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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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.