India's $35 tablet dream finds takers in the U.S
| by Anuradha Shetty |
Even as several enthusiasts in the country continue to queue up in a bid to realize India's maiden dream of low-cost computing, reports have it that India's $35 tablet has the interests of a Philadelphian company peaked. The Financial Express now reports that a Philadelphia-based company, Wilco Electronics is currently in talks with the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, even as the latter is knee-deep in work on prepping up the upgraded version of the tablet that is due to be launched, soon. Reports state that quite impressed with the low-cost computing model in the country, Wilco Electronics now want to take the Aakash tablet to aid the school students and disadvantaged sections back home. Daniel's company, Wilco Electronics is essentially a primary cable and Internet Provider for Philadelphia Housing Authority projects, with their work aimed at low-income Philadelphians.
In fact, the Executive Vice President of Wilco, Brigitte Daniel had come down to New Delhi late last year to personally see and understand for herself how the tablet works and reportedly showed keen interest in the project. Quoting Daniel, the report states, "I did visit the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) last year to explore the options of partnership and distribution of the Aakash tablet in the US. My company, Wilco Electronic Systems, is currently in stages of exploring a relationship with Govt of India and/or Datawind (the company responsible for distributing the tablet) and may look to pilot use of the tablets in Philadelphia. We will be meeting in the US with Datawind early April. We hope to nail down details about this then and see what we can do to get a pilot going in Philadelphia." The report further adds that Daniel is keen on testing the device within schools and other low-income communities and that the number of tablets that Wilco would procure will invariably depend on the units the ministry manages to dole out.
Wilco Electronics apart, an impressed Daniel also stated that the Aakash tablet would be a hit elsewhere in the U.S, too with the low-income groups and that it would help bridge the digital divide. She added ,"I do believe that the Aakash tablet could potentially make impact within the US National Broadband plan to bridge the digital divide for underserved communities, schools, and low-income communities, here in the US."
The Aakash tablet has been India's maiden attempt at low-cost computing. Even before the initial version of the tablet came out in the market, everyone seemed to be excited and talks about the specifications, price tag, et al became topics of discussion. The upgraded version of the Aakash tablet, if reports are to be believed will be launched soon. Quite contrary to earlier reports about an April launch, reports coming in now confirm that Aakash 2 is expected to be here in May, and not April.
To know all about the Aakash tablet, click here.
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