Thursday, 9 February 2012

Improved specs on Aakash 2 to make it costlier

Now, this one's a spoiler of a news for sure. If you've been among those who relied on the Aakash 2 tablet to get better, while still retaining its low-cost tag, then you are going to be in for some disappointment. Hindustan Times now reports that while the Aakash 2 is all set to get a better, refreshed spec sheet, its price, too will undergo a revision. In line with the reports so far, the Aakash 2 will boast of features like a processor speed roughly four times better than its predecessor, a better battery life, and some military-style specifications, too, like water-proofing, being able to withstand a sudden, steep fall, among other things. However, getting military styled specifications for the Aakash tablet, the government is told; won't come cheap. Reportedly, both the public and private sector companies knee deep in shaping the Aakash 2 project have told the government that the price of the Aakash 2 tablet will be $100, if it wants to make it shock and water-proof. 
It's here
Better, but not as cheap! 

IIT-Rajasthan had proposed some military-styled specifications for the Datawind-manufactured, Aakash tablet; a proposal which the company rejected on grounds that it was too much for a humble tablet like this, to take. Among the IIT's other proposed specifications, are -  a 1.2GHz microprocessor as against 366MHz in Aakash and 700MB RAM, with a battery life long enough to power the device for 8 hours. A government official, according to this report had stated that given the list of specifications, manufacturing the tablet with even a price point of $100 would be impossible. 

Reportedly, Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) and Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) have shown their readiness to participate in the manufacturing of the tablet, but again, they too aren't willing to go for anything less that $100 per unit. According to the report, an official explained their predicament stating, "Because of higher price for a U.S dollar component will cost much more. Insulation costs are also very high."

This clearly contradicts the claims of the HRD Minister, Kapil Sibal, who had stated that even the improved Aakash tablet will continue to sell at the same price as its predecessor. Now, obviously, that is not happening and the ministry will have some explaining to do.

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