The earlier news was that there was a scrap breaking out between the manufacturer, Canada’s DataWind Ltd, and its erstwhile assembly partner, Hyderabad’s Quad Electronics Solutions Pvt. Ltd. The excerpt of the news is:
The fight between the two former partners, who have terminated their relationship and claim to have served legal notices to each other, is the latest chapter in the troubled saga of the government’s ambitious effort to bridge the digital divide with a low-cost product. The government was expected to buy 100,000 Aakash tablets, but stopped after the initial lot when serious quality problems surfaced. The number of tablets bought by the government in the initial lot isn’t known. The company, however, sold around 10,000 of the tablets (branded UbiSlate for the retail market) online for around R2,500 each before retiring, perhaps in the wake of the controversy, the first version of the tablet, and promising the launch of an upgrade, UbiSlate 7+. Communications and information technology minister Kapil Sibal recently said on the sidelines of an education conclave in Kolkata that the process will start again in May.
While Quad claims DataWind hasn’t paid it, the Canadian company alleges that its former partner infringed its intellectual property rights and tried to sell directly to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Rajasthan, the government-run technology school vested with the responsibility of procuring the tablets. “They did not pay us and we have already served them a legal notice,” said a Quad executive, who did not want to be identified. He added that the company’s lawyers are studying further options.(Source: http://www.livemint.com/2012/04/12224350/New-twist-in-Aakash-tablet-con.html?atype=tp)
There is a simple corporate strategy to avoid direct question and throw in a fresh hope by a fresh announcement. It appears that Data-wind is doing it by making following announcement:
Datawind launched Ubislate tablets in India priced at Rs 2,999 and Rs 3,999, respectively for resistive and capacitive screen versions. Government’s Aakash II tablets, expected to be launched this year will carry the same configuration as Ubislate tablets, i.e, a 800 MHz Cortex A8 processors on Android 2.3 platform. “We have tied up with distributors across India. The tablets will be available by May-end only after we have fulfilled the existing orders,” said Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind. For internet access, Datawind has tied up with Aircel, which will offer an unlimited internet plan at Rs 98 per month on 2G/GPRS for the Ubislate tablets. The Ubislate7c (capacitive touch) tablets priced at Rs 4000 will carry an internal flash memory of 4GB. The resistive versions will carry internal memory of 2GB and will be priced at Rs 2,999. (Source: http://m.timesofindia.com/tech/personal-tech/gadgets-special/Datawind-launches-cheapest-tablet-at-Rs-2999/articleshow/12881576.cms)
These announcements are of no use until people who have paid the advance get a refund or their tablet, before it is obsolete. The Micromax has already launched its Rs.6499/- tablet called the Micromax Funbook which is pre-loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and is powered by a 1.2 GHz Cortex A8 single core processor.
Meanwhile Amazon has set the tablet market on fire by its $199/- Kindle Fire. It is stated that “Kindle Fire, introduced to the market in November 2011, has seen rapid adoption among buyers of tablets,” said market researcher comScore in a report released on April 26. “Within the Android tablet market, Kindle Fire has almost doubled its share in the past two months from 29.4 percent share in December 2011 to 54.4 percent share in February 2012, already establishing itself as the leading Android tablet. (Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/technology/BusinessComputing-Updates/Amazon-Kindle-dominates-Android-tablet-market/SP-Article1-847534.aspx)
The above updates other choices I referred in my previous posts.