Wishtel, a Mumbai based company that manufactures electronic components, has launched BSNL IRA ICON Android based tablet with Hindi Android Operating System interface.

The tablet allows users to type in Hindi and access all functions and icons in Hindi. Users can access and send emails in Hindi, access  Facebook in Hindi, watch Hindi movies and TV channels, read Hindi news and books and sign for education courses in Hindi. The tablets also comes with 2 months of free 2GB data on BSNL network. It’s not clear whether the free data is a 2G or 3G data, WishTel hasn’t responded to our request for clarification yet. Apart from that, WishTel has also not disclosed the pricing of the tablet, however, they did mention it will be price anywhere between Rs 7,000 to Rs 13,000.

Hardware specs: The Wishtel IRA ICON tablet is a 7 inch Android 4.0 tablet with 1024*768 pixel resolution on a full angle TFT LCD Capacitive multi-touch screen. It runs on a 1.2GHz processor with a non-standard 1GB of RAM and supports calling features, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and also comes with built-in stereo speakers and a microphone. It has a 0.3 Megapixel front web camera and 2.0 Megapixel rear-facing camera and a 4000 mAh battery, which the company claims can give users browsing time of approximately 4 hours. The tablet supports 4GB of internal memory, however, it comes with support for a up to 32GB MicroSD card.

Content Support: The tablet comes with support for mp3, wav, wma, aac , AAC+, ac3, real audio for music, and can play video formats such as mp4, AVI, mkv, mov, and 3GP. It can also view documents in DOC/XLS/PPT/PDF/TXT/HTML formats. It’s not clear whether the tablet comes with pre-loaded applications with Indic support. WishTel has not responded to our query.

Concerns: Previously, MediaNama had reviewed Wiwos Super, a native Indic Android phone by Robosoft and Bangalore based United Telecoms’ WIWO Mobiles. While the device came with native support for Indic languages in the OS, we noticed that the phone doesn’t deliver same search results irrespective of the language typed, forcing users to switch between languages. For instance, if one searches for any contact in their phonebook in English, it delivers relevant contact details instantaneously, however if they try to replicate the same using any other language, the phone offers zero results. This becomes more noticeable when one tries to download apps from the Google Play Store, since there is no dedicated Indic app store. It needs to be seen how WishTel performs with 3rd party apps without Indic support.

That said, Ajit Balakrishnan, Rediff CEO, had said a few years ago that 99 percent of Rediff Mail users prefer to use English, and therefore, “Let us not assume that users want Indian languages.” While that might be true in the PC era where not many from rural population could afford a PC, we are not sure how much of that translates to the post-PC era where even rural population is now able to afford devices. Population in these areas might want to use Indic languages with their devices. Still, English is an aspirational language in India, so one never knows.

Other WishTel developments

Last year in March, Wishtel had launched low-cost tablets, christened as IRA and IRA Thing in the Indian market. The tablets are powered by VIA’s WonderMedia PRIZM processor, available in Android and Linux variants and were priced at Rs 4000+taxes (resistive touch screen) and Rs 5500+taxes(capacitive touch screen)