Saturday 3 August 2013

Aakash 4 coming in January next year: Kapil Sibal

Three previous versions of Aakash were not that successful.

The 4th generation of much controversial Aakash tablet, to be named as Aakash 4, will be available in January next year, according to Communication and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal.

"Aakash 4's specification has been freezed. Twelve players have globally shown interest to manufacture it. It will available in January 2014," said the minister while addressing in the Indian Telecom Summit organised by CIII in Delhi today.

Acknowledging the problems associated with previous versions Aakash tablet, Sibal said, "I am battling for success of Aakash. It has been my dream to make Aakash a success story"

Aakash is first in a series of Android-based tablet computers promoted by Government of India as part of an initiative to link 25,000 colleges and 400 universities in an e-learning program. Three versions of Aakash have so far been made but none of them have achieved much success despite the immense euphoria generated in the masses due to their low price tag.

The first Aakash tablet was launched in December 2011 but its manufacturer, Datawind, failed to meet the tablets' demand. Last November, two versions of the tablet - Aakash 2 which is also known as UbiSlate 7Ci and Aakash 3 aka UbiSlate 7C+ - were launched but did not meet much success as many other manufacturers have also brought their equally cheap tablets to the market by then.

Last month, the Government of India made public the proposed specifications of Aakash 4 tablet. As per the government notification, the tablet must have a 7 inch LCD display with "atleast” 800x480 pixels resolution. Also, the display should have minimum five point touch capacity. Most of the tablets under Rs 5,000 have such resolution.

Also, as per the government, the tablet should have the latest Android operating system. For instance, if it is launched now it should have Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean version. But it does not end there as the government has also specified that the tablet should come with dual bootable (through external SD card) Ubuntu operating system.

To make the tablet run smoother, Aakash IV would be fitted with a minimum of 1 GB DDR3 RAM - which is significant as most of the under Rs 5,000 tablet these days comes 512 MB RAM. It would also have minimum of 4 GB internal memory and a 32 GB micro SD card slot.

As per the proposal, the Aakash IV should come with WiFi (b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1 or higher version, 3.5 mm jack, USB port and it should support all popular 2G/3G/4G phone/data connectivity dongles in India, USB to Ethernet adaptors, USB printers, mouse, and keyboard. "SD Card interface should support NFC based SD card," the notification further added.

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