Brace yourself. The ‘game changing’ and ‘revolutionizing’ world’s cheapest tablet is now officially a flop show. A Reuters report suggests that Datawind has managed to ship only 10,000 units of the Aakash tablet since its debut in October last year. Datawind was supposed to supply 100,000 units of the tablet as a part of the Indian government’s pilot project to bring Internet connectivity and computing to all students. If successful, the government would have picked up another million units of the tablet. Also Read - Samsung expects India's tablet market to revive this year
However, the project ran into trouble right from the beginning. The test group complained about the slow processor, unresponsive touchscreen and poor battery backup. One of the partners in the project, IIT Jodhpur wanted better specs and stringent quality control, a demand Datawind said was not possible at the current price.
In the meanwhile, Datawind released the commercial version of Aakash in the open market. The product was available on pre-order with payment on delivery as the only payment option. The company announced the tablet had been sold out in a week and started taking pre-orders for a better version that also had GPRS connectivity and better hardware specifications. An ET report claimed the company had sold 1.4 million units in two weeks. As things stand now, it is unclear whether Datawind has started shipping the commercial version of Aakash and if so, how many units have been shipped.
The Indian government is scheduled to open a new tender to seek a new partner to make the tablet. It seems that Datawind has been given the boot though the company denies having received any such intimation, officially or unofficially.