5 Biggest Threats to Aakash Tablet’s Success!

India has recently introduced a tablet device, named Aakash and it is a project headed by the Indian Government. It will be priced at $35, which is a ridiculously low price considering most tablet devices are not less than a few hundred US dollars.

The idea is to introduce young students in India, to the digital world by keeping it priced low enough to be affordable. It will have a 7 inch screen, 256 MB RAM, 2 GB storage space, WiFi enabled + supports a SIM Card. It will run on Android 2.2.

I read a lot about the Aakash tablets over the days and found 5 major hurdles to it becoming a success.

#1. Information

The information on its development was strangely unclear. We did cover it’s announcement over a year ago in July 2010. After that it seemed like the project was scrapped and suddenly it is being released in January 2012.

About 100,000 units will be available in January 2012, but still no clarity on which universities will be covered or even how one could pre-order the commercial version of the tablet.

#2. Profitability

There is a commercial version that will be sold for a little more but overall it does not seem to be a profitable business.

This might end up  discouraging private players taking a part in the distribution of the tablet. A retail vendor will sell a device only if it makes them a lot of money.

#3. Inventory

The issue of inventory could literally make or break the success of such a gadget. I am not sure how much back-end research has gone into looking at how to distribute these tablets and which universities might adopt them leading to a greater success.

Also considering the cheaper version of the tablet is not for making profits, a corporate company that specializes in inventory will probably keep away from such a project.

#4. Connectivity

If the tablet is meant to go into the hands of people who cannot afford a computer, I wonder how they would afford to pay for its connectivity. Even if they can afford internet connectivity, broadband internet is not all that easily available in rural parts of India.

It has a WiFi card along with support for GPRS. GPRS is ridiculously slow and prohibitively expensive. The other option of is WiFi connectivity, but even that is not easily available.

#5. Support

Another problem arises on the issues of support. Who will support the tablet? What will be the developer environment around it? What sort of apps will it run? What will be the encouragement for developers to build apps for this particular device?

I do not want to write-off this project as a failure even before it starts but these 5 issues will be key. I am not sure if India has the infrastructure to support such a product, especially in rural areas. I think the creators have done a great job of creating a tablet device at such a low price. It is a technical marvel in that sense, but now its true test will begin.

What are your views on the Aakash Tablet? Do drop in your comments.


techno October 9, 2011

I an just wondering how this is so cheap.

Jayakumar October 9, 2011

I’m a daily reader of your mails…but i don’t know why you discouraging the development of Indians in india….one thing i accept that broadband line is not available in rural area but gprs available in all area…first you know one thing..”””” all persons are not genius and they known something about computer..from childhood if their father or mother studied..if they are uneducated, how their childrens known about that, thats why, first if they use any pcs, after they will trained, how the problem comes and how to stop that…thats all…aakash is the starting point to rise knowledge in indians….waiting for countdown to starts…..

Aditya Kane October 9, 2011

@Jayakumar: Thanks for the passionate defense of the tablet. Handing everyone a gadget to browse the internet without investing in broadband across the country is a bit like giving someone a television set without electricity.
Also I am not being critical of the tablet as a product but pointing out to lack of infrastructure to absorb such a product.

ravi October 21, 2011

@Aditya Kane says::::::This is not bad. Indian innovator have prooved they can do within limit. U must broad ur knowledge before any comment on Aakash.

Aditya Kane October 21, 2011

@Ravi: It is nice to see your passion for the Indian tablet (which I have not criticised) but it would be nice to read specifically which points your disagree with.

ravi October 21, 2011

@Aditya Kane:::::::Your views about the area specific things are correct but people residing in cities may find it more useful.

Ajay March 1, 2012

Aditya you r right about the tv and electricity and all but if 5% of india’s people can’t utilize it the rest 95% can becouse ”something is better then nothing”

Krishna October 9, 2011

yes you are right.but 5th point is very good

Sagar October 9, 2011

You’re absolutely right Aditya, good criticism for the Indian Tablet.

Vinay S K October 11, 2011

I think,in the rural area much of the users are currently not interested in using internet. They are still in a way to know the digital world. I have seen so many persons who are using their laptops for the entertainment and education purpose. Introducing this gadget will open the new door for the rural India. Regarding the Apps development, its possible for the students to develop and upload it on the net,so anyone can download it.Only issue for this project is about the servicing.And we can use the internet using GPRS and SIM facility,even though it is slow,it is sufficient for the basic usage. Some more research is needed and I hope The Students will do it easy for our country. Thank you

Kins brar October 12, 2011

I think it god gift for collage or school student. All of them r know about pc. But some student use it for only entertainment perposes not for study…!

NIMESH BHANUSHALI October 13, 2011

the product is already a failure and sibal plans to make moneyfor himself and sonia via this tactics…
The subsidised phone targeted at rural students has no gprs facility and it not a phone…also the commercial version has both this facilities…kapil is trying to act smart showing concers about rural people but the true story is something else…moreover rural people have no electricity..how do the plan to charge thier tab..

Kins brar October 13, 2011

I think phonic and gprs service shoud be availabal for version which gives by govt. At least gprs…

Sovan October 18, 2011

I t is not gud device, doesn’t hav bluetooth,slow gprs,bad quality of battery,slow processor speed & much more disadvantages. I don’t need cam for a tab but 3g/gud gprs should available.

Aditya Kane October 18, 2011

It cannot be expected to be a great device for the price it is being sold at, but problem is the wireless connectivity and other things that are not available to the target consumer.

aatif October 22, 2011

You are correct in these points but most important for me is last ..

Pk October 23, 2011

When do they distribute in belgaum

Vishnu mane November 28, 2011

Tablet must be running over countryside

laxman December 19, 2011

hi…if any problems come with tablet where we have find customer……….can u tell about problems with aakash…..

parth December 27, 2011

if u r talking about wireless conectivity people who can afford brodband connections and who are going for samsung galaxy and such types of tabs and increasing money of foriegn countries they can go for akash tab and increase money in india it will be good for both producer and consumer.(do reply)

Aditya Kane December 27, 2011

I think the tablet is supposed to be for people who cannot afford computing. I do not think there is adequate wireless infrastructure that would really support a subsidized tablet for the poor.

NIMESH BHANUSHALI December 27, 2011

I personally believe it a game plan to make money..and sibal is promoting another scam..there would be lot of subsidised money eaten away in between with everyone getting their share and in the end tax payers money would be wasted…poor villagers with get nothing not even the empty box of the tab..
If they are really concerned they should invest on rurul infra development and their education…even today more than 600000 villages in india are deprieved of basic facilities like water and electricity and this tab is useless for them..think abt it Mr sibal if u have some brains and time after your buttering sessions for Sonia and rahul…