But there is a lack of clarity about how such price points can be achieved. Writing in the Guardian, Suhasini Sakhare points out that the cost of the components alone runs to $47, and that is before any labor or supply chain costs, or profit have been accounted for. The details of the prototype released last week also did not state who would be manufacturing the device.
Sakhare also argues that provision of cheap devices is not the right place to start. The mobile phone explosion in India was driven by huge demand; cheap handsets had to be created to meet this. With a poor broadband infrastructure in India, demand remains low - new broadband subscriptions are at a rate of 100,000 to 200,000 a month compared to 18 million for mobile connections. Demand for such cheap devices will only come with much greater awareness and computer literacy, she believes: "Unless it channels and meets the demand for usable, accessible knowledge, the $35 tablet will remain an interesting oddity, a shortsighted solution and a fledgling power's fist-waving response."