CherryPal beats OLPC to a $99 Africa Netbook


CherryPal just announced it's Africa Netbook available for sale today through it's website for a retail price of just $99, something that OLPC had promised years earlier and failed to
deliver upon.

While it is certainly not developed to live up to the specifications of the XO, the Africa Netbook does boast:

  • 7-inch display
  • 400MHz processor
  • 256MB memory
  • 2GB flash storage
  • Linux or Windows CE
  • 4 hour battery

Their laptop is nothing groundbreaking here, but I feel that if somebody wanted to run an implementation today this would be a seriously be worth considering or at least using for a small test implementation. The price is certainly worth taking note of as this could easily be twice as many laptops for a developing nation or even for use in traditional classrooms.

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This was recently discussed over on Groklaw.
One of the posts suggest that the company behind CherryPal may be in trouble. The Shiva plug at $99 is also mentioned. There are now several low cost machines out there but they are not from well know companies.


Well if this laptop is available for $99, can I get the board minus the display for $ 45. If yes then we can create a wonderful product for huge 800 million people. The display here would be the TV sets.
The issue is not the cost of the box only. It is the relevant content as well.
Our rural markets need content in their language. The content most widely used would be educational ( for children ) and localized information, news and entertainment content for the adults.

The information would be govt. scheme related, agriculture and banking related.

This will help remove the digital divide.

We are taking cautious steps towards developing such computing platform.
People who want to be part of this are welcome.

Well in this crappy economy the price point is king. I'm definitely going to get one of these.

I interviewed the chairman of Cherrypal about the Africa. Some interesting stuff came out.

The specs on the website are not set in stone. They’re what your computer will AT LEAST have. It may have better ones. They’re basically obtaining budget parts or even whole pre-built systems inexpensively, rebranding them as Cherrypal Africas, and selling them for $99.

The idea is not to sell netbooks cheap, but to get basic, bare-bones Internet access capability into the hands of people on the underside of the digital divide.

The specifications above are wrong!

The complete story is doubtful, please read:


I bought a device that looks exactly like that from CVS Pharmacies.

The clock speed is 320 MHz. It has 128 meg of RAM and the battery lasted 3 hr and 15 min with the wi-fi turned off.

The wireless does not work nearly as well as the OLPC. I have one of those too. But it plays flash and the OLPC does not. It has a better keyboard for typing but it ain't waterproof. And it came with Windows CE 6.0. I loaded Android on it but put Windows back.

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