Sun aims for ultra-cheap cell phones

Call it Sun Microsystems' answer to One Laptop Per Child.

The server and software company hopes to sell a version of Java to phone companies that will bring network access to the world's computers, executives said here at the JavaOne trade show.

"Java will play a central role in bringing the Internet to the planet," Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz said during a news conference. "It will be the software to build the devices to bridge the digital divide." In a brief speech at the show, Schwartz indicated he believed the Java-powered mobile phones could be sold for $30 to $50 apiece.

That's a notch cheaper than the $100 price the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative hopes to reach in 2008. OLPC began at the MIT Media Lab but now is a separate initiative to build easy-to-use, Linux-powered wirelessly networked devices.


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