Pakistani company to provide apps for Indian tablet

Published: October 18, 2011
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Pepper.pk says that it will develop apps to support the Indian made low-cost Aakash tablet. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pepper.pk says that it will develop apps to support the Indian made low-cost Aakash tablet. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pepper.pk, a mobile applications subsidiary of the Pakistani company Five River Technologies, has said that it will develop apps to support the Indian made low-cost Aakash tablet.

(Read more: Steve Jobs, in the ‘Aakash’)

Aakash was launched on October 5 and is currently the world’s cheapest tablet with an expected market price of $60. It is sponsored by the government of India and will be available at subsidized rates for students as its main purpose is to promote literacy and education in rural as well as urban areas.

The specs of the tablet itself are as follows:

It has a 7 inch touchscreen, a 366 MHz processor, weighs in at 350 grams, uses Wi-Fi for internet access, has 2 USB ports, 256 MB RAM, 2GB flash memory, 2GB micro SD card and an expandable memory of 32GB. And the OS it uses is Android 2.2 Froyo.

It’s not freely available in the retail market yet, but it will be made available to university students first – according to their official website. While a retail version with better specs is also supposed to be in the pipeline.

Pepper.pk, which is a Lahore based company, has three world No. 1 titles to its name including the four-time AppWorld No. 1 app, Photo Editor and has won numerous local awards as well as significant international recognition.

The company’s apps are available across all major mobile platforms including iPhone/iPad, BlackBerry phones and BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows Phone 7, Android and Nokia.

The company said that it would start customizing relevant apps from its current 150 offerings for the Aakash tablet as soon as it becomes commercially available.

It’s a great step from the company to forge a friendship between the two countries through IT and hopefully more companies in the two countries will take the lead and collaborate on other technological ventures.

A version of this post originally appeared on ProPakistani.

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Reader Comments (62)

  • Eeman
    Oct 18, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Develop apps for them and then get the blame of leaving their not-so-good device battery inefficient. This iPad-copy only has a battery life of 3-hours.

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  • LOL
    Oct 18, 2011 - 3:23PM

    “It’s a great step from the company to forge a friendship between the two countries”
    So now tablet’s app will ‘forge a friendship between the two countries’..
    :O
    now this is something hilarious!!

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  • Tony Singh
    Oct 18, 2011 - 3:47PM

    Hope this news is printed in Pakistan’s vernacular press too. This is the kind of “strategic assets” Indians would like to see in Pakistan. Hope Pak establishment takes note of this.

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  • Hafeez Pasha
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:12PM

    Why can’t India and Pakistan do business without friendship? What has business have to do with friendship? Otherwise, our friends would be our business partners.

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  • Tony Singh
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:30PM

    @Eeman:
    What has your comment got to do with essence of article? Let the manufacturer sort out battery life problem. If you know some company in Pakistan which can provide batteries with good ratings, ask them to supply. Recommend

  • Prasad
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:43PM

    @Haffez Pasha. Agreed. All this talk of being friends and brothers is nonsense and lacks ground realities . Let’s just learn to be neighbors who are doing business with each other.

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  • Oct 18, 2011 - 4:56PM

    @Eeman:

    This is a $35.00 tablet,not a $800.00 ipad 2. You get what you pay for.
    For $35.00, the value built in this device is unbelievable.
    So give credit where it is due, just as many of us “commend’ you guys with your domination of the market with low cost ‘affordable’ IEDs.

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  • Oct 18, 2011 - 5:32PM

    I wish 5 rivers all the best however I think their own website is poorly designed.
    Can they keep up ?

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  • Mian Munzir Ahmad
    Oct 18, 2011 - 5:45PM

    @Tony Singh:
    I totally agree with you. Infact our govt or NGO’s working on Education Sector should also work on such activities. If Pakistani based company have capabilities for preperation of apps and selling it to india, y we cannot prepare our own applications in various languages and distribute to students.

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  • Oct 18, 2011 - 6:04PM

    I think they are launching a game called Jihadi Brids and Karachi WarfareRecommend

  • Arman Yousaf
    Oct 18, 2011 - 6:14PM

    Literacy steps by Indian Govt are always appreciable.

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  • ..
    Oct 18, 2011 - 6:14PM

    @Eeman:
    this is 35$ tablet, mainly for students as a vision of ‘e-learning’.

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  • Gautam
    Oct 18, 2011 - 6:24PM

    Hi Pak, Welcome to the world of Business.. Come on guys lets team up and show to world that we can co-exist keeping our diff aside. We are doing same with china and no one afford to loose another. War or terrorisim will be obsolite option than..

