Quanta Only Shipping 15,000 XO Laptops in December?!

olpc production line
Make more, Santa!

When I read the Wall Street Journal article about One Laptop Per Child, I had strong reactions to many aspects of the story I. But one paragraph I noted with interest, yet didn't think too much of at the time was:

Suppliers are grumbling about missed forecasts and lowered expectations. "We wish they would ship more, absolutely," says Scott Soong of Chi Mei Group, the Taiwanese manufacturer of the laptop's screen, who also serves on One Laptop's board. Laptop-maker Quanta, which was told early this year to expect initial orders of five million to eight million, also is disappointed, according to a person familiar with the matter.

"We're all frustrated with each other," says Mr. Negroponte of the friction with Quanta and suppliers. "Everybody's got a short fuse."

I figured it was just backstory to Nicholas Negroponte's long history of over-promising and under-delivering OLPC sales numbers. But the short fuse issue might be more than lowered expectations. It might just be radically low production numbers too.

From a Chinese newspaper, Digitimes gleamed this startling XO laptop production output:

Quanta Computer is expected to ship 15,000 XO PCs in December of this year and monthly shipments are expected to be around 8,000-10,000 units in the future, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report, which cited sources at component makers.
Wow! I sure hope that is a typo, that its really 100,000 computers in December, or there will be many XO-less Xmas trees this holiday season, and way too many unhappy children across the globe in 2008.

Update: Engadget is now saying that 15,000 was indeed a typo - its 150,000 XOs shipping in December, then 80k to 100k each month thereafter. Whew!

Thanks to Douglas Beagley for the tip

Related Entries


While I don't know how reliable that "15.000 XO's for Christmas" number is, I wouldn't be shocked at all to find out that the G1-G1 sales numbers are not as high as most people think they are. People didn't go crazy with Walmart's $400 Lindows desktop; Americans are used to their bells and whistles and a decent Dell laptop far more functional that the XO could ever be can be had for $600.

I'm afraid that Negroponte's G1-G1 customers are not the general public, but mostly a few thousand (if that many!) computer geeks.

Time will tell...

Robert, I think the success of the Asus Eee sends a different message. There is a strong market interest, across a wide range of users, in a very inexpensive subnotebook that happens to run Linux.

I want to imagine that if the XO had been targeted for the US population. The supply/demand outcome would have been very different. One waits to see what will happen after the December 31st closing date.

I sure hope 15,000 is missing one or two zeros on the end, because that's an indescribably low number for what's been promised and with as many sales as the G1G1 program has gotten alone (somewhere in the oder of 190,000+ last I checked) that would be quite a disappointment creating more then just angry board members...

Wow I almost cried for my daughter not getting to use MY I mean her laptop this Christmas. 150,000 should cover all first day orders.

Translation error .... from Chinese
it is 150,000 not 15,000.

Look at the Engadget web site http://www.engadget.com/

I ordered mine first day, expect it today.

Please remember that this was presented as a *donor* program. The OLPC that will be placed gently on your doorstep is just a nice way of saying "thank-you, because we know that we wouldn't be able to attract your donation without that incentive." And maybe because their suppliers wanted more orders anyway.

I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but it is very selfish to say that you want an OLPC for your child (or yourself) now. You could have plopped down your money on any other product and satiated your desired, yet the children who the OLPC is really intended for would rarely have such an opportunity.

Of course I want mine just as much as you want yours. Maybe I want it even more so because I am an educator and programmer who has sat down with one for a week, and have a rough understanding of what it is about. But at the end of the day I also understand that this project is not about me. It is about them. And if our orders have to wait a bit longer because a child in Nepal is getting their first computer *ever*, so be it.

Though I still wish that they would say when the Canadian orders will ship, so that I can bottle up my anticipation until February or March or whenever it will be.

I don't think it is all that selfish...we did still donate a whole laptop to someone in need. That child in need would not be getting his first *ever* laptop if it wasn't for OLPC and our donation. Somethign tells me that same child would not be angry that we indeed want ours first...because at the end of the day (or month/whatever) they are still getting a free laptop.

Like I said before, I would be surprised if they can even do 1 milion units sometime this year (or even early next year). Strictly speaking from manufacturing perspective that is...

Well said Jordan. Reading this site you'd this that people were being denied some sort of right. Remember OLPC specified 1st day orders for 14 Dec. through 24 Dec. If you are a 1st day order and have not received yours by Christmas then you can complain.

The email said

Thanks to your early action, your XO laptop is scheduled to be delivered between December 14 and December 24. Our "first day" donors are our highest priority and we are making every effort to deliver your XO laptop(s) as soon as possible. We will send you an update upon shipment.

That to my mind, with a long experience in hardware and software shipments is not a commitment but a goal.

I'm not as concerned as some of you are. Remember it is not about us. And it is not actually about this piece of hardware. The educational system being implemented may be much bigger than any laptop program.

Thank you taking part.

XO Tablets for Sale

Buy Your XO Tablet on Amazon.com
OLPC is selling the new XO Tablets on Amazon.com for just $149. Buy yours today!



Recent Comments

Community Forum