Remember that $35 Android tablet from India we reported on last year? The latest in a long line of Indian vaporware, praised by Nicholas Negroponte, it was supposed to receive educational subsidies and be made available to students—though reports surfaced that it was actually a Chinese Android tablet and not actually a home-grown device at all.

Now India’s Economic Times has a report saying that the vendor who was to provide a guarantee bond to back the device’s production (in accordance with Indian legal requirements) has backed out of a $13 million commitment.

According to a government source, the laptop components alone were costing the vendor Rs 5700 [US$124.82] without taking into account the import duties and logistics. The government was however planning to sell it at Rs 1500 [US$32.85] per piece. "Disagreement on the financial cost with the vendor led to the tender cancellation," said a source close to the project.

Say what you will about the OLPC’s price for the XO-1 doubling over its original plan; at least it manages to make back its investment in its devices!

So it appears that the too good to be true $35 tablet was, indeed, too good to be true. Better luck next time, India.

(Found via Technologizer, in our “Around the Web” box.)


  1. I imagine someday we’ll get $39 tablets. I bought a beautiful NEC Mobilepro for $30 on eBay (admittedly used). But components aren’t free and screens, in particular, are still quite expensive. Remember when Apple came out with the iPad? Many of us were impressed with the price points they hit–and they’re an order of magnitude more than the $39. So, a couple years, probably.

    Rob Preece

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