India Unveils World’s Cheapest Tablet Computer

India took the first step to creating the world’s cheapest tablet computer on Friday when it unveiled the prototype of its low-cost version of the popular Apple iPad.

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal lead the unveiling of the basic touchscreen tablet, which the government hopes to sell at only $35 each, or 1/14th of the price of the iPad. The tablet can be used as a word processor, Web browser, and video-conferencing device. If things go as planned, the computer would be commercially available by next year, but first, the government must find a company that is willing to manufacture what could be the world’s cheapest tablet.

Ministry spokeswoman Mamta Varma said that a number of companies have expressed interest in the project, but the government has yet to reach any manufacturing and distribution agreements.

The tablet is aimed at boosting India’s education system, with the government planning to subsidize the computer’s prize so that students can get the device for only $20.