Say hello to the $35 tablet computer

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Consumers enamored with tablet computers but turned off by the high price point may now be inspired to take the plunge. India's newly-developed "low-cost computing-cum-access device"--apparently, still lacking a catchy name--is a Linux-based touchscreen tablet priced at only $35. The product was announced in a press release from India's Press Information Bureau.

The jaw-dropping $35 price point is only expected to keep falling. According to the release, the device will gradually drop down to $20 and ultimately to $10 per tablet. 

Information on device specs and whether or not the product will be sold only to Indian universities and schools is limited and vague.

According to one report, the tablet resembles a large iPhone and can be either solar- or battery-powered. The device has a 5/7/9 inch touchscreen, PDF reader, video conferencing capability, open office, remote device management capability and a multimedia input-output interface, among other features, reports Indian Express. Memory space is limited and there is no hard disk according to the ministry.

India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal set out to produce an inexpensive tablet computer after receiving a "lukewarm response from known corporates in this sector" according to the government statement. He was able to pursue R&D after holding discussions on this concept with academics.

"This is part of the national initiative to take forward inclusive education. The solutions for tomorrow will emerge from India," Sibal told Indian Express.

Fifteen million tablet computers will be purchased this year, according to Barclays Capital, and that number is only expected to grow. And as the market grows, much like the ebook reader market, prices will likely fall in order to compete.

For more:
- see the press release from India's Press Information Bureau
- see the Indian Express article

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