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Indian government plans to reduce price of the Aakash 2 tablet to Rs 1,500 ($28)

Speaking at a media event in Delhi, Kapil Sibal, India's IT and Telecom Minister, mentioned that the government has asked C-DAC to help reduce the Aakash 2 costs.
February 12, 2013

The world’s cheapest tablet, the Aakash 2, just got cheaper! Kapil Sibal, India’s IT and Telecom Minister, announced at a media event in Delhi that the government has asked the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, the partner in the Aakash project, to reduce the price of the Aakash tablet to Rs 1,500 (~$28). Currently, the Indian government is buying the Aakash 2 from manufacturers DataWind at Rs 2,263 (~$43), while offering the same to the Indian student community at a highly-subsidized rate of Rs 1,131 (~$22).

What this low price point will get you is a 7-inch capacitive display with 800 x 480 resolution, single-core ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB internal storage expandable via microSD up to 32GB, a 0.3MP front-facing camera, and a 3,000mAh battery. Obviously not the best specs around, but at that price, and considering the target consumer base, the Aakash tablet is absolutely  amazing!

With plans to reduce the Rs 2,263 price point even further down to Rs 1,500, it’s logical that the device might get even cheaper for Indian students, expanding its reach even further to the millions of students currently a part of the Indian education system. Of course, while the idea is impressive, execution has been a huge problem so far. The first Aakash tablet announced two years back never made it. The Aakash 2 has been plagued with logistical difficulties as well, and is not even close to reaching the targets that had been set by the government.

What are your thoughts? While the plans sound good, do you think it will ever come to fruition, at least the extent the government has planned? Are you waiting to pick up an Aakash 2 tablet?