While most major tablet vendors continue their race for the top spot, producing tablet after tablet for the high-end users of the developed world and raising prices along the way, the users in the developing countries eagerly await for an affordable tablet. However, now a British firm has stepped up to bridge this gap and produce tablets specifically for low-income users. Datawind Ltd, with it’s tablet priced at a mere £22, hopes that it will be able to bring internet access to millions of such users who fall through the ‘affordability gap’ in the market.
The tablet is definitely not one that could be pitted against Apple’s iPad or other Android tablets. Titled ‘Aakash’, which is the Hindi word for heaven, the tablet is aimed for developing nations and specifically for institutions with such tight budgets that they can’t afford high-end tablets, such as hospitals and schools.
For now, Aakash’s primary focus is the Indian market. India, with it’s population of over a billion, hosts millions of such masses who can’t afford a high-end tablet. Aakash may be just the solution for them. Whereas it has been criticized for being low on quality, having a slow response time and having dim screen and a brief battery time, the tablet still is a very affordable accessory for those who want to gain access to the world of internet, a luxury not yet afforded by millions in India.
According to Datawind’s CEO, Mr Singh, “The most important thing is the price. And within that price, [customers] primarily want to get Internet access, want to have good multimedia… and then basic applications.” And that is a fair enough argument.