Aakash Tablets Surpassed 14 Lakh Bookings in 2 Weeks

Aakash, world’s cheapest tablet had 14 lakh bookings in just two weeks after it was put up for sale online for a price of Rs. 2500 a piece.

Datawind , the maker of the $35 tablet has decided to establish three new factories – in Cochin, Noida and Hyderabad to cater the overwhelming need of the customers. The new factories will be opened in the first half of 2012 to assemble the tablet. Datawind currently has only one factory in Hyderabad, with its vendor Quad, which makes the LCD panel for the tablet.

Pre-sales bookings for the Aakash tablet (about 400,000 in October) had surpassed the Indian tablet market which grossed about 250,000-300,000 tablets till last year.

Even with a resistive touch and slow processor, Aakash has received about 1 lakh orders a day since online launch last month. In comparison, Apple sold about 10 lakh iPads in 28 days and 30 lakh in 80 days of its launch in April 2010. Currently, the cheapest model of iPad at Rs 29,500, is about 12 times costlier than Aakash.

[advt]Datawind plans to put on sale online the next version of Aakash – Ubislate 7+, priced at Rs 2999, by mid-January. The newer version will come with a slot for insertion of a SIM card, for access of internet by GPRS or 2G connection. The current version of the tablet can access internet via WiFi access.

Besides, the newer version will be twice as fast with a 700 Mhz processor compared to a 366 Mhz processor in the current tablet. In another development, the government has extended the letter of credit to Datawind to supply the next lot of 90,000 tablets, even though IIT Rajasthan is yet to provide the test specifications for the next version, which it wants to procure for supply to students. The delay from the government’s end is likely to land Aakash in the hands of commercial buyers before students for whom the low-cost tablet was meant for in the first place.

Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO, Datawind told:

“We never expected such a high response from both corporate and individual buyers. We plan to supply 70,000-75,000 units per day once the factories are in place by April. We are not accepting cash for bookings currently, as we want to sort out supply issues. “[source]


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