We had earlier reported that India’s Aakash tablet, also known as UbiSlate, had sold out soon after it was up for preorder. At that time, we didn’t have specific sales figures; however, Economic Times has now revealed that as many as 1.4 million Aakash tablets were ordered.
In order to cope with the unexpectedly high demand, the UK-based manufacturer, Datawind, will be establishing three new factories in India. The new manufacturing units will come up in Cochin, Noida and Hyderabad during the first half of this year. The Aakash, which retailed for less than fifty bucks, was conceived as an educational tablet. However, delays on the part of the Indian government has meant that individual customers and corporate clients will probably get the device before educational institutes.
The unexpected demand has also brought to light how ill prepared Datawind is to handle significant volumes. “We never expected such a high response from both corporate and individual buyers. We plan to supply 70,000-75,000 units per day once the factories are in place by April,” revealed Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of Datawind. Digit has highlighted that many customers are in the dark about the status of their shipment and are unsure about how to seek help. Perhaps Datawind needs to take a more proactive approach, or partner with established online retailers like Flipkart in the future.