Android Tablets, India

ICA criticizes Aakash Tablet, suggests bigger firms to be put in-charge

Akash Tablet Aakash TabletIndian Cellular Association (ICA) has criticized Datawind’s Aakash tablet for using outdated technology and inadequate specifications.  ICA is the apex body of the mobile industry in India; comprising of Brand Owners, Technology Providers, Manufacturers,  National Distributors etc.

Aakash tablet has been taking the brunt of such criticisms for last few weeks after the first consumers got their hands on the tablet. Despite being a cheap tablet, Aakash has not been dubbed as even value for money product by reviewers across the country.

ICA has sent an official letter to Ministry of Human Resources and Development suggesting that large/global mobile industry players should be involved in such a product. If Indian government wants ownership/Intellectual Property rights to be in Indian hands, then appropriate partners can be found from big Indian mobile cos, stated ICA.

Replying to these charges, Datawind CEO has dared ICA members to participate in open tender and manufacturer the tablet at this price.

“The cheapest tablets made by ICA members are not less than Rs 15,000. Why did they not compete in the tender floated by IIT Rajasthan? They are most welcome to participate in the forthcoming tenders. Their tablet products don’t serve 97 per cent of the Indian mass market. Ten months after the project was signed, they are now finding fault.”

– Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind

Well this is just the start, we are expecting more such episodes and these will continue unless Datawind’s next version of this tablet, which is coming with better specs, works decently and is worth the money.


Full Aakash Coverage Here.

6 thoughts on “ICA criticizes Aakash Tablet, suggests bigger firms to be put in-charge

  1. Its simply about affordability. You don’t have anything similar in the entire world at the same price (not even a Chinese one).

  2. In this particular case, I strongly support Datawind and Aakash. Agreed that these are well below global, Indian, even Chinese standards. But so is the target group. At least they have made a start. Besides, since this was a tender-float operation, ICA should have competed in it. They didn’t. So, their complaining now is a case of “grapes are sour”?

  3. We should stop tolerating extremely cheap quality, fragile and low feature set tablet in the name of affordability.

    Datawind is arguing using the wrong pretext. It has committed volumes from the government to drive down costs, it should not be exploring the option of cutting corners to make the tablet affordable.

    As far as getting chinese tablets at the same cost… please search for android MID of aliexpress DOT com and look at the prices and features of tablets available. Much cheaper than Akash tablet by Datawind and having better CPU. If we had to compromise, why not go with the chinese tablets anyways?

    The chinese tablets are available for $20 or less even at volumes of 100. I am sure, if we promise a bulk order of 1lakh pieces to these chinese vendors will bring down the cost even further.

    And regarding the ruggedness of the tablet. The Akash tablet was supposed to be the Indian answer to OLPC. OLPC can withstand dust, rain and shocks. And OLPC does not cost $1000 dollars. So Mr. Tuli get a reality check and stop exaggerating things to sell any random fragile piece of crap to Indian government and Indian people.

    If “Made In India” is a requirement, how about “Indian Company” and “Indian IPR” also becoming a requirement? Why should a Canadian company whose patents will improve Canadian economy get the benefit?

  4. indian government wants to introduce tablets to mainstream. that’s ok. but if that means giving sub standard poor quality tablets at low price…NOT ok. the thing with android is that it needs killer edge specifications to fully perform giving a fluid user experience (and to compete against the experience of an iphone or a windows phone). needless to say, the aakash tablet clearly lacks it. i have had experience with enough “low price affordable” android phones(5k-7k) to say this, that the experience is “broken” at best. the repeatedly crashing ui(courtesy of the ultra low specs) not only throws off an average consumer but entirely discourages him from using it again; which in turn will diminish the consumer’s overall faith in tablet technology (“first impression is the last impression”, remember?). in my opinion, this “affordability” comes at a huge cost.

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