India’s Aakash 4 to hit market by April end

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Indian Government’s latest iteration of low-cost tablet Aakash 4 will hit markets as early as April end, the national Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal revealed.

Aakash 4 will be priced at Rs. 3,999 (£40) and according to the Sibal, tenders have already been floated by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGSD) of India.

“Aakash 4 will be available in the market in one or one and a half months. Its a modern tablet and will be available for around Rs 3,999,” said the Telecom Minister.

Considering the price tag, there shouldn’t be much in store for the low-cost tablet; however, if we look at the proposed specifications, Aakash 4 is expected to have a 7-inch scratch resistant capacitive touch screen; Wi-Fi; support for 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity; 4GB internal storage with support for external card of up to 32GB; and a front camera for video calls among other things.

It is said that nearly 20 companies including the likes of Microsoft, HP, Dell, Acer, DataWind, Micromax and Simmtronics are in race to develop the Aakash 4.

Vendors have however raised their concerns over the low price point considering that some of the proposed specifications of Aakash are not realisable if the cost is kept low. Some have already speculated that the Aakash 4 will cost more than its predecessors and today’s announcement does indeed confirm those speculations.

Back in January it was revealed that leading technology institutes in India, which were earlier entrusted with the task of testing each of the Aakash variants, won’t be getting the chance to do so for Aakash 4. Instead of the IITs, testing of Aakash 4 has been entrusted to Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

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