Datawind becomes India's leading tablet maker for Q1 2013

The manufacturer has become the market leader with a 15 percent local market share, ahead of Micromax and Apple. That's even without factoring in the numbers from its government-backed Aakash budget tablets.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor

Despite all the setbacks and media frenzy surrounding the Aakash series tablets, it turns out that Datawind is in fact India's leading tablet maker. According to The Times of India, Datawind was the leader within the Indian market for the first quarter of 2013, supplemented with data by market research firm CyberMedia Research.

Between the January and March 2013 time period, Datawind had a strong 15 percent of the Indian market, and this does not include the Aakash series of tablets. It even beat out homegrown rival Micromax, which tied Apple with close to a 12 percent market each.

Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli (extreme right) at a launch of the Aakash 2 tablet at the United Nations. (Credit: DataWind)

Furthermore, nearly 10,000 tablets were shipped daily, from different vendors, for the January and March 2013 time period, resulting in an increase of 150 percent growth compared to the same time period last year. This translated to about 905,000 tablets sold for the period compared to 1,097,902 in the prevoius quarter.

As far as Datawind is concerned, they appear to be in the good books of the Indian government once again, as plans are being finalized for the fourth iteration in the Aakash series, known as the Aakash 4.

Hiccups in Aakash project

Earlier this year, Datawind was having supply and delivery commitment issues with the Indian government, and the entire project almost got scrapped. That was then, and this is now. The project's goal to have an Aakash tablet within reach of every student in India is now a step closer.
The time it took from drafting the specifications and delivering the final product to students has taken much longer than what was originally expected. Now, the 100,000 Aakash 2 tablets--retailing for about US$20--have been delivered to students across India by Datawind for the government as promised. The Aakash 3 tablet is slated to be released sometime this year. Earlier reports has indicated it would be in June or July, but as of yet, nothing is confirmed by neither the government nor Datawind itself.

It's time for Indian students to fully embrace technology within the classroom and use the Aakash tablets given to them as learning aids and tools, and perhaps in the process, some students will even venture further and create apps for the Aakash series of tablets itself.

What many people don't realize is that Datawind does in fact support an app development program for students. That is, they are interested in students designing and developing apps for the Aakash tablets, which would then be sold on Datawind's online app store. Furthermore, Datawind also has a similar revenue sharing platform that Apple has with developers, and they are aggressively looking for more developers to create apps. 

Editorial standards