It seems India's model of growth is being driven by the simple economies scale. Aakash is actually one technology among other cheap innovations that sweep India now. Few years back, India built the cheapest car Tata Nano, these Indian innovations may not be of use to developed countries but underdeveloped countries will embrace it.
@ Barbara, you may be right that Aakash is not going to appeal to the mass market because it is not designed for mass use, the target are students and if students could found it useful and appealing, I think it's going to stay.
Of course, I was trying to be polite when I said he was a "Charismatic" person. Thanks for putting it in so many words. My thoughts resonate with yours on that count.
Let us put aside, for the sake of discussion, the step taken by the govt. here and look at the problem at hand.I still think that the low cost cellphone already has a huge penetration and does not cut it as a computing device. Think high school and college students in tier 3 cities and below-Cellphone today is ubiquitous. Majority do not own a computer or a smartphone.More fundamental to our understanding would be what a high school/College student does essentially need from a computer and what are some of the primary concerns.
a. Should have Internet Connectivity, USB, Audio out. Average resolution display and simple I/O interface.
b. Software should allow basic functions: Internet Browser, Document editor/reader, presentations, Spreadsheets.
c. Can have limited multimedia features.(HD would be a bonus)
d. Limited performance and storage would be Okay. Two hours on battery or more.
In my humble opinion, a price point close to Rs. 3000 for the above set would be attractive to the crowd I mention and if the device doubles up as a Phone nothing like it to attract youngsters as they come up.
So far, It appears Ubislate and Indian Govt. have got it right on the above feature set. What remains to be seen is if it gets a warm reception and positive reviews. Unless there is some bug/major drawback/irritant with the users which results in the tab getting negative press, the project looks good for initial pilot run and beyond. There is no other alternative in sight as yet.
I do agree with Prabhakar that $38 is the price after government subsidy. I think this is one of the best things any government can invest in and Indian government is doing the same. Already governments waste so much money in useless projects. What they need to do along with this would be to also improve upon the infrastructure so the internet access on these tablets becomes easier and cheaper. If the project is a success, it would really help the students and prove to be a big boost to the economy.
If it really was a question of bridging the digital divide/bringing millions of those across rural India online then we already have such a Device available to all Indians-Its the Cellphone/mobile.
Just provide adequate Taxbreaks to Telecom providers in the rural sector and on all low cost Mobile handsets and Voila!!! Let the market decide and pick the right winner.Instead of trying to forcefeed a market as vibrant and diverse as India.The Govt will fail just like all past ventures here.
Its another publicity stunt from Kapil Sibal.No more,No less.
The introduction of this tablet at $ 38 is only a move to get target market to accept it without second thought. For students coming from rural and low-middle class background price point is the prime concern. And, providing millions of such students with a computing device is what the vision seems to be. "Bridging the digital divide". The human resource minister in India is a charismatic person, who likes to be in the spotlight and hence is subsidizing and ushering this project in a grandiloquent fashion. As far as the inflationary and debt concerns go, the strain on the exchequer would be a fraction of what some other ministeries/ministers inflict through senseless spending. At least, the cause in this case appears to be noble.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.