A Black Friday for OLPC's G1G1 XO Laptop Pricing

   
   
   
   
   

The Black Friday retail therapy celebration is upon America today. A mass orgy of conspicuous consumption every Friday after Thanksgiving that makes MasterCard proud. One Laptop Per Child should be proud too.

The Give One Get One XO laptop sale has been a roaring success. By our calculations, OLPC has sold 100,000 XO computers in the past 10 days. OLPC even extended G1G1 through December 31 and gone global. But will OLPC sell any XO's today?

black Friday sale
Now that's a laptop deal!

We now have great Black Friday Doorbuster deals, like $299 Compaq Presario or $399 Toshiba Satellite 15.4" Widescreen Laptops.

And more than a lower price, these two laptops represent familiarity for parents. They aren't bright green and kid-sized. They don't run that funky Sugar user interface. They also come with a long-term maintenance plan and a healthy component and software aftermarket. In fact, today Circuit City is even offering a free printer with every laptop purchase.

So even though the XO laptop is a revolution in computing, and a much better learning solution for children than a Compaq or a Toshiba, it will be a challenge for OLPC to maintain its sales momentum once computer retailers really start their Christmas deals.

Just look at the slow XO laptop eBay auction. After seven days, the XO laptop bids are at $202, just over its price and only half the G1G1 $400 level. Too bad the $200 donation is in question.

And then there is always OLPC's low-cost competition who ship worldwide with ease.

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13 Comments

$399 of the Asus is not low cost. Those mail-in rebate things probably aren't going to last.

If Compaq, Asus, Apple, Dell and Toshiba really wanted to join in the making and marketing of low-cost laptops and decided to make this a real part of their commercial strategy, then that would be a mission succees for the OLPC foundation.

But so far, there are no worthy competition.

I hope that we can soon see the commercial version of XO technology that Quanta's ex-CEO was talking about would be released by the end of the year. And I hope there are companies that are using XO technologies for commercial laptop projects. Any day, any of these could take the XO technologies, repackage it for commercial use, invest in the mass production of it and sell it for $200 at WalMart.

The thing is that the big IT industry coorporations don't see profits to be made in eagerly replacing their current expensive Windows Vista laptops with cheap low power Linux ones.

It appears to me you did not do a completely comprehensive search for the XO Laptop on ebay. There are two others for sale that i have found: one one of them is which is a littler over 13 hours away from completion is well over the G1G1 mark and the second one which still has over a week to go is almost there:

http://search.ebay.com/olpc_W0QQ_trksidZm37QQfromZR40

Con,

Thanks for the detailed OLPC on eBay search. I did not see these other XO laptop sales but all of them seem quite suspect to me - who would be buying an XO on eBay when they can get them direct from OLPC for $400?

Even foreigners can now buy direct & ship to a US address. Mail forwarders would be easier than eBay re-sellers.

That laptop sale could be suffering from improper placement as well. This is the path shown for the laptop auction. Listed in category: Computers & Networking > Desktop & Laptop Accessories > Cases, Bags for Laptops > Backpacks
Now people who are looking for a computer would most likely have to do a specific search for the XO to find it (I think) and man people will not know to do so.
Proper category placement is pretty important when listing on eBay.

When I saw the first one, I thought the seller might have been selling a beta machine. However, I emailed the seller who responded, "No, this is the first release. It's not one of the beta production models."

At that point, I got suspicious as well.

And now that the G1G1 customer service hotline is saying that only the orders placed on 11/12/2007 will go out before the end of the year that we'll start seeing a lot more people who ordered them that day putting them up on fleabay. If people are crazy enough to stand in line and pay outrageous amounts for the iPhone, I'm not surprised they'll pay out the nose for an OLPC XO just so they or their kids can be the first one on the block to have one since it seems the demand for it is greater than originally thought. I'm kicking myself for not buying more on the 12th.
BTW, I forgot to mention congrats on the nuptials, Wayan! I think the autumn is the best time of year for a wedding.

