Kapil Sibal, India’s Communication and Information Technology Minister, said Aakash 4 “is ready” and “will be available in January 2014” while addressing the delegates at the Indian Telecom Summit organized by CIII in Delhi today. The minister added that in all twelve vendors showed interest in making the next version of Aakash. Sibal added that he is well aware of the troubles faced by the low-cost tablet and is working towards making Aakash as success story.

India launched the first version of Aakash back in December 2011 and it did manage to create a stir in the tablet market with the news making headlines on publication of every big banner media company across the globe. But, the curiosity didn’t turn into actual sales and with Datawind – the company behind Aakash – not able to fulfill the orders things started going downhill for the low-cost tablet.

November 2012 saw the launch of Aakash 2 which was followed by launch of Aakash 3 but, neither of these tablets could bring about an upsurge in sales as lot of other Indian vendors had already released their own version of low-cost Android tablets. Further to add to the misery of beleaguered Aakash several white-box Chinese tablets also entered the Indian market – some with better specifications at more or less the same price.

The fate of Aakash tablet was in doldrums after the Government changed its stance because of Datawind’s inability to meet up with the orders. With Aakash 4, the Indian government did something different and released proposed specifications of the tablet for interested parties to comment on.

The specifications are however somewhat unrealistic for the price which the Indian government has specified. 1GB of RAM, SD Card interface compatible with NFC based SD cards, ability to show and record 720p videos, etc. are some of the specifications which are hard to deliver with such a low price tag. For more read Aakash IV proposed specifications: Issues pinpointed! on our sister site ParityPortal.