India has launched what it says is the world's cheapest touch-screen tablet computer, priced at just 3,000 rupees (approx £40). Aimed at the country's student population, the subsidised Aakash (meaning sky) supports web browsing and video conferencing, has a three-hour battery life and two USB ports. However, questions remain over how it will perform.
Officials hope the computer will give digital access to students in small towns and villages across India, which lags behind its rivals in connectivity.
The launch comes ahead of a high speed broadband roll out initiative in India next year, and these little devices could change the way media is consumed in the country.
Back in 2003, Reliance subsidised handsets and cost of owning and operating a mobile phone to Rs 500 (approx £7) which kicked off India’s mass adoption to mobile phones.
It is expected that a wireless broadband service provider would do the same for the reasonable imaging devices to go mass market.
The Aakash has been developed by UK-based company DataWind and Indian Institute of Technology (Rajasthan). It is due to be assembled in India, at DataWind's new production centre in the southern city of Hyderabad.