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  • ahsan
    Oct 18, 2011 - 6:34PM

    great!! we can lead the world together,,
    but by keeping orthodox people aside.

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  • rehmat
    Oct 18, 2011 - 7:02PM

    @Eeman:
    “This iPad-copy only has a battery life of 3-hours.”

    This is a low cost tablet NOT an iPad copy. AniPad costs $600, this costs around $50. In a country like India very few people can afforf aniPad. This was part of government strategy to expand use of broadband and improve computer access in India.

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  • Bangash
    Oct 18, 2011 - 7:10PM

    Good move by Pakistanis and Indians.

    Indian tablet has a good future in developing markets.

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  • Pragmatist
    Oct 18, 2011 - 7:17PM

    @Eeman:
    iPad? Are you kidding me? This thing costs $35 for God’s sake ! And you want to compare it with the iPad? shakes head

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  • Irfan
    Oct 18, 2011 - 8:39PM

    appreciation for the indian invention.
    appreciation for the pakistani apps company.
    appreciation for the collaboration.
    so stop criticism and appreciate,
    atleast this is something which will favor poor!

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  • Tariq
    Oct 18, 2011 - 10:20PM

    If the tablet runs on Froyo, then what is the need for special app development (for Akash)? I am confused.

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  • ω☯ℓƒ'ѕ яαιη ( Im a proud Indian baby)
    Oct 18, 2011 - 10:22PM

    yeah bad idea.. we should NOT allow anything Pakistani in India..

    ( and Pakistani I not saying that to hurt your feelings )..

    it would mean outsourcing to Pakistan and domestic business would get hurt..
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  • LOL
    Oct 18, 2011 - 10:33PM

    @ahsan: is it so???
    If pakistanis are so ahead and ready to lead the world with India thn pakistan wouldnt be a failed state.Recommend

  • Oct 18, 2011 - 10:47PM

    Vienna,18-10-2011
    There is no harm in business of enmity.It has been going on for
    about 70 years. Beneficiaries of the business were neither Indians
    nor Pakistanis. Does that make sense?
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    —Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • LOL
    Oct 18, 2011 - 11:24PM

    @Tariq: Aakash will Run froyo,and pakistani firm will developer tic tac toe for it.

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  • Jawad U Rehman
    Oct 19, 2011 - 1:30AM

    I don’t understand the hype about this device. First of all the $35 price tag is a heavily subsidized one. The consumer price of $60+ is nowhere near extra-ordinary or spectacular. You can find tons of much better quality and more powerful tablet PCs on Alibaba (or Aliexpress) from China, from established manufactures, for UNDER $60 – and that is retail !!!. They have the production lines to produce hundreds of thousands of them. They run on the latest version of Android (2.2 and later), have much better processors (800MHz), are designed professionally, and can ship globally (including Pakistan) very cheaply due to their low weight. Look here to see some examples:
    http://tinyurl.com/3w3c3ag

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  • Fawad
    Oct 19, 2011 - 1:45AM

    Indians are cheap at 366 mhz processor only. My cellphone has 1 Ghz dual core processor of Motorola X2.

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  • gk
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:44AM

    @Fawad:
    another one, these people never understand, read above comments, or..
    ITS MAINLY FOR SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS AS A PURPOSE OF MAKING THEM FAMILIAR TO E-WORLD AND DIGITAL MEDIAS,. i think this capacities are ideal for STUDENTS,
    and not aimed at competing with ipad, galaxy etc… got it??

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  • Oct 19, 2011 - 7:54AM

    this cheapest tab be introduced in Pakistan markets as well as the current PTCL tab available is quite expensive and out of reach of students. Nevertheless thumbs up for pepper.pk for such a nice gesture. Every step enlightening the name of Pakistan make us proud, so did u.

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  • rehmat
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:55AM

    @Fawad:
    “Indians are cheap at 366 mhz processor only. My cellphone has 1 Ghz dual core processor of Motorola X2.”
    And does your cellphone only cost $35? No. It probaly costs $250. Indians who can afford to buy iPad will do so. But many Indians cannot afford that. This is a government initiative to not just provide computer access to students but also to villages to spread e-governance, improve transparency and reduce corruption. Initiatives like based on taxpayer expense SHOULD be frugal and not be wasteful.

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  • xxx
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:56AM

    @Jawad U Rehman:
    this is initial cost, if they start mass production they will make it available at half of its initial cost or with higher facilities than other..

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  • Oct 19, 2011 - 8:40AM
  • Terrorising and true
    Oct 19, 2011 - 9:39AM

    @Jawad U Rehman:
    Chinese maal are usually use and throw stuff. If you want to spend 60$ on something, use it once and throw then you can buy them..

