Public can purchase $100 laptop

The backers of the One Laptop Per Child project plan to release the machine on general sale next year.
But customers will have to buy two laptops at once - with the second going to the developing world. Five million of the laptops will be delivered to developing nations this summer, in one of the most ambitious educational exercises ever undertaken.

Michalis Bletsas, chief connectivity officer for the project, said they were working with eBay to sell the machine. "If we started selling the laptop now, we would do very good business," Mr Bletsas, speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, told BBC News. "But our focus right now is on the launch in the developing world."

View: The full story
News source: BBC

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Blu-ray and HD-DVD Face Title Fight

Next Story

Microsoft dismisses rumours of revised Xbox 360 hardware

43 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

What bothers me a lot is that people are hungry for $100 laptops but hesitate if they have to buy one for someone else that could use the resources. That's still $200 for a laptop.

Someone mentioned how a blackboard and chalk would be better. How? You can educate yourself using the internet. You need a person who already knows their stuff to teach it using a blackboard and chalk.

You know what a major problem is in Africa right now? AIDS. If people became educated on HIV, that would stop the spreading of it tremendously. As it is now there's tons of myths in Africa on how to cure AIDS, none of which work and usually only lead to more people getting it.

To the person above complaining about how we're helping everyone else before ourselves, here's an idea. Want to get laptops for your own charity organization? Buy four of them, two for you and two for them.

Kids gets laptop, downloads photoshop, learns photoshop becoming a professional at it, makes sig/banner/logo's on neowin for money, and uses the money to order stuff off ebay

You buy one laptop, and the other goes to some child in developing country with whom you can then flirt in a chatroom

how can we prove the second laptop is actually going to a developing country to someone who needs it and not going to someone who doesnt or even if it actually is even going there!... With all these UN scandles and stuff happining kind of dont trust things just going in blind sight somewhere else

<sarcasm>
Exactly! How do we know there isn't some sort of food or medicine scam going on? Let's stop giving food, water and medicine to these countries in need, too!
</sarcasm>

No one is saying that there won't be problems. No one is saying to stop food and medicine shipments and replace them with boxes of laptops. These are an optional supplement that countries in need can purchase for education at a reduced cost.

And somehow this is all bad?

markjensen said,
<sarcasm>
Exactly! How do we know there isn't some sort of food or medicine scam going on? Let's stop giving food, water and medicine to these countries in need, too!
</sarcasm>

No one is saying that there won't be problems. No one is saying to stop food and medicine shipments and replace them with boxes of laptops. These are an optional supplement that countries in need can purchase for education at a reduced cost.

And somehow this is all bad?

who said that was bad? I said I just want to make sure it gets where it is said to be going, whats so wrong with that?

Sorry. Most of my post was a general comment. I certainly never quoted you in a way to rebut any specific points you made.

Your post happened to be the last one in the list and conveyed the tone I was posting in regards to. More of a convenient place to tack a counterpoint, rather than specific to your post.

We've been giving them food for a long time. We need to do something else obviously so they can accomplish more for themselves and learn how to make something better for themselves.

Edit: That was supposed to reply to 12.1. Sorry.

You know peoples, not all undeveloped countries are suffering from drought, famine etc. Yes food, shelter and healthcare are issues for 3rd world countries. (as they are issues for here in the US too) However, those with the basics can use technology to learn, to grow in many ways.

Think bigger. Realize that while food is important, it is only a start.

"Yes, because they don't need food to live, they eat air."

Did you consider that plenty of Africans are not starving, they are just poor, and hence a cheap laptop (= eduction etc.) is a very good idea.

winmoose said,
"Yes, because they don't need food to live, they eat air."

Did you consider that plenty of Africans are not starving, they are just poor, and hence a cheap laptop (= eduction etc.) is a very good idea.

Of course I realise that but unfortunately more need food water and medicine etc. than a computer. A blackboard and chalk could teach 10 ten the amount of children for a tenth of the cost.

A computer connected to the internet (yes they do have the internet, even 3G mobile phones in much of the populated areas of Africa) has access to unlimited amounts of educational material, *MUCH* more useful than a piece of chalk.

winmoose said,
A computer connected to the internet (yes they do have the internet, even 3G mobile phones in much of the populated areas of Africa) has access to unlimited amounts of educational material, *MUCH* more useful than a piece of chalk.

Yes, which is good, but if only 1 person has access to it, then that is a small problem don't you think?

Yes, which is good, but if only 1 person has access to it, then that is a small problem don't you think?

That's why these are cheap, so they can be given to many people. Plus, a single laptop could be used by a whole family.

And the nigerian email scams will increase 10x fold!


More likely situation

Son: I need medicine and food

Dad: Well google it, then you can see what you will never have becuase our country is over run by druglords and we cant do anything about it

People living in the third world don't give a damn about laptops, how would they recharge them? They'd need to use electricity, something which to them is very expensive. Even when they do get the laptops what are they going to do with them? Play Solitaire?! They don't need them!!!

As someone else said, just let some money go to charity to build wells or buy a goat.

To my knowledge, they aren't going to really poverty-stricken countries but countries still developing that aren't dirt poor but still wouldn't be able to pay for fully priced laptops for kids. Aren't Libya and Brazil part of this scheme?

