Leaders of the non-profit One Laptop Per Child that was spun out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology have acknowledged that the devices are now slated to cost $188 when mass production begins this fall. The last announced price was $176 and $100 was touted as a long-term goal. Spokesman George Snell blamed the latest increase on a variety of factors, including currency fluctuations and rising costs of such components as nickel and silicon. He said the project was committed to keeping the price from rising above $190. The laptops are being made by Taiwan's Quanta Computer Incorporated, the world's leading manufacturer of portable computers.
One Laptop Per Child says it has commitments for at least 3 million of its rugged "XO" computers; among the nations that have shown interest are Brazil, Libya, Thailand and Uruguay. While less than $200 for an innovative, wireless-enabled, hand-powered laptop is a relative bargain, a price nearly twice than what was promised could make it harder for OLPC to sign up international governments as customers. Those governments are expected to give the computers to children for them to keep and tinker with, which the project's founders believe will cause critical thinking and creativity to blossom.
News source: CNN