Quanta Computer Inc., the worlds largest contract laptop PC manufacturer, already has confirmed orders for one million notebook PCs for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, a company representative said Thursday.
The OLPC project is aimed at ensuring children around the world dont miss out on learning how to use computers. The fear is that the high cost of computers is keeping too many people in developing countries from learning how the software, Internet and communications benefits of computing can improve their economies, job prospects and lives, a conundrum commonly referred to as the digital divide.
Quanta is manufacturing the OLPC laptop, and mass production is the key to slashing its cost. Currently, the laptops cost around US$130, but the goal is to whittle down the price to $100. The groups involved in the OLPC project, including the MIT Media Laboratory that launched the effort, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), and Linux software developer Red Hat Inc., believe they can reach that goal once millions of the laptops are being produced annually, and had set a target to reach that price sometime in 2008.