Emerging Tech

$100 laptop is now $188


The much publicized "$100 laptop" of the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has acknowledged that the devices will now cost $188 when mass production begins this fall. The initial $100 price point has been relegated to that of a long-term goal.

A variety of factors were blamed for the price increase, including currency fluctuations and the steadily rising components such as nickel and silicon.

The main concern on the new pricing has to do with the ease with which the OLPC can sign up international governments as customers.

Excerpt from CNN:

"Where does it end? It started out at $130, then it was $148, then it was $176, now it's $188 - what's next? $200?" said Wayan Vota, the former director of the Geekcorps international tech-development organization and current editor of the OLPCNews blog. "You have these governments who were looking at this original, fanciful $100-per-child figure, now we're going up towards or maybe past $200."

At the moment, OLPC says it has commitments for at least 3 million of the "XO" computers. Among the nations that have shown interest are Brazil, Libya, Thailand, and Uruguay.

Do you reckon that the new price point will result in dropped orders?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

7 comments
atan
atan

I still believe that the money could be better used elsewhere to empower these children.

HypnoToad72
HypnoToad72

The one I bought for $700 is hopefully more powerful... Besides, didn't that TV show "3600 Seconds" or whatever do a big article on Negroponte's dream, later saying how Intel and other companies that later got involved in the project would mean the net price would drop; competition and all that?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

First, the project is to provide information children in third world countries. The idea is that a rugged, low power consumption computer is the best means of providing that information. Basing them on open source means that students who are interested in computers get full access to the source code and operating system to explore as they like. Students who are less interested in computers can use it as a window to there own area of interest without delving into the computer's guts itself. Both hardware and software are designed to be easily fixable so that kids can become there own tech support. Also, books are often in limited supply and are not very interactive. One Laptop per Child is really One Information Access Point per child. Usually the first thing that neigh sayers post is; but people need food and water not computers. They miss the point in many ways. The OLPC is targeting places that already have shelter, water and some sanitation but are in need of education. That statement also ignores the project's goal by focusing on the hardware that supports the goal. Your 700$ notebook should blow away an OLPC machine and well it should. In terms of operating within the environment that OLPC will operate, your 700$ machine may last a week; if you can find a power socket that's stable that long. Your machine is designed for a market where cpu, video and ram are prized and a power outlet is available everywhere including the bus station. The OLPC is designed for places where power is not readily available. They need to be truly efficient machines rather than like the power gluttons we run. It needs to be rugged as it will be carried through rain and dust storms while being regularly dropped on all kinds of surfaces. Comparing an OLPC to a general consumer model notebook is completely missing the point. Since OLPC got more press, there has suddenly been competition with Intel's offering and some others. Intel's specifically does not compare in terms of rugged chassis or open operating system. Based on the website, it's better suited to areas where it will be the school's property keeping it in doors. OLPC is meant to be the student's property kept with them under whatever conditions they live and travel in. I think OLPC's comment towards the other similar machines was spot on though; there's far more children in need than any one project could support so the more help the better. The project is an education project to help children not a technology product project to fill someone's profit margin. There in lies the real conflict. Us tech people tend to focus on the hardware and software as the point of interest rather than something to support the point of interest. In technical terms, the OLPC is really a monster of a machine when you consider where it is to be used and all the functions it combines into a single package but that's only a very small part of the project. Really, the hardware is not the goal but rather to support the goal. It's worth reading about. The website should be easy to find if it's not simply olpc.org or some such thing.

paulmah
paulmah

Do you reckon that the new price point will result in dropped orders?

cajtech
cajtech

If a government agency, (in this case a school system), ever refused to buy something because it cost to much, it would be the first time. Beurocracies do not deal with real money. They sell the idea of $100 computer to the school boards and when all the wheels are in motion they reveal that the price is $188. The school board members have already gone on record as saying this is something our children need, so to increase the budget is only a formality. All of this is from a U.S. perspective, but I'm thinking red tape is an international language.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The mass production should eventually drive down the costs. I hope buyers don't consider cutting there orders especially as it's a project to provide education. If it was a project to provide a cheap computer for retail then there definitely be reduced orders.

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