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. icon
    Mike (profile), 1 Nov 2007 @ 2:13am

    Re: They aren't for you

    Mike Masnick, to be blunt, they are designed with a great amount of user feedback - but you are not the user.

    I know I'm not the end user. I'm not bashing it from the standpoint of the end user at all... but from the standpoint of the general lack of interest in the project and the mistakes that the project has made.

    I'm amazed in the year 2007 how many do not understand the proverb "Give a man a fish...". I also find it quite out of line to accuse someone of charity to be wasting time - would you tell a breast cancer charity they are a waste of time because they don't try to help all cancers? Or maybe you'd tell them "raising awareness" is a waste of time and money and they should just close up shop...

    If that breast cancer charity were spending all of its money on an idea that obviously wouldn't help breast cancer, then yes, I would say they were wasting their time.

    I'm not saying that charity is a waste of time. I'm saying this particular effort is a huge waste of time and money. And it's not because it doesn't solve "all" problems -- but that it appears to be attacking the wrong problem from the wrong direction.

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