After releasing tablets for students at a subsidized rate, the government planning to launch sub-$100 smartphones to promote broadband growth in the country.
"A fully-functional smartphone is no longer an object of desire but an instrument of empowerment ," the official said to Economic Times.
The proposal was reportedly discussed on July 29 in a meeting of the joint working group on broadband that is co-chaired by the department of telecommunication's (DoT) additional secretary, Rita Teotia and Kiran Karnik, the head of confederations of India's Industry's telecom advisory cell.
The government is looking to upgrade the broadband ecosystem by setting up national fiber optic network (NOFN), which is said to go live in 2014. The government aims to increase internet adoption among the people of India with help of the the Rs 21,000-crore project and affordable smartphones.
"A sub- $100 smartphone can be a major broadband driver, especially since largescale penetration will have to be propelled by mobile phones" Karnik told ET.
The Aakash tablets weren't exactly received with great enthusiasm in the country. Will things be any different with a smartphone? Let us know about your views in the comments section below.