Leading tech manufacturer, Datawind, the company behind the concept of budget Aakash tablet has reportedly announced on Spetember 23 that they have started supplying the successor of the tablet, Aakash 2 to IIT Bombay for testing and also confirmed that the tablet will debut in the national consumer market by October.
The CEO of Datawind, Sunit Singh Tuli was quoted saying, “Supplies are on to IIT Bombay. In the next few weeks, it should be launched. I do not have the exact date, but HRD Minister (Kapil Sibal) has said he wants to launch on the anniversary date which is 5 October.”
He added that the Aakash 2's supply to IIT Bombay was started about six weeks back. However, he declined to disclose any other information regarding the same.
Earlier in June, HRD Minister of India, Kapil Sibal said that the new version of the low-cost tablet will come with a better battery with improved backup, a capacitive touchscreen and many other new features. Interestingly, the tablet is priced at the same Rs 2,500 (approx. $49) price tag.
The CEO of Datawind went on stating that the company has received over 55 lakh orders from the general consumers and it has cleared most of the pre-paid bookings. It is yet to start with the non-paid bookings for the same.
"Out of 55 lakh orders, 4 to 5 per cent were pre-paid bookings. May be in a week or 10 days, all the pre-paid will be done. Then we will focus on pre-bookings. We are giving them offers to upgrade to Android 4.4 version," he added.
It is to be noted that the manufacturer is delivering 1,500 to 2,000 units of the tablet almost every day to meet the demands. He clearly stated that the company is in discussion with the distribution partners and focuses on the pre-booking orders at first.
Talking about the specification of the Aakash 2, the tablet will sport a 7 inch multi-touch capacitive touchscreen display with 800 x 480 pixel resolution, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, front facing VGA camera, Wi-Fi connectivity and 3,000 mAh Li-ion battery. Moreover, Aakash 2 will run on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
But with companies such as Micromax, WishTel and Zen mobile offering a slew of low cost Android based tablets, how well will Aakash 2 fare in an increasingly crowded and competitive low cost tablet market? The Aakash will likely be cheaper than these tablets, but not by very much.