The Aakash... coming after the Nano, is already making waves across the world. It seems we are getting a reputation for creating affordable technology solutions. Another example is the connection of rural hinterlands through the computer kiosk that provides farming, fishing and market information.
A tablet at that price is certainly going to make an impact. But care needs to be taken that the primary focus and positioning is not lost. Consider the Nano - it has become a second or even third car for families, while the original target segment of families who could not afford a car remains untapped. The Nano is still delivering decent numbers of 5000 - 10000 per month - but these are nowhere near the targeted numbers or the potential of the original target market
Similar is the situation with the Aakash - it might just become a second device of professionals or middle / upper middle class people. We should understand one thing clearly - in such hands, there will be a comparison with the higher - end models, which will generate negative publicity for the product. And, in the handset market, negative publicity can be critical
Hence, initially, it will have to ensured that the targeted segment is tapped properly. Once that has been done, avenues to tap secondary market segments can be thought of. It needs to be understood that this device is not meant to compare with the higher end tabs that are currently present. It is a simple price-feature trade-off to cater to a market segment which would otherwise not be able to reap the benefits and advantages of a tablet technology. Secondly, it is meant to provide affordable technology in the hands of such people who will be able to use its productivity features to learn technology, get adapted to it, and use its features to enhance their productivity. It is meant to be used as a tool to create a techno-savvy populace, if I can state a generalisation
The future looks to be bright for the Aakash, which will fulfill a felt need. With proper distribution and after sales support, there is no reason why it cannot make it. Furthermore, beyond the sceptre of sales and profitability, it has already started enhancing Brand India's image even before its launch, judging from the article on Washington Post. Let us hope for a success in this venture... it will be a shot in the arm for Brand India, as well as give a vital technology tool in our hands....