Aakash 2 with capacitive touchscreen for $50
Another spoiler for Aakash enthusiasts! While unlike the resistive touchscreen on its predecessor, the Aakash 2 will sport a capacitive one, enthusiasts will also have to brace themselves for an enhanced price tag, confirms an Indian Express report. According to the report, enjoying a better, upgraded Aakash tablet will now come at a higher price, than the earlier promised $35 price tag. Quoting one of the officials on the matter, the report states that, "It has been decided that we can go up to $50 for Aakash 2, which will come with a capacitive screen besides a faster processor and other features. However, under no circumstances will we go beyond $50."
To get better, but costlier!
The report further adds that the HRD ministry, who've been regarded as the force behind the Aakash dream will now invite bids for 5 million units of the Aakash tablet, while the Aakash 2 project will be handled majorly by the Department of Information Technology. Reportedly, "A committee headed by Secretary, IT, R Chandrashekhar and with IIT directors and other stakeholders on board has already started working to take the Aakash 2 forward."
Interestingly, the makers of the initial version of the Aakash 2 tablet, Datawind had offered to the government - a better version of the Aakash tablet, still priced at $35. However, it does seem like the proposal didn't get through, and the government instead chose to price it at $50. Quoting Datawind CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli, the report stated, "We’ve made a proposal to the ministry to provide upgraded specifications at the same price as the current product.The ministry and the GOI (government of India) have a commendable vision, and have acted throughout this process in an honourable manner. The motivation by IIT-Jodhpur to impose military specification a year after the tender closed is not for us to comment on."