Since landing a contract to produce tablets en masse for India, DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli has become something of a manufacturing rock star appearing in national media and sought out for meetings by government dignitaries. ITBusiness.ca spoke with Tuli about how his Montreal-based firm accomplished what has been previously described as impossible, building the world’s cheapest tablet that will sell at a subsidized price in India for $35.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is also making efforts to produce cheap tablets for the developing world. On Nov. 9, 2010, OLPC Nicholas Negroponte discusses the impending (at the time) launch of the tablet and the challenges of manufacturing for developing economies versus first world countries.
The third generation of the OLPC tablet, XO-3, is expected this year, with the continuing goal of costing less than $100. Negroponte commented on DataWind’s even lower-cost tablets last November at the Open Mobile Summit. He said the tablets were “hot air” because the Indian government was subsidizing the price. But according to DataWind’s Tuli, the manufacturing cost of the Aakash tablet is now well under $50.