Want to buy an OLPC XO "$100 laptop" for your child this Christmas? Or do you covet the clock-stopping hot technology for the perfect kid (at heart); you? Now you may be in luck!
Mary Lou Jepsen told Reuters that One Laptop Per Child is aiming to have American XO retail sales by this Christmas!
As the foundation prepares for mass production of its first model, the XO, to begin in October, it is looking for ways to subsidize manufacturing of the devices so that it can get more of them into the hands of poor children, Jepsen said.Whoa! "Online distribution through a big web-presence company" sounds like XO B4 eBay sales to me, especially since they are on the OLPC Board. Then again, eBay doesn't have an actual distribution network, it relies on individuals to make the postal connection. And now that Walter Bender had to chastise Michael Dell for his "send them recycled computers" nonsense, don't think "$100 laptops" will pass through Austin.
Profits from consumer sales would go for that purpose, said Jepsen. "We're trying to get the best deal we can," she said. She added the foundation is looking at selling the machines over the Internet and talking to companies with "a big presence on the Web," although she declined to identify any by name.
So who would be selling the coolest must-have techno-toy for the hard core geek. Who will organize a Christmas shopping frenzy beyond any iPhone comparison?
Could we see Hewlett Packard or Toshiba go retail with $100 laptops? What if OLPC continues its dark-horse strategy of utilizing relatively unknown companies for its XO sales effort?
On Feb. 1, , Grupo Sanborns, one of Slim's subsidiaries, kicked off a tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of CompUSA Inc., the largest computer store chain in the U.S., for nearly $800 million. Microsoft Corp. and SBC Communications Inc. are expected to come in as minority investors.
''Technology is going to transform people's lives and society everywhere in the world,'' says Slim. ''My main task is to understand what's going on and try to see where we can fit in.''
The One Laptop Per Child Foundation's rugged XO laptop could initially sell for just $350, or twice its production cost, although the group is also considering a $525 price tag, said OLPC chief technology officer Mary Lou Jepsen.Surprise? You mean totally blindside and bankrupt them with a kick-ass Open Source solution. I know I wanna be the first geek on my block to own a One Laptop Per Child production-level laptop. Hell, I'd even buy an XO for every kid on my block, at $176 or even $350 dollars. But not $525, 3x its current $176 price.
If the XO laptop does make its way onto the market this year, it could surprise personal computer makers who have already spent months planning their strategy for the 2007 holiday season.
Over $350 and OLPC will be competing against the likes of Wal Mart's Everex Impact GC3502 and other low-cost options. Yes, I know it's not the computing revolution of the XO B4, nor does it have the sexy "buy two, get one" philanthropic angle, but price points do matter.
Price points like "$100 laptop".