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  • LOL
    Oct 19, 2011 - 9:46AM

    This pakis are not even able to understand that Aakash is aimed to provide tabs to POOR STUDENTS who just can’t afford to buy n iPad, Playbook, Galaxy tab etc. . . . .
    Thank god we got separated with em,warna itne intelligent log ke sath kon reh sakta hai!!!!

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  • Oct 19, 2011 - 10:37AM

    @Jawad U Rehman firstly, that’s an opinion not a fact. I don’t think it would be fair to brand all Chinese goods that way. Personally, even i endorse your view that many Chinese goods [especially replicas] aren’t of good quality. Having said that, my comment is not about quality at all, [I have neither seen Aakash tab in person nor the other chinese ones] it is about the fact that Aakash tab is not the world’s cheapest tab. Period.

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  • Sitting Duck
    Oct 19, 2011 - 10:51AM

    @To all negative comments : Do you have anything to contribute but undermine the good initiative about doing business together ?
    @Everybody else : This is a good initiative. This shows Indians and Pakistani can work together and can do wonders. One make bread , other the butter. Ain’t it cool ? We have more potential together rather than being alone and against each other. I hope we see more such initiatives in future.

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  • LOL
    Oct 19, 2011 - 1:12PM

    Btw Developer was supposed to be Develop in one of my cmnt..

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  • wolfie
    Oct 19, 2011 - 7:06PM

    @Fawad:

    is it made in Pakistan or Korea :d ?
    don’t jump on technology which is not made from Pakistan ?

    only way for your Pakistan to develop is stand on its feet and build it’s own stuff even if is not great as the rest of the world.. if should be helpful for rest of Pakistan..and make Pakistan self sufficient..

    we Indians made this tablet for our use and conditions.. it is no I Pad .. it is a tool 4 e-leaning and in $ 35 .. dont expect to have a gizmo like I pad .. use common sense .. hope pakistan too

    makes its own tablets than buying chinese JUnk which kills it’s economy and steals local Pakistani business..

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  • Doctor
    Oct 19, 2011 - 9:15PM

    May Indian – Pakistan trade grow by 100 times. This will be the best thing for our poor countries. If we can stop fighting and focus on growth, everyone will be better off.

    Kudos to both the Indian company who has designed this ultra-cheap tablet and will make this technology accessible to the masses and the Pakistani company that will develop apps to support it. Long live Pakistan. Long live India. Long live peace. Long live economic growth.

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  • Khalid Ahmed
    Oct 19, 2011 - 10:20PM

    @Eeman

    iPad copy? It’s like saying all soft drinks are Coca Cola copies.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 19, 2011 - 10:33PM

    @Terrorising and true: You will be surprised. Chinese electronics goods come in all quality. I have used their sub-$100 tablet PCs and have been to factories in Shenzhen where they are made. Their quality for the price is actually pretty impressive. India, on the other hand, still has to prove it can catch up to even Chinese standards and scale in electronics manufacturing. I don’t see how they can achieve better economies of scale than China without the whole eco-system of electronics and VLSI manufacturing and logistics. It is a start, no doubt, but still a long way to go, and nothing earth shattering about it.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 19, 2011 - 10:38PM

    @xxx: Really? What makes you make those tall claims, when even the makers of Aakash haven’t said something like that. Do you really think with India’s miniscule electronics industry (compared to China), lack of an eco-system for large scale manufacturing of electronics, and no track record of similar scaling up – they will be able to cut the costs into half? That translates to $30 a pop, which at this low price point starts to become unrealistic economically even if you are able to do it. Do the math.

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  • let there be peace
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:55PM

    useless apps for useless gadget. just hot air.

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  • Skin Taj
    Oct 20, 2011 - 12:24AM

    “a 366 MHz processor, 256 MB RAM” my oldest hp scrapped PDA is more powerful then this new TECHNOLOGICAL CRAP.

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  • Peace
    Oct 20, 2011 - 2:21AM

    I wish we could also make something and compare it with Aakash instead of just showing our quality consciousness.

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  • Tony Singh
    Oct 20, 2011 - 4:07PM

    @Jawad U Rahman:
    According to you we all should keep our hands folded and say – Oh Chinese have been there, done that. Americans have been there done that and then accuse them of flooding our markets with their goods! Come one has to start from somewhere. A long journey always begins with one small step.

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  • xxx
    Oct 20, 2011 - 7:37PM

    @ ET:
    i have responsibility to answer Jawad U Rahman’s claimings and i did it three times, but why are you blocking it??

