[LINK] $100 laptop could sell to public
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Jan 14 03:10:11 AEDT 2007
$100 laptop could sell to public
By Darren Waters (snipped)
Technology editor, BBC News website, Las Vegas
The backers of the One Laptop Per Child project are looking at the possibility of selling the machine to the public.
One idea would be for customers to have to buy two laptops at once - with the second going to the developing world.
Five million of the laptops will be delivered to developing nations this summer, in one of the most ambitious educational exercises ever undertaken.
Michalis Bletsas, chief connectivity officer for the project, said eBay could be a partner to sell the laptop.
"If we started selling the laptop now, we would do very good business," Mr Bletsas, speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, told BBC News.
"But our focus right now is on the launch in the developing world." ..
The eventual aim is to sell the machine to developing countries for $100 but the current cost of the machine is about $150.
The first countries to sign up to buying the machine, which is officially dubbed XO, include Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan and Thailand.
The XO's software has been designed to work specifically in an educational context. It has built-in wireless networking and video conferencing so that groups of children can work together.
The project is also working to ensure that children using the laptop around the world can be in contact.
The OLPC project is working with Google who will act as "the glue to bind all these kids together".
The machine is close to a final design
Google will also help the children publish their work on the internet so that the world can observe the "fruits of their labour", said Mr Bletsas.
He said that the hope was to put the machine on sale to the general public "sometime next year".
Mr Bletsas said that a philanthropic organisation would be formed to organise the orders and delivery of the laptops.
"It's much more difficult to do this than making the laptop," he said.
The aim is to connect the buyer of the laptop with the child in the developing world who receives the machine.
"They will get the e-mail address of the kid in the developing world that they have, in effect, sponsored."
Mr Bletsas was speaking amidst the festival of consumerism taking place on the show floor of CES.
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