New Delhi, Nov 25 (): Datawind, the makers of the low-cost Aakash tablet of India on Saturday denied a local media report that said the tablet is a cheap Chinese import and not an Indian innovation as is claimed.
In response to an article appeared in the newspaper, Hindustan Times that said Aakash 2 was completely manufactured in China, Datawind, the Canadian company which has been authorized to supply these low-cost tablets denied the report on Saturday terming it ‘misleading’ and ‘inaccurate’.
The newspaper article said the company had taken the agreement of the authorities earlier to shipping of these accessories from China while the programming and the final assembling of those devices however were done in India.
The report also said the company might have got hold of this device from Chinese manufacturers for a mere USD 42 (Rs 2,263), the same price at which it was sold to the Indian government.
These tablets were purchased from the companies such as Dasen International Electronics Co Ltd, Kalong Technology Co., Ltd, Shenzhen Shetong Zhaoli Co Ltd and Trend Grace Ltd and DataWind had nothing to do with either the tablet design or its manufacturing.
CEO Suneet Singh Tuli however insists that Aakash 2 is designed by his company. Tuli said for the first 10,000 units, the kits and motherboards were manufactured in its Chinese subcontractor’s facilities “for expediency” but the programming and final assembly were done in India. The touch panels of the device were manufactured in Montreal but “consolidated in Hong Kong or China” for expediency.
Tuli added, “We have designed the motherboards and written our own software that goes into the tablets and have developed much of the enclosures and mechanical parts.”
The Aakash is a cheap tablet that will be handed out to school children, as part of an initiative to help the poor access the digital world.