Aakash Gets 3 Lakh Pre-Orders

Outstrips the total tablet PC market in India.


Aakash, the heavily-hyped cheapest tablet in the world from India, has received a whopping 300,000 pre-launch bookings ever since it was announced on 6th October. Available at a price of Rs 3000, this tablet made by UK-based Datawind, will go on sale next month, even as a subsidised version is scheduled to be distributed free in schools and colleges. Thinking in terms of the number of pre-orders, it is greater than the total tablet PC market in India, estimated at 250,000 units. At present, the tablet arena in India is dominated by Apple, Samsung, and Reliance.

Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli has stated that the bookings have been done without any advance payment, thus hinting that the actual number will be significantly less when the time comes to actually make the payment. The company has identified and plans to tie up with a data operator, possibly Aircel, who will charge a nominal Rs 99 per month. It hopes to make internet free on the device, hinting that the internet access will be unlimited. It is also experimenting with algorithms to compress data streams to reduce data usage and has claimed to thus far been able to compress a 700 MB file to 25 MB as it gets transferred to the tablet.

The government-run National Mission for Education has thus far received 10,000 tablets priced at Rs 2250 each. These are being used by students from colleges such as IITs, RECs, BITS Pilani, Teri University, and others. Meanwhile, the government is also considering a proposal to acquire the new version of the tablet with a faster processor, at the same price.

What are your thoughts about the Aakash tablet? Will you pre-order it or will you wait for an in-depth review before making a decision or wait for its newer and faster version next year?

TAGS: Tablets, Education, Government, Android, Aakash, Jayesh