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Kapil Sibal, telecom minister of India, announced on Wednesday that the Aakash 2 tablets would be made available for Rs. 1990 ($ 35). The tablet is currently priced at $49. Sibal made the announcement at the RBSM (Reverse Buyer Seller Meet) conducted by the Telecom Equipment and Service Export Promotion Council.
The new pricing would be extremely beneficial to the tablet lovers in India, especially the students. Sibal added that the tablet would have all the features of a modern tablet with same functions as that of a $150 tablet. The next version of Aakash is slated to have Skype as a feature, enabling voice and video calls just with internet connection without the need for a SIM.
The global tender for the production of the tablets will be floated as soon as the government obtains the cabinet approval for the production of 50 lakh units of the tablet in the country.
The Aakash tablets, designed, developed as well as manufactured by the company Data Wind Ltd. were supplied to the IIT Bombay campus earlier this month.
Data Wind is slated to produce and supply 100,000 Aakash 2 tablets to IIT Bombay, which will then distribute it to other engineering universities and colleges.
A couple of days ago, an English newspaper had reported that Suneet Singh Tuli and Raja Singh Tuli, the founders of Data Wind might have obtained the tablets from Chinese manufacturers for $42, which was the same price at which the tablets were sold to the Indian government.
Tuli denied the argument and said that motherboards and kits were produced in the facilities of Chinese subcontractors and ‘kitted' at various manufacturers in China. He said that the assembly as well as programming of the tablets was done in India itself.