Indian $35 Tablet – Facts, Pricing, Launch & more…

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We have been following India’s $35 tablet story since the time we broke it on July 22nd last year. The much talked about tablet was supposed be launched earlier this year in Jan/Feb. However, the first tender was cancelled in Jan due to various issues.

This $35 tablet is news again and it now seems to be very near to being a reality. On a personal level, I have been quite sceptical, specifically with the pricing and I have mentioned many times earlier on this blog that the price point of $35 is extremely difficult to achieve.

$35-tablet

We tried to dig out more information on this latest news and from what we have learned from our sources, it is really on its way of being launched sooner than later.

However, there are some mis-conceptions about this $35 tablet, and we decided that we will put the facts (the ones we know of) across to our readers.

New Tendering for $35 tablet

First off, it is IIT Rajasthan that has placed the tender (not MHRD themselves) for procuring first batch of 100,000 tablets and the project has been backed & funded by MHRD’s National Mission on Education through ICT (NME-ICT). The previous tender was cancelled and new tender was out couple of months back.

An undisclosed vendor (Unfortunately, we could not get the name) has won the tender and will be providing these tablets to IIT Rajasthan.

New Pricing for the $35 Tablet – (USD 48 or Rs. 2200/-)

Although, we call it “The $35 Tablet”, the name that this tablet has been christened with is “Sakshat”, which basically is the name of ambitious project by NME-ICT for spreading education amongst the masses.

The actual Landing Cost (commercially arrived at price) of this Tablet to IIT Rajasthan is about Rs. 2200 or USD 48.

Now, the landed cost means it includes everything – transportation, handling, taxes (if any) & others. If you have read our previous articles, I have mentioned clearly that even if you take pricing of individual components of a tablet the lowest pricing possible is in the range of USD 48 to USD 50 and this tablet comes nearly at that cost.

Tablet Numbers

The initial Tender is a pilot for 100,000 Tablets and 10,000 of them will be provided to IIT Rajasthan as early as start of July. IIT Rajasthan actually plans to come out with a new tender for 1 million tablets in next 2-3 months and expects that prices will lower that this existing batch.

Cost to Students (Subsidized or not?)

It is not really a direct subsidy which MHRD is offering on these tablets. But there are various existing provisions under which these Govt. institutions (IITs & IIMs) can provide students with 50% subsidy on these tablets. If you consider that the cost for students will be in the range of Rs. 1100/- or about USD 24!

It is possible that some of the institutions may not be able to offer these subsidies in which case, students will get it at a cost of Rs. 2200!

The Tablet Road Ahead

Currently the 100,000 tablets that have been ordered is only for pilot purposes. IIT Rajasthan wants rigorous field & usability testing to happen on them. These first set of tablets will be sent to Institutions all across India and will be given to students for testing purposes. Based on the usage and feedback, IIT Rajasthan will make required changes to the device and will place tender for next batch of a Million Tablets.

Tablet Launch Date

IIT Rajasthan will receive first set of 10,000 tablets (out of 100k) in first week of July and rest will be delivered in phased manner. If the usability tests go as expected, IIT Rajasthan will issue second tender for 1 Million tablets before the close of this year!

Conclusion

Yes, the tablet is for real ! I am sure it will see the light of the day…

What I am really looking forward to see is how usable it is and how it will help students in their education. The specs that have been defined in the tender point that it does have all the necessary bells & whistles, but how well they work in reality has to be seen. It is possible that with such low pricing, the hardware quality may not be of high standards and may offer students a sub-par experience.

Let us wait and watch – We will surely do a complete review of this device when we manage to get our hands on them!

  1. Vishnu says

    Pls pls pls say frm where i can buy tis tab?Am from kerala but doing ma engneering in tamilnadu so pls gv me details frm where i cn get it pls.

  2. Maitreya Dave says

    exact launch date?

  3. Thakur Samved Singh says

    they r giving to uptu student or not…

  4. Shrey Saroch says

    are they going to give dat to NIT students also?

  5. Sherin C Johnson says

    It is an eye opener to the rest of the world ‘WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF’ I welcome this development.

  6. Gautam Mishra says

    aaj launch ho gaya.
    yehhhh…..

  7. khizer says

    what abt the tablet whats the status no updates on this since july end and now almost its 22 of sept is this a scam or reality fact of the tablet “Sakshat” or $35 tablet/

  8. Srinath Mudiliar says

    nt real……..

  9. sandeep says

    Definitely a scam of the HRD ministry. Anybody who is slightly knowledgeable about component pricing will not beleive this pricing of USD 35. Impossible price. Moronic minister who is completely ignorant about prices.

  10. Chetan Sonkusare says

    Comming Soon…………………

  11. Ramkumar Panjanathan says

    CHeap and best.

  12. Jitendra Bapna says

    Carrying tablet is easy, its working is faster and if its 3g waht else can u ask for…..

  13. Siddhartha Sinha says

    I want to have one but from where could I buy this one….

  14. Prashant Someoneudunnow says

    Great research man, I was searching for the true story from years, you done it, Thanks.

  15. Pradeep Chaudhary says

    exciting development. lets see what comes out.

  16. G Vishnu Vardhan Reddy says

    why not put a simcard slot so that we wud buy this as a secondary phone just for 2200/-

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Although not difficult, it does add lot of cost to the tablet. I agree that it will add a lot of value as one will always be connected on the net…

    2. G Vishnu Vardhan Reddy says

      hmmm yeah but when we are able to see mobile phone worth of just 1000/- even from Nokia(1208) then dont u think the cost will increase only just by 800/- adding upto 3000/- and if at all subsidised then just 1500/-

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