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$35 Laptop Still A Distant Dream; HCL’s Tender Cancelled: Report

The Indian Government’s ambitious $35 laptop project has missed its launch date of 15th January 2011: according to a report in The Economic Times, the tender for the project has been cancelled because – and this is difficult to believe – the appointed vendor HCL Infosystems failed to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 60 crore. The report suggests disagreements over pricing, and that HCL had listed some additional ‘unacceptable’ conditions to the government.

Previous reports had suggested that HCL Infosystems had won the tender for the $35 Android based device. The Ministry has, reportedly, issued a fresh tender, but we couldn’t find it on its website. In a statement to ET, HCL denies knowledge of the cancellation. The tender was won in early September…did they really think it was possible to produce the tablets by Jan 2011?

The $35 Tablet is a rather controversial project – there is speculation about whether it is indeed an Indian product, or in truth, the Speedpad from Hivision, a Chinese manufacturer. In the past, India has introduced the world to a $10 laptop, which turned out to be a pen drive.

Sep 10, 2010: The Truth about $35 Android Tablet from Indian Government (AndroidOS.in)
Sep 03, 2010: HCL Wins Contract For 100,000 $35 Tablets For India
Aug 12, 2010: India To Distribute 1 Million Units Of Its $35 Tablet In 2011; Demo
Aug 09, 2010: OLPC India Now Targets 1M XOs In 2010; Negroponte Writes About $35 Tablet
Jul 23, 2010: India Government Develops $35 Tablet; What Can It Do? Features, How It Was Built
Feb 04, 2009: The $10 Laptop: A Myth

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