OLPC: $175 Laptop Coming to US?

Dennis Faas's picture

Nicholas Negroponte, the former director of the MIT Media Lab and current leader of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, announced Thursday that that machines, which were originally targeted at $100, are now expected to sell for $175.

This is not the first time the anticipated price has increased. Negroponte's team had previously announced that the price had risen from $100 to $140. However, this initial increase was partly offset by a slew of new features, such as an integrated digital video camera. The new price hike is not expected to be coupled with any improvements. (Source: arstechnica.com)

Negroponte also revealed that the project is reconsidering offering the XO laptops to US schools. "We can't ignore the United States... We are looking at it very seriously," he said. (Source: tech2.com)

The announcement may come as a shock; Negroponte has said in the past that the OLPC project would not sell to the domestic market. When Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney expressed interest in buying the XO laptops for students in his state, Negroponte said "we've designed something for a totally different situation." (Source: forbes.com)

That seems to have changed -- perhaps because since then, 19 state governors have shown interest.

Negroponte said that the laptops would be sold to US schools at a higher price than to schools in developing countries. While he has made no explicit indication that the increase in price and the potential expansion into the US market are related, one cannot help but make the connection -- surely a higher priced laptop in the US would help offset rising costs. (Source: arstechnica.com)

So when are these new machines expected to make their debut? Quanta, the manufacturer, had originally planned shipment for as early as July, but due to delays, the world will have to wait until the third quarter. (Source: arstechnica.com)

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