The commercial version of Aakash priced at Rs. 2,999 which goes on sale early next month has received 3 lakh pre-orders, already! This figure exceeds India’s estimated tablet market figure which is about 2,50,000, including giants like Apple and Samsung, reports Times of India. The subsidized model made by Datawind is already being distributed in schools and colleges free of charge.
3 Lakh pre-orders of Aakash
“The bookings for Aakash have been done without any money received in advance. We have identified an operator for a data plan at Rs 99 a month,” said Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli, who also claims to make accessing internet almost free with its data streaming technology. Apparently, Aircel could be the network operator, but there is no official word on this, yet.
A couple of months back, we saw low-cost tablets like Reliance 3G Tab, Beetel and mTab. With the introduction of Aakash, manufacturers are further working towards lowering the prices to come out with the cheaper tablet options like the rumored Reliance 4G tablet, which is supposedly priced around Rs.5,000. The next version of Aakash is also said to be in preps and will feature a capacitive touchscreen, and processor with twice the speed. It also plans on an attachable keyboard, so the total cost of the device would be Rs. 3,400. Besides, an upgraded version of the Aakash is also in talks which will feature a faster processor at the same price.
Other nations are also planning on adopting such initiatives. “The governments of Mexico, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Thailand, Brazil, Bangladesh have requested us to participate in programs similar to India. None, though have come out with tenders for supply of low cost devices as of now,” said Tuli.