Will the $35 Aakash Tablet Transform the World?

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
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Will the $35 Aakash Tablet Transform the World?

The iPhone 5 is selling at retail stores today to millions of people who are obviously wealthy. After all an unlocked 64GB model which is unlocked runs $849! Some people are so bent out of shape about how much money Apple is making from the launch of this phone, they are protesting.

While most of the world is focusing on Apple, what may be interesting to note is in India there is a new and usable tablet which starts at just $35. As Gary Kim points out, the DataWind Aakash UbiSlate 7Ci is a super-cheap tablet that will attempt to connect every student in India to the Internet.

The tablet has a 7.5 inch display, a front facing camera and surfs the web about as fast as an iPhone - probably not as fast as the iPhone 5 though. The video below gives you an idea of how fast this thing actually runs when doing speech rec and a web search.



TechCrunch has some thoughts about how transformational this product can be.

To me this device shows how the power of free market capitalism continues to transform the world and help give millions of people around the globe life-changing opportunities.

Consider the investors who helped launch Google and shareholders who allowed the search giant to launch and open source the Android OS which is included in this tablet.

Tech innovation seems to only speed up over time and as shocking as this sounds it would seem tablets will eventually become disposable if they haven't reached that point already.

After all, I remember being on a vacation on an island some years ago before ubiquitous cell phone cameras and I paid $15 for a disposable camera. So if Moore's Law can be used to predict the future price of this tablet, you can pick one up for the same price as this disposable camera in a couple of years or so!

But this is more of a tangential issue, at these prices it seems feasible that almost every poor child and family can benefit from being connected to the internet with all the inherent advantages this implies.

These are very exciting times indeed.

One last point - a search on Amazon for 7 inch tablet sorted by low cost shows you can get tablets of this size in the US for as little as $62.90 right now.

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