Indian iPad: India Debuts $35 Touchscreen Tablet, Video
Indian Government Unveils $35 iPad Like Device, Touchscreen Tablet
India has unveiled a remarkable new device, a solar powered, tablet, touchscreen computer powered on the Linux operating system that will likely sell for $35.
The Indian iPad should be available in a year but it is targeted at India's students.
India is courting manufacturers to find a partner to mass-produce the cheap tablet PC and hopes that the economy of scale will allow it to push the price down to $10--a tablet PC for the cost of a couple Starbucks drinks. It is intended for use by students or low-income families, and could be rolled out at some educational institutions as early as next year.
Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said the new device is India's answer to the highly publicized $100 laptop developed by MIT in the United States in 2005 through the One Lap Top per child initiative.
India's iPad like device was developed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology. It is part of India's overall technology in education strategy.
Mamta Varma, a ministry spokeswoman, said the device was feasible because of falling hardware costs.
Several global manufacturers, including at least one from Taiwan, had expressed interest in making the device, she said, although no deals had been agreed, and she declined to name any of the companies.
The project is part of a government initiative which also aims to extend broadband to all of India's 25,000 colleges and 500 universities.
Specifications for the new device have not been released other than it runs on the Linux operating system, is solar powered, and has no hard drive, instead relying on memory cards for storage.