Two and Half Years Later, DataWind Ships 1 Lakh Aakash Tablets to the Government


Two and Half Years Later, DataWind Ships 1 Lakh Aakash Tablets to the Government

Sunit Tuli Datawind
Datawind CEO Suneet Singh

Datawind, the manufacturers of low cost tablets, has shipped 100,000 units of the Aakash tablet to the Indian government, completing a deal which was signed more than two and a half years ago, a news agency report said.

About a month back reports claimed that the deal with Indian government was off, following which the UK based company said that the Aakash project was not dead. The company said, that 42,000 units were already delivered and that by the end of that week 65,000 units would be delivered.

In 2011, Datawind had won the contract to supply 1 lakh unit of Aakash tablets priced at $49.98 apiece(Rs 2,276 at that time), but the whole process was filled with glitches and delays.

“We have supplied all units of Aakash tablets under contract to the government. It will be with the transporter by midnight tonight and will be processed through Letter of Credit documentation by IIT-Bombay,” Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli told PTI.

“We have supplied 98,000 of Aakash 2 devices and 2,000 devices with DataWind’s recommendations for upgraded version of Aakash 2, all at a price of Rs 2,263,” Tuli said.

He confirmed that 74,700 units of Aakash 2 had been shipped and delivered to and accepted by C-DAC, Noida and IIT-Bombay. The remaining 25,300 units were to be processed through a transporter in Noida.

“The 25,300 unit final shipments will be released by State Bank of India (IIT-Bombay’s bank) upon endorsement of the delivery order, as per the Letter of Credit requirement established by IIT-Bombay,” he said.

IIT Jodhpur first handled the project in 2011, which provided the specifications for the product. After which due to controversies the  project was was shifted under IIT Bombay and Datawind was asked to supply an upgraded version of the product, Aakash 2 at price of Rs 2,263 apiece. ($ 42 at  present).

The Aakash 2 tablet was upgraded from the initial specifications of 366 Mhz processor, 256 MB internal memory (RAM) to 1Ghz processor, 512MB of RAM, flash memory of 4GB with an external card slot. The upgraded version of the Aakash 2 has a SIM slot for cellular voice and data functionality.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the government planned to develop an app ecosystem for the Aakash tablets.

Ubislate Delivery Also Complete: Datawind

While Datawind took its own sweet time to deliver the Aakash tablets to the government, customers who had ordered the commercial version of the tablet Ubislate from the website also did not receive the tablets for a prolonged period.  In addition to the completion of the 1,00,000 unit Aakash project, DataWind has also announced to have completed deliveries of its pre-paid backlog for its commercial Ubislate tablets, and that only a few are left in the courier stage and that new orders and now being processed in 72 hours. We did get our hands on one and managed to review it, but did not like it at all.

Recommend read: Dear Mr Tuli, we’d be grateful if you could start shipping: An open letter to Datawind CEO

Review: UbiSlate 7C+ Device Review

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