A suggestion to Asus:

OLPC XO is half the price of the Eee, and comes with a better screen, 5-10 times longer battery life, better wireless features including classroom friendly WiFi Mesh, better software for education and is really fanless, waterproof, sandproof, and overall more kid-friendly. Asus should join OLPC and Intel should wait to have the Diamondville processor to market their Classmate or this Eee as a part of the OLPC project. It's cool Asus installs Linux on such a small laptop, but they should not market the Eee as an OLPC competitor, cause it's not there yet.

Charbax,

How is Asus Eee twice the price of the OLPC XO? Last time i checked, to get an XO, I have to pay $400 and wait till the end of the year. Asus is $400 but I get it right now.

In addition, I don't have to pay for it in advance and I can return it or get service from the local Best Buy. Charbax is right though, the XO seems like a better computer.

It is interesting to compare the XO with other devices besides laptop computers.

For example if you were to compare Amazons new Kindle eBook reader with the XO, the XO compares pretty favorably on many fronts for less than half the price.

The Kindle has longer battery life and cell network access, and is 1/3rd the weight (10 0z). On the other hand the XO has along with the hi rez monochrome mode, a color screen mode and wifi and all the features of a general purpose computer with a camera and a microphone.

As an ebook reader they both have a portrait mode and controls for navigating paged content, but the XO's functionality can be expanded by the user, say if you wanted to turn pages by saying "next" or blinking your eyes then the microphone and camera could be used to accomplish that.

I suspect that the XO will be an incredibly powerful tool for spurring innovation if OLPC continues to sell them to the public, due to its open nature. The Kindle is likely kind of a dead end, as it is intentionally limited by the imagination of its corporate parent.

Wayan,

The XO-1 is actual around $180 dollars. When you pay the $400 your actual paying for two laptops. One for a child elsewhere and one for yourself, plus like $40 for other tech. The ASUS is $400 just for one, meaning your not also getting an other one for some one else some where. So in short the XO-1 cost around $180 while the ASUS cost $400.

I bought my G1G1 the first day the offer was open. I have yet to hear anything about my XO being shipped to me. Has anyone heard anything about a ship date?

Intel's agreement with the OLPC Foundation included a "nondisparagement" clause, under which Intel and One Laptop promised not to criticize each other, according to Mr. Negroponte in the latest article in the Wall Street Journal.

Still Intel tactics has violated that repeatedly to kill OLPC efforts in Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan, India, China and Intel is also still trying to pull those tactics in Mexico, Brazil.

This is simply disgracefull of Intel, scandalous. But Negroponte has signed an agreement saying that he is not allowed to criticise Intel, so he is not allowed to talk about these shameless tactics even though Intel is the one violating the agreement. So only indendant voices on the Internet can get those messages of truth out about Intels tactics.

In Nigeria, Intel came and DONATED 3000 laptops to counter OLPC efforts, then provides 17 thousand Classmates at a loss. Then Microsoft corrupted officials with 400 thousand dollars to install Windows XP on those instead of Mandriva Linux.

Anyways, the next step will be that Intel is investing hundreds of millions to develop the Diamondville x86 processor that is the Intel version of a fanless, low cost, low power processor, and alternative to the AMD Geode.

So the next step is there will have to be an Intel powered XO laptop ready for mass production. Otherwise it simply seems Intel will not allow OLPC to start the mass production. So possibly some deal will be done between OLPC, Intel and AMD, so that 50% be built with AMD processors and 50% with Intel processors. Hopefully Intel executives will let it mass produce and mass distribute with that sort of agreement.

Thankfully CMO, Quanta, AMD and all other involved have accepted to delay the up ramping of mass production, since only 300 thousand are produced in the first two months. But at any time in the beginning of next year, mass production could reach a volume of over a million laptops per month.

The question is will Intel allow OLPC to start ramping up mass production of exclusively the AMD powered version even though the Intel Diamondville integration might not be completely ready before the middle to second half of next year.

How's Intel going to manage the trick of not allowing a ramp up of OLPC production if that's what Intel decides to do?

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