$100 laptop sells at $200 after governments pull out

Posted on September 25, 2007  /  3 Comments

Computer enthusiasts in the developed world will soon be able to get their hands on the so-called “$100 laptop”.

The organisation behind the project has launched the “give one, get one” scheme that will allow US residents to purchase two laptops for $399 (£198).

One laptop will be sent to the buyer whilst a child in the developing world will receive the second machine.

The G1G1 scheme, as it is known, will offer the laptops for just two weeks, starting on the 12 November.

The offer to the general public comes after the project’s founder admitted that concrete orders from the governments of developing nations had not always followed verbal agreements.

Nicholas Negroponte told the New York Times: “I have to some degree underestimated the difference between shaking the hand of a head of state and having a cheque written.

“And yes, it has been a disappointment.”

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  1. Having had some hands-on experience yesterday I think this may be good for kids, but not for professional purposes. It is too small and hardly useful for anyone other than beginners.

    The positive side is the concept. Fixed wireless is the only way to go in providing rural connectivity. Low cost too is a must. Emphasis on connectivity than applications are also logical.

    Of course, providing wireless access in rural areas is not cheap. I hear it takes USD 12,000 to provide wireless access for a circle of 1 km radius. (3.14 sq km)

    So $100 (or $200) laptop is not as low cost as it first looks. However, instead of complaining a better approach will be to find the drawbacks and improve the model.

    Why Negroponte depended on goverments? He should have worked more closely with the regional players and developed a marketable, rather than a subsidised product.

  2. The OLPC computer is for children below 12.

    What I find interesting about it is the child-oriented design, simplicity and the fact that it has been thought of as a communication device more than as a computer.

    I think the low-cost computer being developed in IIT-M in India has greater potential except for the fact that it is thin client machine that cannot work without connectivity. That will continue to be a problems in these parts.

    BC Computers, which has the demo sets should give them some publicity so that more people can give informed comments.

  3. While the attempt to bring down the cost of laptops is laudable, I am now convinced that the way to go forward in bridging the digital divide is through the mobile phone.