India's $45 tablet still selling like crazy

Students are buying India's super-cheap Aakash tablet despite complaints about the first round of devices.

The University of Mumbai has received 25,000 requests for India's first low-cost Android tablet, dubbed Aakash, with more requests expected for the device which has already seen over 1 million orders from commercial buyers since its debut. The tablet reportedly will cost students a subsidized rate priced at 1,138 rupees (US$23).

An official from the university added that modifications would be made to the device to incorporate the needs of the universities and central government. "The initial product had a lot of complaints from users. They are being modified now to suit everybody's requirements," he said.

The Indian government first introduced the Aakash tablet in October last year, unveiling a 7-inch touchscreen tablet running on Android 2.2 and featuring Wi-Fi, multimedia and videoconferencing capabilities. The government said the tablet was targeted at local students and would likely be sold through universities and colleges instead of retail channels. Spokesperson for the human resources development ministry, Mamata Varma, then told AFP that the device cost 2,200 rupees (US$45), while a separate report by Reuters said students would pay a subsidized rate. Earlier in January, orders for Aakash totaled 1.4 million units just two weeks after it was made commercially available for sale online.

For more on this story, read India's low-cost Android tablet sees growing demand on ZDNet Asia.