Yesterday, Aakash 2 Tablet was finally launched by Indian President—Pranab Mukherjee—on the occasion of ‘National Education Day’. The U.K.-based manufacturer—Datawind—will supply 100,000 units of 7-inch capacitive touch screen Android 4.0.3 Tablet to IIT Bombay in the first phase. The Tablet will be available to 220 million Indian students including engineering and other streams in the coming years.
The new version of the device with 1GHz CPU is quite ahead of its predecessor. However, the government initiative has not yet confirmed whether the device will support “Google Play” or not. Google Play Store could be lucrative for students in order to install apps and games from the online store without restrictions.
The Tablet mnaufacturer (Datawind) is offering Aakash Tablet at INR 2,263 to Ministry of Human Resource & Development (MHRD), but the government subsidizes it by 50%, offering the Tablet for just INR 1130 (around $21). However, the original Aakash Tablet was launched in October last year, but the U.K.-based manufacturer could not meet even the demand of government.
Apparently, Aakash 2 is not as much efficient as some other high-end Android Tablets are available in the market in terms of specifications. In comparison to Kindle Fire HD, Google Nexus and Samsung Galaxy Tab, Aakash Tablet is quite behind. The global brands such as Google Nexus 7 is currently offering quad-core Tegra 3 processor (clock at 1.5Ghz) with 1 GB of RAM, while Aakash 2 Tablet has ARM Cortex A8 processor (clock at 1GHz) with 512 MB of DDR3 RAM.
In addition to these, Aakash 2 doesn’t have rear-facing camera and cellular connectivity. Indeed, lack of cellular connectivity in the Tablet, especially in India where Wi-Fi connectivity is still patchy, could be one of the challenges for the device .
The government has launched Aakash 2 Tablet to rise awareness towards technology among rural students. Of course, India has poor infrastructure in terms of electricity production. Rural India is still struggling to get basic electric supply. That’s the reason why the government needs to focus on Battery backup at least for 10 hours. But, Aakash 2 tablet has just 3 hrs of battery backup, and definitely, it could be a wicked deal for the government.
Indian Tablet market showed off 673% Y/Y growth in Q2 2012. The market scenario has incredibly been changing since last couple of years. More importantly, low-priced Tablet manufacturer Micromax is dominating the market with 18.5% market share in terms of shipments.
Indian users are price-sensitive, and that’s why some of the local vendors have succeeded in making their stronghold in Tablet segment in the country. In price prospective, Aakash 2 is quite impressive with respect to some other low-priced tablets available in the market. In other word, the device could be a threat for some other low-priced Tablets in the country.