Kapil Sibal, the Indian telecom and IT minister said on December 12, 2012 that the prices of the low cost tablet will come down to $35 (around Rs. 1,900) from $49 at present. The minister was talking about the latest development at the Reverse Buyer Seller Meet, which was organized by the Telecom Equipment and Service Export Promotion Council at New Delhi.
Sibal said, “Aakash is a tablet which at the moment costs $49. It will come down to $35 very soon. It has all the amenities of any modern tablet”. The minister also assured that the next version of the tablet will have Skype, which is an application that is used for making voice and video calls through an internet connection and does not require a SIM card.
The minister went on to say that the new tablets will perform with the same functionality as a $150 tablet. Sibal also iterated that Aakash is a product which is needed by two-thirds of the population and for those who do not have enough resources to buy a tablet which costs $150.
While explaining the price slash, the IT minister explained that the capacitive touch screen is imported at the cost of around $20 to $22 and the manufacturing cost of $2. However, if the manufacturing unit is set up in India, the cost can come down to $29 from $49.