The Aakash tablet, India’s “$35” wonder, may be facing further delays en route to schools everywhere, as DataWind, lead manufacturer of the device, has picked a fight with its partners on the project. The company is suing its Hyderabad-based manufacturing partner, Quad Electronics, for allegedly signing a deal with IIT Jodhpur–the designers of the tablet. IIT Jodhpur and DataWind, collaborators in the early stages of the Aakash project, fell out over the final features on the devices DataWind turned out. While manufacturing of Aakash I seems to have been halted, minister Kapil Sibal has said the Aakash II will be ready in May. As the project leaders continue to bicker, other low-cost tablets like these slightly pricier but better-fitted-out tablets from Zync and Intex Technologies, are entering the Indian market.
Updated 12:20 p.m. EST: Quad Electronics has responded to DataWind’s claims, and is calling their charges “unjustifiable and baseless.” Quad adds that DataWind has yet to pay Quad dues amounting to $1.12 million according to stipulations in their contract.
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