India introduces cheap tablet computers

October 6, 2011

India unveiled Wednesday what is considered the world's cheapest tablet computer, to be sold to students at the subsidized price of $37 ($35 US) to expand digital access in the country. By comparison, the cheapest Apple iPad 2 costs $519, while Amazon's new Kindle Fire will list for $199 US. Montreal-based developer Datawind is selling the device, called Aakash ("Sky" in Hindi), for about $47 each to the Indian government, which is distributing 100,000 units to students for free in a pilot run. The Aakash has a colour screen and offers word processing, Web browsing, and video conferencing. The Android 2.2-operated tablet has 2 USB ports and 256 megabytes of RAM. The device is part of push in India to boost the numbers of students in PSE (the government aims for 30% enrolment by 2020) and to give them the technological skills needed to further boost the nation's rapid economic growth. Associated Press | Reuters | Agence France-Presse