Aakash: India's Tablet Computer Goes For $35
    By Hank Campbell | October 6th 2011 12:30 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Americans sometimes believe things have to be expensive, from science to technology.   Yet getting adopted by the masses is the road to long-term success so a country that can make a microscope out of bamboo for $4 is now putting a tablet computer in reach for its poorest people - a fraction of what the hyper-priced iPad retails for.

    Developer Datawind is selling the tablets to the government for about $45 each, and subsidies will reduce that to $35 for students and teachers. In comparison, the cheapest Apple iPad tablet costs $499, while the recently announced Kindle Fire will sell for $199.  India is the 9th largest economy but it's per capita GDP is $3,339 so those more expensive devices would only be available for the wealthiest.

    India announces $35 tablet computer for rural poor by Katy Daigle, Associated Press

    An Indian student poses with the supercheap Aakash tablet computer which she received during its launch in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. The $35 basic touch screen tablet aimed at students can be used for functions like word processing, web browsing and video conferencing. Aakash, manufactured by DataWind, has a 7" Android 2.2 touch screen and a HD video coprocessor. The Indian government intends to deliver 10 million tablets to students across India. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan) Copyright 2011 Associated Press. 


    Dear Hank: Critics point out that many villages in India do not have electricity. Then how can the children recharge the tablet after the first three-hour, they ask. Also the Intenet connection is through Wi-Fi. most villages are not anywhere near a Wi-Fi hotspot. How can children connect to Internet? They suggest that the Government should concentrate on education per se: teacher training, school buildings, toilets in schools, blackboards, etc. You may talk to social scientist Shiv Viswanathan to learn more about these concerns.

    Subbiah, my top focus in making a better world would be energy - not ridiculous inefficient current solar or even sillier wind, but something that can leapfrog those and bring energy to everyone and not just have it fo the rich.

    I agree that handing someone with no food a spoon may seem silly but not making a tablet for $35, which brings the cost down for a lot of people in India, unless you can bring it to all people, is even sillier. It would be like contending we should not stop some crimes unless we can stop them all.  What you look for is instead a tipping point where people take it on themselves.