It was in 2011 when Datawind-made “Aakash” tablet for students was unveiled costing Rs.1000 with huge government subsidy going into its launch. While the demand virtually crippled the company’s plans, it was eased into the hands of students with support from the government.
Notwithstanding the demand for cheap tablets in India, DataWind, a Canadian NRI-headed wireless web access service provider, who won the contract of Aaksh Tablets three years ago is toying with the idea of pulling another show with a new smartphone for Rs.2,000, beating all the expectations of the market. More intriguing and unimaginable for the market is that the manufacturer is promising free lifetime internet access for the device that is set to hit the shelves this Diwali.
In its announcement on Thursday, the company said it hopes to double the sales by the year end.
The new Aakash tablet will run on Android OS and have a 3.5 inch screen and it remains to be seen whether the quality expectations which have risen of late, will let the device become an instant success as its old three Aakash tablets, which were selling at least 40,000 units per month.
In fact, DataWind’s Aakash Tablets were not approved initally by IIT Jodhpur, and the project was given to IIT Bombay later for improvement. Not compromising on quality, the company has to float its new device into the market now with Xaomi of China knocking at the huge Indian market for smartphones with its cheaper versions at knocked-down prices and online flash sale.
DATAWIND claims its 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. Most recently, DATAWIND’s Aakash/UbiSlate tablets have received worldwide attention, as the company executes a vision to empower the next 3 billion people with computing and internet access. DATAWIND has offices in London, Montreal and Mississauga, Canada, Dallas, USA, Amritsar and New Delhi, India.