India's $35 tablet delayed after losing primary vendor

By on January 21, 2011, 7:30 AM
India's $35 academic tablet has been delayed following complications with the device's vendor. HCL Infosystems won a manufacturing contract last year, but it failed to get an Rs 60 crore ($13 million) bank guarantee, which protects the government in case the vendor doesn't deliver the project.

The tablet, named Sakshat, is said to run Android and can handle PDF documents, YouTube videos, web browsing, and more. The hardware hasn't been fully detailed, but it supposedly packs 2GB of storage, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, and it supposedly consumes only two watts of power.


The Sakshat was supposed to launch on January 15 with an initial order of 100,000 units. An unnamed government official told the Economic Times that the matter would be sorted out in a few weeks and the device should be available in mid-2011, but no exact date has been announced.

Many still question whether the device will actually be sold for $35. Analysts say the processor and display alone cost more than $35 in the market, while one government source says the device costs about Rs 5700 (~$125) in components -- and that's before import and logistics fees.

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