Price Of The $100 Laptop Going In The Wrong Direction

from the isn't-technology-supposed-to-get-cheaper? dept

I'll admit it. I've never quite understood the rationale behind the $100 laptop (or OLPC or whatever it's being called these days). Yes, it's a noble goal to get technology into the hands of people around the world with the hope that they can do something productive with it -- but a big top down attempt to build something without much actual user feedback seems destined to fail. At the same time, we've noted that the market seems to be doing a pretty damn good job on its own of driving the price of computers down such that a special project may not make as much sense. So it's a bit amusing to now find out that while computer prices are dropping the price of the "$100 laptop" keeps rising. In fact, the price is now $200 per laptop, showing a rather rapid climb. The $100 laptop was never actually $100. Back in February, project backers said it would be $150. In April, they bumped the price up to $176. Just two weeks ago, they said it would be $188... and now it's $200. And we thought technology was supposed to drop in price over time. Perhaps if they'd acted more like a startup from the beginning things would be moving in the right direction.

Filed Under: $100 laptop, nicholas negroponte, olpc


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  1. identicon
    Josh, 30 Oct 2007 @ 10:06am

    Another project, another problem

    I think the $100 laptop has the problem a lot of projects for developing areas has: too high expectations and misguided goals. Sure, these laptops would be cheap, but does that come at the cost of usability? What happens when the children these laptops grow up, and want a computer to do some serious networking, or programming, or just things beyond reading, writing and typing? Mike raises a good point, that computer prices already dip lower and lower, so coming up with a special project to "help those in need" sounds a bit out of place. I still think there's potential in this project, but not the way it's been going now.

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