Friday, April 13, 2012

DataWind-Quad Electronics rift delays delivery of Aakash tablet

Controversies have continued to chase DataWind. The Canadian company, which was spearheading the original Aakash tablet project, has been accused by its erstwhile assembly partner Quad Electronics Solutions Pvt. Ltd of not clearing dues. DataWind, on the other hand, has accused Quad Electronics of infringing intellectual property rights and trying to sell the Aakash tablet directly to IIT-Rajasthan.
DataWind further claims that Quad Electronics signed an MoU with IIT-Rajasthan and unsuccessfully tried to develop a UbiSlate 7+ competitor. The two partners have already parted their ways and claim to have served legal notices to each other. However, thousands of people who booked the device are suffering because of the rift between the two companies. It may be recalled that DataWind had opened booking for the UbiSlate 7+, upgraded version of the original Aakash or UbiSlate 7 last year, but has not yet started shipping. A lot of people had paid in advance for the device.
“We will provide an update on the number of pre-bookings, units delivered and schedule to clear the backlog at our launch event, planned for the third week of this month,” DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli told Live Mint via e-mail. Tuli had previously revealed that DataWind had received three million bookings for Ubislate 7+ and was likely to launch the device in a few weeks.
Back to back delays have already dented the popularity of the Aakash tablet, which is also touted as the world's cheapest tablet. The Indian government wants to use the Aakash tablet for bridging the digital divide in the country; however the device is yet to see the light of day. Union minister Kapil Sibal recently said the Aakash 2 tablet will launch in May with improved specifications. Read our previous coverage on the Aakash tablet here.

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