Telecom Lead Asia: UN Secretary General HE Ban Ki-moon has unveiled the Aakash2 Tablet at the United Nations.
Datawind’s Aakash2 Tablet faces criticisms in India. In fact, Aakash2 is not a “Made-In-India” tablet. Recently, the company admitted that its business model is similar to that of Apple where it uses subcontract manufacturers to build its products. These are built in facilities of its contractors.
Its low cost tablets were built in India including all the circuit-boards in Hyderabad. This was based on a 360 MhzArm CPU. The next generation to that had an 800MHz Arm Cortex A8 CPU and all the boards were made in Hyderabad also.
The primary difference between Aakash I and 2 is the Capacitive Touch Screen. This is the most expensive and important element and this product is manufactured in its Montreal facility. The Aakash2 uses the All winner A13 chip, which has become the standard among low cost tablets.
The software and mechanical parts are developed by Datawind and the motherboards utilize approved designs based on A13 reference.
For the first 10,000 units for IIT, and for expediency sake the company sourced the motherboards and kits from Chinese subcontractor’s facilities. It has kitted in China at various manufacturers for expediency, whereas the final assembly and programming has happened in
UN Secretary General HE Ban Ki- moon congratulated India on its Presidency of the Security Council during an extremely challenging month and emphasized that India was a critical player on security issues.
He appreciated the launch of technologies such as the Aakash2, which helped bridge the digital divide. Calling them as great enablers with potential to transform people’s lives, he encouraged partners around the world to work with the United Nations to help young people reach for the sky and meet their dreams.
Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York, noted that the device represented the ‘actualization the an idea of development innovation’ which had the potential to fundamentally alter the development discourse.
He called for the need promote research and innovation in national institutions and create an eco-system of excellence right from the elementary level upto the institutions of high-end research and innovation.
He emphasized that by partnering with key initiatives such as these, the UN development system would be able to force multiply to achieve the MDGs of universal education and global partnership.
Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said the purpose of the device was not to create an iPad killer but to create a device for the most needy sections of society at costs that they could easily afford.