Local Assembly Wins: XO-1.5 to be Built in Brazil

   
   
   
   
   

Three years ago, I called for Open Source OLPC software and hardware, where One Laptop Per Child did not give exclusive production rights to on manufacturer, but opened up all the designs, software and hardware, to local producers.

In this scenario, XO laptop production in each participating country would nurture hundreds of new Silicon Valleys - Silicon Huts if you will - with the profits, the wages, the skills embedded in each country, developing businesses, jobs, minds that not only "learn learning" but earn livings.

At the time, Nicholas Negroponte dismissed the local OLPC assembly justification of employment, investment, and empowerment, saying that computer assembly jobs were not ones anyone would want (except maybe in China). Fast forward two years, and the tune is changing, but not from Negroponte.

This time its Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby, the South American lead for OLPC coming to the political reality that if OLPC wants to win in Brazil, they need to build in Brazil, as reported in OLPC busca parceiro para fabricar 'laptop de 100 dólares' no Brasil:

The idea is to locally produce the model XO 1.5, a new generation of educational notebook, which is scheduled for August this year and implement the project in Brazil program Give One, Get One (G1G1) - which includes the donation of a laptop for children developing countries in the equipment purchased by each user. In the case of Brazil, the purchase of laptops will be made by companies or private institutions and notebooks will be donated to public schools.

With the local production of the XO, OLPC also hopes to resume its participation in projects of inclusion of government. The organization ended up outside of the second auction sponsored by the Federal Government to distribute 150 thousand educational laptops to public schools, held in December last year. "At that moment we could not produce locally and therefore we could never compete" Arboleda said.

It seems that OLPC Brazil has finally learned from its auction losses that local production does matter in Brazil. If you don't promise some sort of local assembly of your technology, you will not be considered for a government tender.

Funny enough, I thought OLPC already knew this need - they promised school server production to Brazil back in 2007. Oh right, all those vaporware school servers that still don't exist.


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8 Comments

I wonder how long it will take for those in the EU to realize that G1G1 may come to Brazil before them?

Well, with the lackluster sales of G1G1 2008 in Europe I'm not holding my breath for a repeat this year anyway.

And while I do believe that the XO-1.5 could attract a decent number of sales I frankly don't believe that OLPC currently has the capacity to run such a successful sales effort here in Europe.

But let's see what happens, after all it's only 5 more months until Christmas:-)

Update: XO-1.5 motherboards made by Quanta in Manaus and assembly in Campinas, according to those who can read Brazilian Portuguese better than Google Translate.

Still puzzled as to 1.5...

Not much strategy is revealed yet right?

What do you mean, what kind of "strategy" to you expect to see?

XO 1.5 strategy I would expect to see would include a way for the software for 1.5 to be backward compatible to Xo-1 hardware. But I've heard this is not the case.

That's exactly the problem.

I have no idea what kind of "strategy" there is for 1.5 XO.

I have commented this before. Once the better hardware novelty wears off, I foresee more problem at hand for both developers and buyers.

If they stay true to the announced spec, 1.5 is way more advanced machine than the current XO.

There is no way that the developers will be able to come up with two different levels of software. Which means only one thing. 1.5 will be a machine that runs 1.0 softwares faster and more statble. It makes no sense for developers to come up with programs that 1.0 can't handle considering the user base it has now.

Which begs the question... Is it necessary to have 1.5 at this point?

Is it their effort to switch to have XP run more stable in XO?

Shouldn't they focus on 2.0 at this point?

I am just a bit confused and concerned.

That's exactly the problem.

I have no idea what kind of "strategy" there is for 1.5 XO.

I have commented this before. Once the better hardware novelty wears off, I foresee more problem at hand for both developers and buyers.

If they stay true to the announced spec, 1.5 is way more advanced machine than the current XO.

There is no way that the developers will be able to come up with two different levels of software. Which means only one thing. 1.5 will be a machine that runs 1.0 softwares faster and more statble. It makes no sense for developers to come up with programs that 1.0 can't handle considering the user base it has now.

Which begs the question... Is it necessary to have 1.5 at this point?

Is it their effort to switch to have XP run more stable in XO?

Shouldn't they focus on 2.0 at this point?

I am just a bit confused and concerned.

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