India’s most hyped “Aakash 2” Made-in-India Tablet is actually a “Made in China” product.
Roshan Ashraf Shaikh / 4 years ago
A plan was made for a “Made in India” Aaakash tablet, a under $50 tablet for students with an intention to promote quality in education. However the first version of the tablet was rejected by one of India’s leading engineering college IIT Rajasthan due to unbearably slow performance and bad screen-as one would expect from a tablet with ARM 11 clocked at 366MHz Processor, resistive touchpad, expandable upto only 2GB SD Storage and 256MB Ram operating Android 2.2 OS.
Although the Canada based company DataWind’s CEO Suneet Singh Tuli blames IIT Rajasthan for the failure of Aakash 1 back in April with an intention to defame his company, the engineering college rejected as high 3,000 units. On top of it the low-cost tablet crossed 1.4 Million Pre-orders, but only 366 out 650 of the initial manufactured unit was given out- and the rest were asked to wait for Aakash II.
The Indian government’s second attempt of making a less than a $50 tablet was recently announced with Cortex A-8 1GHz processor, 512MB of ram, storage capacity of upto 32GB and a 800x 480 Capacitive screen powered by Android 4.0 OS was announced recently.
Datawind and the Indian government didn’t talk about the point that Aakash II a “Made in China” product- and one of the suppliers “Trend Grace” based in Shenzhen, China. This may not look surprising for many, but the government and the people had a sense of “national pride” considering the “Made in India” under $50 is a bragging right they were aiming for.
However, DataWind defended itself by stating that the tablet was designed by them- and their Montreal’s facility was used for designing the software, mechanical parts and the motherboard, then unit was assembled and programmed in a facility in India. It was only some parts that were of made in China.
However, Li Junhao, the president of Trend Grace spilled the beans stating that DataWind was basically doing only sales- and that all parts are made in China, where the touch screen was sourced from another Chinese manufacturer and rest of it- including the assembly and programming- was done by them. Long story made short- DataWind- atleast going by this statement- sounds more like a middle man selling an off-the-shelf product.
It should also be noted that DataWind’s CEO Suneet Singh Tuli ended up in Forbes’ “top 15 education innovator” list, calling him the “mastermind” behind the World’s cheapest tablet- Aakash 2.
Source: The Economic Times