One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) hopes to begin mass production of its low-cost notebooks aimed at children in developing nations in August or September. In late 2005, when the nonprofit organization released a prototype of the machine, it aimed for mass production toward the end of 2006. OLPC plans to conclude its third build of the laptop by early April, finalizing any last-minute engineering tweaks, according to Christopher Blizzard, software team lead for OLPC at Red Hat Inc. in an interview Wednesday. The laptop is currently in the first build phase, with the second build phase due to commence in late January. The laptops are being manufactured for OLPC by Taiwanese company Quanta Computer Inc.
So far, OLPC has released a few hundred laptops to governments around the world, with plans to increase those numbers into the low thousands over the next few months, Blizzard said. Last year saw some wavering among nations that had previously committed to purchasing the OLPC machines for their schoolchildren, notably India and Thailand. The countries whose governments have currently committed to buying laptops for their schoolchildren are Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Thailand and Uruguay, Blizzard confirmed.