Aakash tablet- Revolutionising India?

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 10219 , Published on 10 October 2011
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First it was Tata Nano, now it’s the tablet Aakash which is making waves being the cheapest product in its category. Nano was the cheapest car within the $2500 range, now this tablet is worth just approx $45 (not 35 as it was claimed before). At this price point, Aakash is the cheapest tablet in the world. At a time when the world is still in the aura of iPad, comes a tablet which a common man can afford.

 

In India already lot of tablets were being launched like Beetel Magiq (Rs 12,000), Reliance 3G tablet for Rs 13,000 and then there is Olive tablet for Rs 16,000.

The price war was bringing the price down to Rs 13-14K but Aakash changed the whole dynamics by launching a tablet for Rs 2250.

What is Aakash?

Aakash is a tablet computer designed in India as a low cost but full functioning device in order to attempt to bridge the digital divide. The commercial version of the tablet will be retailed under the brand name UbiSlate (Wiki)

Aakash has a 7 inch screen with resistive touch, quite comparable to other tablets in the market. It features Google’s Android 2.2 Froyo OS. Lot of other features are there like document, video support etc. In short it has all the features you require.

What it doesn’t have: Capacitive Touchscreen, high end processor, high RAM, out of the box android market etc. But do we expect it at $45? No we assume.

Many people say it’s nothing when compared to an iPad. But when did the manufacturers or the Indian government say it was?

This is what the CEO of DataWind, Suneet Singh Tuli , the manufacturer of Aakash( or commercial ubislate) has to say :

“My target is not the iPad customer. The Apple iPad is a beautiful product. But my customer is someone who will buy 10 of my tablets at the price of an iPad. It can be given to field sales force or students, for internet access, taking notes, watching HD videos, even making calls. My first computer was ironically an Apple Lisa in 1982, and then a Macbook in 1985. But I don't think an iPad can deliver what my laptop can. “(TOI)

One more unique thing about the tablet is the special institutional pricing. Government is offering 50% subsidy to institutions. If an institute buys this, one Aakash comes for Rs 1125. An android tablet for RS 1125 is dirt cheap.

Will Aakash be able to create the magic? Will people stay away from it ? Will this improve India’s technology adoption? Will it be like Nano, hailed as an innovation but not a commercial success?

Only time can answer these questions!


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