Aakash 2 launch may be delayed

Written by fe Bureau | Kolkata | Updated: Apr 3 2012, 06:16am hrs
The launch of the second version of the sub-$40 Android tablet Aakash will likely be delayed by a month, human resource development minister Kapil Sibal indicated on Monday. Version 1 of the tablet ran into controversies after complaints from users started pouring in since its launch in 2011.

Sibal on Monday said, It (Aakash 2) is going to be great. It will be unveiled sometime in May. He had earlier announced that the upgraded version of the tablet will be launched in April.

The government has also decided to run pilot projects for the tablet, touted to be the worlds cheapest, for feedback before its commercial launch.

Last month, while responding to questions in the Lok Sabha, Sibal had said that Datawind, the company that manufactures the Aakaash, will supply 100,000 high-speed tablets with longer battery life and better screens. The minister on Monday refused to comment on the number of the upgraded version to be shipped to India and said that the project will go through a test run first.

Aakash version 2 will also be tested and it is only when we feel that the quality is superior and accepted by children will it be commercially launched, he said at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

The second version of Aakash will have higher specifications with the 366 MHz ARM11 processor being replaced by a 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor and a 3200 mAH battery with three-hour usage time being used in place of the 2100 mAh battery. The operating system will also be changed to Android 2.3 Gingerbread from Android 2.2 Froyo in the earlier version.

We are in the testing stage and there is no commercial production of Aakash at present. We want to give out a quality product ultimately. Therefore, we are going through different versions of Aakash, Sibal explained.