Maybe they should send the extra $100 to build wells and grow crop fields in 3rd world countries instead of giving laptops to developing countries.

Just my 2 pence.

That's really ignorant. Most Africans are not starving, they are just very poor. When there is a drought clearly they need emergency food etc., but history has shown time and time again that the best way to help people is to give them opportunities, not handouts (apart from emergencies).

There was a report just yesterday on Newsnight (BBC2, UK) into how mobile phones are changing peoples lives for the better in Africa, even a Maasai tribe had a mobile phone (charged with solar power)!

Although I agree that food/water > laptop, there are already charities that serve that purpose that you can donate away to.

The purpose of this charity is to increase the education standards of these people. You can feed them all you want, when they are out of food they will be asking for more. This program, however, will get more of these kids into colleges and onto a better life.

You know the saying:
Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.

And what if I want to buy 5 for the kids at the local boys club? I get to buy 5 for someone in africa or whatever?

Forced 3rd world philanthropy isn't the way. Some want to make our impact local.

If a local charity can't afford $1000 for 5 laptops... then guess they shouldnt be buying the laptops. How short sighted, how thoughtless. No one is forcing anyone to give to charity. If you dont want to pay a measly $200 for a laptop.... then DONT. Feel free to pay $400 or more.

jameswjrose said,
If a local charity can't afford $1000 for 5 laptops... then guess they shouldnt be buying the laptops. How short sighted, how thoughtless. No one is forcing anyone to give to charity. If you dont want to pay a measly $200 for a laptop.... then DONT. Feel free to pay $400 or more.

Obviously you have never worked/volunteered for a charity, otherwise you would understand EXACTLY where I am coming from, no if's, no buts. 95% of charities have an unbelievably small income.

Samboini said,

Obviously you have never worked/volunteered for a charity, otherwise you would understand EXACTLY where I am coming from, no if's, no buts. 95% of charities have an unbelievably small income.

You know nothing of me. It would be foolish of you to assume so. I completely understand charities and the lack of funds. However the math still stands; a $200 laptop that helps two kids is still better than a full priced laptop at $400
(NewEgg has several about the $400 mark, none below it http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....SubCategory=32)

So, my point still stands true. If a charity cannot afford $200 dollars, then they simply do not have to purchase the laptops. This is how capitalism works. Please realize that the company selling the $100 laptops is selling them to the public to enable them to give them to undeveloped countries and those who need them. So a charity spending ONLY $200 is actually giving help to more than one charity. That's all good.

'If a charity cannot afford $200 dollars, then they simply do not have to purchase the laptops'

It is not about being able to afford the laptops, it is about value for money. If they were kept at $100 for other charities based at home then with $400 it could benefit 4 children instead of 2 each way. I have nothing against helping the other countries but I think it is silly that a charity etc. has to pay double in order to help out someone else, as ultimately they are the ones losing out in a backwards way. My 2 cents just thinks that we should sort out issues based at home first, then progress, and besides that there will be many millions of orders (so they hope) so I doubt they will be short of supple. Further, how can we even be certain these countries/people will get them and that they will not be taken by the corrupt and sold on eBay for their own personal need, much akin to food, medicine etc. in certain areas.

Samboini said,
'If a charity cannot afford $200 dollars, then they simply do not have to purchase the laptops'

It is not about being able to afford the laptops, it is about value for money. If they were kept at $100 for other charities based at home then with $400 it could benefit 4 children instead of 2 each way. I have nothing against helping the other countries but I think it is silly that a charity etc. has to pay double in order to help out someone else, as ultimately they are the ones losing out in a backwards way. My 2 cents just thinks that we should sort out issues based at home first, then progress, and besides that there will be many millions of orders (so they hope) so I doubt they will be short of supple. Further, how can we even be certain these countries/people will get them and that they will not be taken by the corrupt and sold on eBay for their own personal need, much akin to food, medicine etc. in certain areas.

Im sure you're right that some of these laptops will be sold on eBay etc. I'm sure that we cant know for sure if the laptops get to where they are supposed to (ref to another post where the user wondered about that issue) The situation is we cannot be sure of anything (how do I know that *I* really exists? ...another topic, but Im sure you get the point)

Yes, It would be nice if a charity could purchase the laptops at a discounted price.... but again, we get into the situation where how could the company making the $100 laptops be sure that the company purchasing the laptops is REALLY a charity (getting a not-for-profit is rather easy... until you get audited... but...)

So I still FEEL that a $200 laptop for 1 child here, and one in the developing country is a good deal. I do hear your point, really. I just feel that the deal is good for all involved, including the local charity. I feel that we live in a global enviroment and we need to find ways to help each other. That means local and distant. (Now if we could get goverments to stop buying bombs, planes and other expensive devices of war... well then we would really have an opportunity to help all of us out... but that's just my utopian ideal)

Peace,
James

Access to a computer is not a real problem here in the West as it is in third world countries. Your's is the same ignorant attitude that Oprah met when she opened that school for girls in South Africa.

Cool! I know many people interested in supporting this project have recommended this exact type of public offering, where an individual would pay double to get one.

"But customers will have to buy two laptops at once - with the second going to the developing world."
Good stuff, I agree completely with this tactic.

Same here, i'm glad that's the route people will have to go if they want one of these.
Wonder if it work as a tax write off? LOL