This sounds sensible on the surface – India packages up an Android tablet with optional mobile broadband. To accelerate widespread internet access. What’s not to like (aside from the probable subsidy)? Here’s Tyler Cowen:
Do you want a tablet but don’t have enough money to buy one of those high-end tablets available in the market today? Here’s some good news for you. There’s a new $35 tablet, the catch is, you can only get it in India.
The new Aakash UbiSlate 7Ci comes equipped with WiFi so you can connect to the internet but if you’re living in India, you can avail of the $64 upgrade and have yourself a cellular Internet package of $2/month for 2 GB of data which translates to roughly 25 emails, 25 websites, 2 minutes of streaming video, and 15 minutes of voice chat a day. It also features voice search, so it might help pacify your need for something similar to Apple’s Siri.
It features a 7.5-inch display, a front facing VGA camera, and a Cortex A8, 1Ghz Processor. According to reports, it’s as fast as an iPhone, so it can’t be too bad. It runs Android but the version hasn’t been specified yet.
The cheap tablet is part of the Indian government’s move to technologically mobilize the country. The first batch of the affordable tablets will hit universities around India sometime this month and via a “special offer”, DataWind, the carrier and maker of the tablet, will offer broadband for a monthly cost of US$1.78. And for those living in remote areas where electricity is sparse, they can get a solar charger for the Aakash UbiSlate 7Ci.
Here is more, and for the pointer I thank Mark Thorson.
Tyler quipped “Perfect for MRU” in his caption. Translation “Perfect for Marginal Revolution University“. Tyler and Alex Tabarrok are on their way to Korea for a MR session.