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December 30, 2013

Indian government to launch £14 tablet

Seven-inch Aakash 4 will support 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi.

By Ben Sullivan

The Indian government has announced a tablet will be launched in 2014 costing just £14.

In a move to expand the government’s scheme to bring affordable computing to the education sector in India, the Aakash 4 tablet will be built from January, and will eventually be sold on the market for around 1500 Rupees (£14), but with an original price of 2500 Rupees (£24.50).

The Aakash 4 will feature a screen size of seven inches, support Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G connectivity, and will have 4GB of internal storage, with an external memory card slot which can boost storage to 32GB.

India’s Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said that modern devices are changing the way students are learning, and that "the teacher is no longer the sole repository of knowledge. Children get knowledge from all sorts of sites."

India’s government previously had a partnership with UK-based Datawind, which built the previous Aakash tablets, including the Ubislate 7Ci. The UbiSlate 7Ci is priced at £30, which is £70 cheaper than Argos’s MyTablet and less than Tesco’s Hudl at £119 and Carphone Warehouse’s £49 Avoca 7.

DataWind said it could afford to sell the device at £30 after the cost of the hardware was offset by the revenue from content and advertising.

According to Gartner, "basic" tablets are expected to account for almost 45% of the total market by 2017. Other research from IDC shows that tablet computers are set to overtake PC sales this year, growing to 229.4m units, driven by lower cost devices.

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