6440 supplied by Datawind at that time.
This information has been disclosed by minister Kapil Sibal in he parliament. He said, "IIT Rajasthan rejected rest of the lots as the number of defective LCADs (Aakash tablets) in those lots exceeded the stipulated 5% of devices. The first phase of 1,00,000 tablets were targeted to the students in higher technical education institutions so as to further ascertain technical feedback on its operation and usability. Since these LCADs were for the purpose of testing, no norms for distribution of LCADs to students were laid down".
Sibal further added that Datawind has been asked to provide better tablets at the same price. He further elaborated that the higher specifications included a 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor, 3200 mAh battery, and capacitive touch screen. These improvements have been decided upon, after taking into account the difficulties faced by the first version. He also stated that IIT Rajasthan has not paid any money to Datawind. Will India's most affordable tablet be able to overcome all the hurdles and finally become widely available? We really don't have the answer for that one, although we do wish that it happens soon.