After the launch of low cost tablet Aakash 2, the Aakash team is now focussing on delivering the upgraded versions of the tablet.
Speaking to The Hindu, Prof. Deepak B. Phatak of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay, who oversaw specifications for Aakash 2, discloses more information on the upgraded version.
Why was Aakash 3 version skipped?
There is nothing like Aakash 2 and Aakash 4. In fact, they are just upgraded versions of the low cost tablets. They are just names and have got nothing to do with skipping versions. Aakash 4 will be better than Aakash 2 version.
What are the new features users can get in the Aakash 4?
We are working on introducing two to three models of Aakash 4 tablets. While, the high end version will have 3G and 4G features, the base model would be for school students and others, who do not need more features. There is also plan to come up with 10 inch model for the convenience of college students for classroom reading and presentations.
There are rumours that Aakash 4 will not have phone call capability?
IT Department released the proposed specifications and invited comments from students and others and July 12 was the last date for suggestions. A meeting is scheduled on July 17 and the committee will finalise all the specifications by this month-end. However, I personally feel there should be SIM card facility.
What would be the cost?
Irrespective of the features, affordability is the key factor for Aakash tablet. The earlier version was offered at Rs. 2,263 and Aakash would be costing about Rs.2,500 plus taxes for the base model and another Rs.500 more for the high-end versions.
When will Aakash 4 be introduced?
Once the specifications are finalised, the committee would ask Director General of Supplies and Disposals to invite global tenders and identify four to five vendors to manufacture the tablets. Hopefully by this year-end, Aakash 4 should be in the market.
Are you making students develop applications for Aakash 4?
Yes, we will be conducting a competition for all engineering colleges in the country and students would be made to come up with education applications that would be useful for students and teachers.
These apps will be tested for working on Aakash 4 tablet.