An updated version of Aakash, the world’s most affordable tablet computer, is creating a buzz in Nepal.
Every day since January 26, thousands of visitors are reaching stall B22 at the ongoing CAN Info-Tech 2012—the country’s biggest technology exhibition to take a look at the device.
And they seem impressed. The first four days of the six-day exhibition has witnessed more than 20,000 people booking the Ubislate 7+, which is set to be launched in India next month.
“We had a purchase order of around 10,000 units. But bookings at the exhibition and online have been over double that figure,” said Vivek Khetan of Gizmos Nepal, the sole distributors for Nepal.
Despite a wait period of two months, potential customers are not complaining. At NRs 6,000 (Rs 3,750), the ‘tool to bridge the digital divide’ costs half than its nearest competitor.
Although the product promoted by the Indian government is aimed mainly at students, demand for the tablet manufactured by Datawind has come from all sections in Nepal.
“We have got an order for 1000 units from a restaurant chain. And besides students, professionals and businessmen, many inquiries have come from rural areas and other regions for dealerships,” said Khetan.
The exhibition will end on Tuesday and first preference will be given to those who made bookings at the stall, but online bookings will continue. The wait may be longer for such bookings.
“I have booked one Ubislate 7+ by paying an initial amount of NRs 100. Many of my classmates have also booked it. I hope the distributors deliver it soon,” said Sunil Manandhar, 19, a student.
Launched in December last year, Aakash tablet had recorded 1.4 million bookings in just two weeks. The subsidized model available through educational institutions is priced at Rs 1,500 while Ubislate 7+ is priced at Rs 2999.
The updated version which will cost Rs 750 more in Nepal has a better processor, a bigger battery, a newer version of Android, GPRS, Wi-Fi, HD video and over 1,50,000 applications.