IT products maker WishTel today said it will participate in the second round of bid for low-cost tablet PC 'Aakash', though it had lost out to Datawind in the first round.
The government will float a tender for the upgraded version of the tablet, Aakash 2, soon. However, neither the timing of the tender nor the number tablets to be supplied has been decided yet.
"We are eagerly waiting for the same, given an opportunity we are getting ready for this project, it is a very ambitious project," WishTel Chief Executive Officer Milind Shah told PTI.
Aakash, termed as the world's cheapest tablet PC, was launched in October last year by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. It comes with a price tag of mere Rs 2,276 whereas the high-end tablet PC will cost anything between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000.
Aakash is be supplied to students at a subsidised rate of Rs 1,500.
"Between ourself and Datawind, price for device was competitive, we lost out on deliverables in terms of service support, maintenance, logistics, taxes and other things. For the device, we were lower against Datawind by 10 cents, or 8 cents to be precise," Shah said.
In the overall bidding, too, Wishtel lost out to Datawind by just around 3.5 dollars, he claimed.
When asked about the expected price of upgraded version of the tablet, he said, "I still cannot answer this really until we don't really know the specifications." No company can make claims of supplying Aakash 2 as specifications are not yet finalised, he added.
Shah said the low price of the device may not be a problem for the company as the volumes are very large.
"See the difference that's going to be happen with Aakash2 is that there are huge volumes that are being committed compared to Aakash 1 ... They are talking about five million devices ... The economics works out differently for such large volumes," he said.
The company today launched two tablet PCs --Ira and Ira Thing -- at a price ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,500 to cash in on the burgeoning market for the low-cost PCs in the country.
Featuring a seven-inch touchscreen and Android operating system, the tablets support HD video, WiFi and 3G. The devices come with an in-built memory of 2GB (Ira) and 4GB (Ira Thing), which can be extended up to 32 GB and are based on VIA Technologies' chipsets.
The company claims that the devices can also support 23 Indian languages with Linux operating system.
WishTel has a network of over 350 distributors across India. The devices are manufactured at its facilities in Maharashtra and Gujarat.