Earlier in May, Datawind, the suppliers of Aakash tablet, had confirmed that they have fulfilled the delivery of 100,000 upgraded Aakash tablets to C-DAC and IIT-Bombay. With the completion of Aakash 2 pilot, Indian Government has started preparing for next version of Aakash.
Based on the inputs received by us, specifications on Aakash have already been drafted, but are yet to be formally ratified by the committee. The committee is expected to meet in next couple of weeks for finalization.
Once the specifications get finalized, a new tender will be officially floated calling vendors to bid. While the previous pilot project was only for 100,000 tablets, the new tender is expected to be far bigger (probably in 2-3 million tablet range).
In Union Budget 2012-13, Aakash Tablet project was allocated Rs. 765 crore rupees. If you do the calculation, the new tender should be roughly for 2.5 to 3 million tablets.
As of now, we are not too sure about the specifications Aakash 4 may boast, but we are sure that it will come on 2 variants. One with 3G Sim card slot and one without it. We will update this post as soon as we confirm on detailed specifications.
[box type=”info” ]The biggest difference however between its predecessors and Aakash would be the price. Even though the tender will be floated for large quantities, information that we received from our sources confirms the fact that Aakash 4 may be closer to INR 3000 as compared to INR 2200 to INR 2300 of previous generation Aakash.[/box]
And, the hike in price is not due to upgraded specifications, but because of the fact that new Aakash 4 will no more be a R&D project, as was the case previously. No Government Tax and other exemptions will be applicable to Aakash 4 (as was the case previously), which will increase the price by atleast Rs. 500 (The price rise is a rough estimate considering various taxes and levies).
In my personal opinion, if the Aakash 4 tablet crosses INR 3000 range, it needs to boast some really great specifications, otherwise it could turn out to be yet-another-cheap-tablet. Many commercial low-end tablets are also currently priced around Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4000.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on Aakash 4? What do you think is the price-point at which Government should introduce Aakash?
Do let us know!