Amazingly, the sales figure reached to 14 lakh within two weeks, after the world’s cheapest tablet Aakash was put on sale online in India
Per unit price of this tablet is Rupees 2,500. In order to cater with this high and unexpected demand, Datawind, a UK-based manufacturing company, has decided to commence three new factories in India to assemble the tablets. The factories are going to be established in the first half of this New Year in Noida, Cochin and Hyderabad. Currently it has just one factory which manufactures tablets’ LCD panel in Hyderabad.
“We never expected such a high response from both corporate and individual buyers. We plan to supply 70,000-75,000 units per day once the factories are in place by April,” said Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO, and Datawind told ET from Panama. “Around two weeks ago, we received a call from India’s computer emergency response team that our website was probably suffering from a large cyber-attack. We had to inform them we had just opened sale through our website,” Tuli further stated.
Datawind is already done with the first lot of its tablets, which it puts online for sale in collaboration with the Ncarry.com, an e-commerce provider. A spokesman of Ncarry.com claimed that their website is serving all across the India with a guaranteed delivery of tablet in five to seven days.
Aakash tablet had surpassed the tablet market of India, with a pre-sales booking of around 400,000 units in October. Despite of having minor flaws like slow processor and resistive touch, Aakash was able to get 1 lakh orders in just one day after its launch online. On the other hand, Apple retailed around 1 to 3 million iPads in juts 20 and 80 days respectively after its launch in 2010. The cheapest Apple’s iPad is now offered at Rupees 29,500 and is twelve time expensive than Aakash.
Aakash’s manufacturer Datawind is garroted with supply restraints, as compared to Apple which accomplished smooth deliveries of the iPad. “We are not accepting cash for bookings currently, as we want to sort out supply issues,” Tuli said.
Now Datawind is planning to launch its next version of Aakash on sale online by mid-January. It is known as Ubislate 7 and is offered at 2,999 rupees. This advanced version will have the internet facility by 2G or GPRS connection due to the provision of SIM card insertion slot. In the current version, a user can even access internet through Wi-Fi connection. Moreover, the newer version is going to be faster than the previous one due to having a 700 Mhz processor.
The government has allowed Datawind to offer its next lot of ninety thousand tablets, even though test specifications from the IIT Rajasthan is yet to be provided for the upcoming advanced version. They want to procure the supply for students. The delay at government’s end may results Aakash in the hand of commercial buyers instead of students for whom this low-end tablet was manufactured in the first place.
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