The Aakash, billed as the world’s cheapest tablet, has apparently had its first setback. According to a report in the Times of India, release of the commercial version of the Aakash, called the Ubislate, has been delayed.
The Aakash gained wide publicity when it was announced its price would be a mere $35, or $164 less than Amazon’s Kindle Fire considered to be a loss leader at $199. The Indian government is subsidizing the price of the Aakash which is expected to be distributed to millions of students in India. But even the commercial version of the Android tablet, called the Ubislate, is expected to sell for about only $60.
Originally, the device was expected out the end of last month. But a DataWind spokesperson now says the retail version of the Aakash will be available at the end of January, according to comments made to Mobile Indian in the Times of India report. DataWind developed the Aakash along with the Indian Institute of Technology.
The report cited unforeseen manufacturing problems as among the reasons for the delay.
The Aakash runs the older, Android 2.2 and features a 7-inch touchscreen with 800 x 480 resolution. runs on Android 2.2 ( Froyo) operating system and comes with a 7-inch resistive touchscreen with 800x480 resolution and weighs 350 gram. Other features include 256MB of RAM, a 32GB expandable memory slot and two USB ports.
While relatively underpowered (one review said “scrolling, for example, is a swipe-and-wait affair”) some early reviews have noted the device is surprisingly useful and might be worth it to those who can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a tablet. DataWind is expected to offer an optional external keyboard for device next year as well.