New Delhi, India – October 5, 2011:
the world'slowest computing/internetdevice
was launched inIndia by the Honorable
Minister of HumanResources&
Development, Communications &
Information Technology Kapil Sibal.
Called 'Aakash', the tablet has been
designed,developed and manufactured by
DataWind Ltd. in partnership with IIT
the Human Resources &Developmentministry's
National Mission on Education throughInformationThe government is buying 100,000 tablets from DataWind at an all inclusive
&Communication Technology (NME-ICT).
price of Rs.2,250 per unit (inclusive of all taxes, levies, and charges like
freight and insurance, servicing and documentation).
At the Plenary Hall in Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, Minister Sibal vowed
an audience of 1,500 dignitaries, industry leaders, academics and students
with a live demonstration of high definition streaming video on the low-cost
tablet, followed by web browsing and demonstration of educational applications.
Five hundred devices were also handed out to students in attendance. Minister
Sibal explained that the low cost device was the third leg of NME-ICT: after
connecting over 1,000 institutions across the country with high bandwidth
WiFi networks and web-enabling tons of course content for free. Under
NME-ICT, the government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to post-secondary
students across India. The target price of the 10 million units is Rs.1,750 per unit.
DataWind has provided a firm proposal at the Rs.1,750 price point also.
DataWind CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli said, "Our goal was to break the price
barrier for computing and internet access. Working with IIT Rajasthan, and
NME-ICT, we've created a product that will finally bring affordable
computing and internet access to the masses. This is not only a concept that
applies to India, but has ignited the imaginations of governments around the
world. The Aakash is proudly made in India, and is destined to revolutionize
computing and internet access for the world."
DataWind established a new production line in Hyderabad, India specifically
for this purpose, resulting in the ultra low-cost tablet to be the first indigenously
designed and manufactured tablet.
Intended for students, the Aakash tablet can be used as an Ebook reader, for
access to online streaming course material and web based research. Not limited
to students, Aakash offers anybody that wants high quality web, social networking,
instant messaging, multimedia, games and hundreds of thousands of applications
, a durable and affordable mobile device. Instant messaging and social networking
are delivered through the Nimbuzz application.
The Aakash is a 7" Android 2.2 touch screen tablet that has a HD video
co-processor for a high-quality multimedia experience and core graphics
accelerator for faster application support. The Aakash tablet is the only
Android device in the market to offer DataWind's UbiSurfer browser, based
on 18 international patents. The UbiSurfer browser accelerates web pages
by factors of 10x to 30x, allowing for a web experience who's speed is unrivalled.
The device includes WiFi connectivity and support for optional 3G modems.
Two full-sized USB ports are integrated into the unit allowing pen-drives, external
keyboards, web-cams, dongles and other inexpensive peripherals to be attached.
"Pen drives are a common medium for storing and sharing content in India. They
are even used by people that are not computer savvy, for access to music and
videos. We felt it was very important to include full sized USB ports allowing
regular pen-drives to be plugged-in" said Suneet Singh Tuli.
A key accessory offered with the Aakash tablet by DataWind, is the Leather
Keyboard Case. The leather case not only protects the device, but has an
integrated keyboard case allowing fast typing and conversion of the device
s a small notebook.
At the launch event, DataWind displayed a roadmap of future products,
including its mobile phone version of the device, capacitive screen units with faster and dual-core processors, and 10-inch screen devices.
Pricing and availability
Although, the Aakash tablet will only be available to post-secondary students through the NME-ICT, DataWind will offer a commercial version, called the UbiSlate, starting late November at a Maximum Retail Price of under Rs.2,999 (inclusive of all duties and taxes). The price difference between the Aakash and UbiSlate is because the commercially available product will include a cellular modem, allowing it to deliver web access anywhere there is a cellular connectivity, and also to function as a mobile phone!
The open market product will also need to include various forms of excise duties, countervailing duties, sales tax, distribution costs, marketing costs, channel margins and field service support. Further details of the UbiSlate will be provided upon its launch in November. End-users and channel partners can register their interest at http://www.UbiSlate.com
The UbiSlate will be offered by DataWind online and through reputed electronics and mobile retailers across India starting late November. The UbiSlate will be priced under Rs. 3,000 including 12 months of warranty. Internet access across mobile networks will be priced at Rs.99 for 2GB.
Datawind is a leading provider of wireless web access products and services. DataWind's product range includes the PocketSurfer handheld internet device, UbiSurfer netbooks and UbiSlate tablet devices. Based on several international patents, Datawind's breakthrough technologies solve the bandwidth limitations of cellular networks by accelerating content delivery by factors of 10x to 30x – resulting in a superior mobile web experience at a lower cost. Datawind has offices in Amritsar, London, Montreal, Dallas and New Delhi.