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, 31 Oct 2007 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Your missing the point of the project

    Because an "Open" standard can't be sold.
    Am I to guess that you don't know what patents are or that you're being dishonest? Part of the deal with a patent is that the invention is openly disclosed to public. Plenty of companies charge licensing fees for things they openly disclose through their patents. To say they can't is ridiculous. I can almost guarantee that various components of the OLPC (AMD processor, processor chipset, WiFi chipset, flash memory, etc.) are covered by numerous patents. If you can document otherwise, then please do. Otherwise I call "bullshit".

    RTFM - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_hardware
    I suggest you do the same. Nowhere does it state that the OLPC is patent free. "Open source hardware" basically just means that the hardware is fully documented, not necessarily patent free.

    But now assume for a moment that the OLPC really was patent free. That makes the OLPC look even worse because it means that its special "ground breaking" technology is so crappy that mainstream laptop makers won't use it even for free. How bad does something have to be before you can't even give it away?

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