India’s next Aakash tablet could feature a faster processor and newer software than the low-cost tablets India’s government has made available to students so far. It’s expected to have a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and run Android 4.0 software.
The Times of India reports that the new tablet could launch on November 11th. It could eventually cost as little as $35.
It’s likely that the Indian government would have to subsidize the cost to keep the price that low. But over the past year or two, we’ve seen the prices of cheap Chinese tablets dip so low that a $35 tablet doesn’t seem as unreasonable as it did when the first Aaakash tablet launched in 2011.
The new model is still clearly a budget machine. It’s only expected to get up to 4 hours of battery life. But it will have a capacitive touchscreen display, unlike the resistive touch panel on earlier models. It will be able to run more apps thanks to the Android 4.0 operating system (up from Android 2.3 on earlier versions). And the 1 GHz CPU is a huge improvement over the 366 MHz CPU in the first model and 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor in later models.
UK device maker DataWind has the contract for manufacturing the new tablet, and it sounds like the goal is to get 20,000 units into the hands of Indian students next month.