Open in action
Would $25 even cover the license fee of any alternative?
The long-awaited low cost Aakash 2 tablet from UK firm Datawind has finally been officially launched in India, complete with several new hardware enhancements which the government will be hoping helps spur student learning. The Aakash 2, which is commercially available as the UbiSlate 7Ci for Rs 3,500 ($US64), is costing the …
The unsubsidised version is around Rs 4999, say $90 or £70. But that's in India. Factor in delivery and import duties if a personal import, or if resold into the UK add commercial profit margin and UK service costs, plus VAT, and you could be looking at £120.
At that price you're starting to see (surprise, surprise) that's its not much more competitve than the lower end of the market, which given the likely component sources seems to be obvious. Note as well that the Datawind business model is not to allow access to the Android market, but to sell apps through a dedicated store - one of the ways of getting the price down being to make money on the apps. In this respect the Aakash isn't really like the Raspberry Pi at all. You could perhaps root the tablet, but given the extent of custom hardware you'd be taking a gamble.
There is talk of selling this into Western markets, but as they can't make enough for the Indian market at the moment then you might have to wait a long while.
Thousands? More like 300 million odd Indians below the offical poverty level. But so what? India will only lift its population out of poverty through education, development and trade, and this is what this project is intended to achieve. So indirectly this may do more to help the poor than giving the money to an aid charity.
Personally I wondered what exactly was "British"about this machine - not much other than a brass plate on a door, I would suspect.