    @Jawad U Rahman:
    i know your attitude towards china, so well expected. but check this also

    India eyes $400 bln in rev from electronics by 2020 Oct 3 (Reuters) – India has set an ambitious target of generating $400 billion in revenue from the electronic manufacturing sector by 2020, compared with just $20 billion in 2009, the government said in a draft policy released on Monday.

    The policy also proposes to set up over 200 electronic manufacturing clusters, and create a 10-year stable tax regime for the electronics systems and design manufacturing industry (ESDM).

    India eyes $400 bln in rev from electronics by 2020

    Aakash: Government aims to make the $35 tablet even cheaper to $10 Kapil Sibal launched the tablet – Aakash – priced at $35 or Rs 1,750 for students pursuing graduation and said that the government aimed to increase production to bring down the cost of the tablet to less than $10 or Rs 500.

    Aakash: Government aims to make the $35 tablet even cheaper to $10

    Low cost Aakash generates a lot of enthusiasm in US, says Sibal
    They expressed interest to partner with this project, to increase its application and speed, increase the processor from 300 MHz to 800 MHz,” Mr. Sibal told reporters in New Delhi.
    However, he said the price tag of $ 35 willl remain the same and the US firms have agreed to this.
    link text

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 20, 2011 - 9:23PM

    @xxx: Nice try. You answered your own questions, mate. All your links and ‘facts’ are future ambitions, goals, targets, promises. Nothing wrong with having those. But can we talk present tense? India’s $29 Billion electronics industry of today simply is miniscule compared to China (or for that matter to many nations of Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea etc). If you read carefully, I said that the eco-system for such large scale manufacturing of tablet PCs does not exist in India, and will not lead to faster price drops compared to what Chinese manufacturers can already do ! So, in future, when you have a $400 Billion industry and $10 pc, we can all celebrate that. But, there is nothing earth shattering about Aakash’s technology or price.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 21, 2011 - 12:03AM

    @Tony Singh: No, don’t keep your hands folded, just keep your eyes open. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by just because you were obsessed with an artificial number. I didn’t say don’t do it. By all means make all the PCs you can. The fact will be it will be just another low-cost handheld device among thousands of them out there.

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  • arun
    Oct 21, 2011 - 6:42AM

    a gud one, but there is no cameraaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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  • xxx
    Oct 21, 2011 - 8:41AM

    @arun:
    it will have, let it to fulfill its first aim manRecommend

  • Tony Singh
    Oct 21, 2011 - 2:14PM

    @Jawad U Rahman:
    Sir, no one is saying it is a unique device. All it claims is, it is a cheap device for Indian students.(And a Pakistani firm has developed a wonderful application for it- should be appriciated) And yes if we leave everything to chinese we will be in a situation where Greece is. I am all for low cost high volume product manufacturing which can engage as many people it can in an economic activity. Else we all be rioting in streets at one time or other.

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  • Tony Singh
    Oct 21, 2011 - 2:16PM

    @Fawad
    Please send that intel PDA to me. Maybe I will find some use of it.:

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  • Surya
    Oct 22, 2011 - 5:40PM

    @Jawad U Rahman:
    Instead of using chinese example for boosting your inflated ego, try to show something that is made in Pakistan…Using other countries achievements to show off your false pride is a shame to say the least!!

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  • Surya
    Oct 22, 2011 - 5:46PM

    @Jawad U Rahman:
    If China’s strong in manufacturing, so is India in Software services…India’s 3rd ranked company is almost equal to the entire Chinese software industry revenues. And India started reforms 14 years later than China and China had the advantage of Taiwan and HongKong who still play a major part in pumping their investment..So most of these intellectual capital came via Taiwan not really indigenous to China..India is moving fast and will get there…FYI, in pharmaceticals sector, India has the highest number of FDA approved manufacturing facilities outside US and that speaks volumes about quality..Many of generic drugs has saved millions in Africa..Now, Mr. Statistics, tell me or give me some figures where is Pakistan in these scheme of things??

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  • anil
    Oct 22, 2011 - 8:03PM

    @Jawad U Rahman…

    Days are gone when India had agrarian economy.
    India exports 80 billion dollar soft wares now.
    India now exports a sizable amount of medicines.
    India is now probably the 2nd fastest vehicle manufacturere.

    we will do it.It’s my bet to you.It is very easy to comment someone,but very difficult to achieve something.Your comments are appreciable as it motivates us.One more thing, the way you compare us with Chinese ,sometimes make me to think that you are a Chinese ,not Pakistani or you don’t want to be called as a Pakistani.

