Nicholas Negroponte showed off the latest prototypes of the fabled $100 PC. It's not longer a $100 PC, however. The ruggedized, two pound Linux desktop (Fedora) system, with mesh networking will sell for about $130 to $140 ([before] shipping) to governments starting in April 2007. Negroponte expects to reach the $100 price point by the end of 2008.
The colorful system can turn into a tablet, and Negroponte said that it "will run like a bat out of hell." Pricing depends on how much RAM, but key is the display, he added. "It has to be sunlight readable. That won't be done until August/September."
Then there will be a beauty contest among three systems and go into manufacturing for shipping, he said. Current seven countries are evaluating the system. The most enthusiastic are Nigeria, Brazil, Thailand and Argentina. In addition, China, India and Egypt have shown interest, as well as Russia, Mexico and Indonesia. Negroponte said that manufacturing has to reach 5 to 6 million to get scale pricing.