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
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2007 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Back to the drawing board, boys!

    Get the parents jobs at the local factory? Maybe the local market? Maybe buy some food to get a few villages through the next few months?

    There is no local market or local factory. That's the point. Some of you people seem to think all we need to do is throw money at a problem and it'll go away. Well guess what, the US (and others) have been throwing BILLIONS of dollars in military support, food rations, and medical aid. These countries are still impoverished because of the short sited approach of buying a hungry person food and giving a sick person medicine.

    I'm not saying let people starve, I'm saying teach him to fish instead of giving him a fish.

    Also, the OLPC project isn't being run by some government agency, it is being run by a group of open source computer enthusiasts and volunteers applying what they have to a problem the best they know how. If you're so concerned you should get off your butt and donate your money, or donate your time on a project like this. Because unless you do you have no right to participate in any conversation regarding what "they" should or should not do with their resources.

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