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  • Terrorising and true
    Oct 22, 2011 - 10:39PM

    @anil:
    Dude this one Mr. Jawad is comparing India with China because he knows it very well that he cannot compare Pakistan with India..;)
    And accepted that China is on the fast track. but does this smart fellow understand that it is a homogenous population which is governed by a communist leadership which implemented the one child policy with absolute ruthlessness and also started the economic reforms way before india did. An aging population and a dragon size economy to be handled by fewer youngsters is China. On the other hand you have India with a majority of its population being young (=human resources=workforce). And India is received as soft power as compared to China which is mostly seen as an aggressive foreign unit any where in the world.
    So who looks poised??? I bet on my India because China is an engine loosing its steam..And if any smart lad wants to give statistics, USA and the erstwhile superpowers of the world are the examples.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 23, 2011 - 5:03AM

    @Surya: Why are you wasting your brain cells on a useless lecture. I never questioned India’s general economic might or potential. This device is not a piece of software neither is it a generic drug that Indians can make cheaply without the proper infrastructure and economies of scale. Please read the thread and educate yourself. The sub $60 goal of the makers of Aakash has already been achieved and with better specs – that is all. I know it is hard to swallow after all the hype created by the makers of Aakash, but reality sometimes is unpleasant.

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  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 23, 2011 - 5:05AM

    @Tony Singh: No disagreement. Make devices, not war. And one day you will be able to make them as cheap as the Chinese. India should do it, so should Pakistan.

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  • Surya
    Oct 23, 2011 - 6:51PM

    @Jawad U Rahman:
    you’re right it’s useless to argue with you since you couldn’t answer my questions pointedly, becoz you can’t..anyway… this article didn’t give the full picture..they are working towards to the goal of providing this at $10..Youo mean generic drugs can be manufactured without proper infrastructure and economies of scale? do you know what it takes to get FDA approval for a manufacturing site??lolz get a break bro…and if you dare counter my statements with facts..Recommend

  • Pakgrin
    Oct 25, 2011 - 1:42AM

    Akash tablet is NOT an indian tablet.. It was designed and manufactured by UK based DataWind.. It’s only assembled/manufactured in india at DataWind’s facility.. The Indian governement made a deal with the company to sell the tablet for $35 (actual price is $60) and get the subsidy from the indian governement… Hence the retail price is $60.. It is indeed a very slow and extremely annoying tablet.. it can’t possibly be of any use for the students as it heats up quickly and needs a charge every 2 to 3 hrs.. meaning in power deprived indian, a poor student need to have a power outlet all the time.. there are no power outlets located on desks in classrooms in india.. PTCL’s Evo with 3G CDMA connectivity for 12 months is a better bang for for the buck.. cost PKR 30,000.. 3GPP2 EVDO REV. B connection of 3.1 Mbps costs PKR 2000.. you do the math and you find out, you get the PTCL’s Evo for PKR 6000…. which is around $75… compared to Aakash’s $60, it is a much better option.. This is yet another UK product like another ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’, a UK product, and indians kept saying it was an indian movie.

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  • Surya
    Oct 25, 2011 - 11:10AM

    @Pakgrin:

    The British company Datawind has teamed up with IIT Rajasthan to design, develop and manufacture Aakash tablet. Core design done by IIT and commercialization and pilot production is by Datawind
    PTCL’s Evo is a tablet “Made in China by IVIO” – http://www.ptcl.com.pk/pdcontent.php?pdid=284
    India’s telecom companies produce dime a dozen tabs like what PTCL has. Not a big deal. http://www.hacktik.com/comparison-cheapest-3g-tablet-pcs-india.html/

    Akash tablet is a different effort (non-commercial) which in fact may benefit from low cost application develpers like “Pepper.pk” kind of companies..
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  • A.Khan
    Oct 25, 2011 - 11:48AM

    i dont know who need such type of sub standard products. I mean, in China you can find a lot better product in same price.

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  • Oct 27, 2011 - 10:12AM

    I hope these FiveRivers apps will work on the recently launched Android based thin Apple iPAD2 like tablet computer with EVO 3G and WiFi connectivity built-in launched by PTCL. 3G EVO Tab is a 7 inch touch screen tablet with built-in EVO service to offer wireless broadband internet on the go in more than 100 cities and towns across Pakistan. Powered by Google Android Froyo 2.2 Operating system, 3G EVO Tab offers support for both 3G and Wi-Fi for an un-interrupted on-the-go connectivity.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2011/10/pakistan-launches-100-mbps-ftth.html

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