Not Quite An iPad 2 Rival: $50 Indian Android Tablet Unveiled

The Aakash, India's own publicly-funded answer to the iPad 2 (and other tablets that have come to the market), has been launched today by the country's Telecoms and Education minister, Kapil Sibal.

According to Reuters, 100,000 units wil be given to Indian students for free, with the tablet - whose name means Sky in Hindi - going on sale for $35 after a significant government subsidy.

The device was designed by a British-based company, Datawind, and assembled in India; the tablet will go on sale for $60 without the subsidy.

As for the hardware, the tablet comes with a 7-inch WVGA resistive touchscreen, a 660MHz Conexant SoC, runs on Android 2.2 Froyo, comes with 2GB storage and includes a number of slots and connectors.

Datawind says that the cost of the device should be around $48 once you account for shipping, assembly and the bill of material but says that the price could go down should manufacturing move to China.

Datawind is known in the UK for its small devices that include wireless GPRS broadband access. It has been rumoured that the company will be launching the Aakash in the UK under a different name and at a much higher price point.