India’s $35 subsidized Aakash tablet has run into issues.
The tablet has a 7-inch resistive display, runs on Android 2.2, has a 366 MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 2GB internal storage, Wi-Fi, USB slots, SD slot and a tiny 2100 mAh battery and sells for just $35 because the Indian government subsidizes the price of the tablet.
Aakash was created to help “students in higher education and to give them the technological skills” that are needed for 2012. Additionally, only 10 percent of the Indian population is connected to the Internet.
In its first two weeks of availability, the building company, DataWind, took 1.4 million orders, but has so far only shipped 10,000, angering the Indian Human Resource Development Ministry, who is now re-opening the contract to other bidders as partners to built the tablet. The British manufacturer will complete the pilot program, with 100,000 tablets, but will likely lose out on the second part of the contract, to ship 1 million units.
Users have also complained of overall sluggishness, including lag, short battery life and an almost unusable resistive touchscreen.
DataWind says there are other factors in play, including the ministry wanting the device to meet U.S. military durability requirements, without a price increase: “Among other things that requires the device to take 4 inches an hour of sustained rain. We objected to it and the project has been on hold since then, we are working with the ministry to get that resolved.”
Result for: pilot program
In late April, giant retailer Target announced it had begun selling the Amazon Kindle e-reader in 102 of its stores, mainly around Minneapolis and Florida, as a pilot program for a broader launch.
That test program is now done, and Target says a full nation-wide rollout has started, with the full roll-out expected to be completed by June 6th.
Adds Mark Schindele, senior vice president at Target: “Our guest’s response to Kindle has been overwhelmingly positive.”
The device costs $259 USD at Target, the same price if you were to get it on Amazon.
Amazon’s Kindle currently dominates the e-reader market, but has been slowly losing share to new competitors such as the Barnes & Noble Nook and Apple iPad.
The Kindle e-book store has 550,000 titles, the most of any e-store.
Result for: pilot program
After last month’s “three strikes and you’re off the Internet” announcement in the UK was made official, it seems the large ISP Virgin Media will be the first to implement the plan.
Although record labels have been pushing for a plan like this for years, it is not even known yet whether the actual measures are legal. The government is expected to have a meeting on that very subject sometime next month. Despite this fact, BPI and Virgin say they will enact a pilot program using the infamous “three strikes and you’re off the Internet”.
A spokesman for Virgin Media said: “We have been in discussions with rights holders organisations about how a voluntary scheme could work. We are taking this problem seriously and would favour a sensible voluntary solution…the BPI has teams of technicians to trace illegal music downloading to individual accounts. It will hand these account numbers over to Virgin Media, which will match them to names and addresses.”
BPI plans to send warning letters for first time offenders, a temporary suspension of Internet services for the “second strike” and finally a full disconnection for the final strike.