The government’s much-delayed educational tablet Aakash – dubbed world’s cheapest tablet – is in for a face-lift, with a faster processor and an upgraded version of Google’s Android operating system, according to a senior official involved in the project.
Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, the government’s designated nodal agency for the Aakash project, has asked device supplier Datawind for 1,000 tablets with the Android 4.0 version operating system – also known as the Ice Cream Sandwich – and a 1GHz micro-processor, which will be 25% faster than the current one.
“By the time the tablets will be launched, the world would have moved ahead,” said a senior government official involved in the project, about the rationale for upgrading the hardware and software configuration of the tablet. “We are aiming to test the new tablets from September onwards.”
The government is hoping that the tablet would go into production by November, following which about 100,000 devices are planned to be distributed among university students early next year.
The government’s ability to meet the time-lines would depend to a great extend on the hardware supplier Datawind being able to supply upgraded samples, which would then need to be tested and cleared by IIT-B.
Datawind had earlier agreed to supply Aakash with Android 2.2 and 800MHz micro-processor at Rs 2,276 per piece. It declined to comment on price revision.