We’ve been hearing about India’s plans for a $35 computer for a few months now, and for a while we thought it might be all talk. However, it seems India is pushing ahead with plans for the educational tablet.
It seemed like a bit of a stretch from the beginning, but it looks like India’s $35 Android tablet is intent on proving the skeptics wrong — the Indian government has just announced that it’s awarded the manufacturing contract to HCL Technologies (makers of the once world’s cheapest laptop), and that the first batch of tablets are slated to be available by January 10th. That initial run will reportedly only include the 7-inch model that we’ve been seeing all along, but there’s also apparently 5-inch and 9-inch versions planned for launch at a later date. We also presume that the tablet is still hanging onto that $35 price tag (for university students, at least), but that key detail is curiously absent from this latest announcement.
Engadget reports that India has just awarded the manufacturing contract to HCL Technologies. The first shipment will supposedly only contain the 7-inch model and is set to arrive on January 10. It’s unclear if the $35 price has stuck or whether India’s been successful in plans to eventually drive the price down to $10 with the help of large orders and government subsidies.
Unveiled by the Human Resources Minister of the Union of India, Shri Kapil Sibal, in July, the device has generated significant interest among colleges and schools. The tablet device will have web browsing, including the ability to access YouTube. Official specs have yet to be confirmed, but it’s said to have WiFi, come in a variety of sizes, and pack 2GB of storage. Though the press release is hard to decipher, it would seem the Indian government also has plans to launch a wesbite containing quality educational content for the devices.