Much is being made of Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins' comments that his "Deep Throat" connection on the Google gPhone says:
the thought process behind [gPhone's] functionality is less about beating the iPhone and more about beating the $100 Laptop, which provides a huge clue behind what will be the pricing structure on this.There are those, like Om Malik, who are going on about how that comment must mean that Google is going to compete with One Laptop Per Child, a program it sponsors:
By tightly integrating the Google Apps, Google Phone could become a viable rival to the much ballyhooed $100 PC being promoted by everyone from Nicholas Negroponte and Microsoft (MSFT), and will also over come the connectivity problem facing most of the $100 PC schemes.Its only too bad that Todd, one of Gigaom's commenters, has to point out what Om missed but dedicated OLPC News readers already know:
Anyone who claims they have the next OLPC killer because they have some sub $100 piece of HW that runs some productivity applications has clearly not personally worked with the XO.Or you can go back to the follow up on Mark's original post for clarification that his source wasn't talking about a gPhone vs. OLPC XO rivalry, but that a gPhone would be like the OLPC, a low cost, but not low functionality, computing device:
I have had the privileged, and like others who have also, the first thing you notice is that it is a collaboration tool presently optimized for education. It does not do the greatest job with PIM/desktop tasks because it was not designed for techno-gadget craving, white-collar workers.
Have an educator do a review on the g-phone and then I might listen.
He clarified that it's more of a long term possibility (based on functionality) of this device rather than an original design strategy. Development on this began, as I understand it, before both the $100 Laptop and the iPhone hit the market.And if you think about the developing world, this makes total sense. Currently, cellular phones are high-cost purchases of limited technology devices.
Regardless, as Google's primary source of revenue continues to be advertising, I can still easily see them subsidizing purchase of the phone and attempting to recoup investment off ad revenue.
In most countries, you can talk, text 120 characters, and maybe send a ring tone, but photos, email, or high-speed web surfing are all either non-existent or too expensive for widespread adoption.
But if Google could monetize those eyeballs, there would be a great opportunity for mobile phone operators to expand service offerings and reduce prices. Yet, I doubt any country, community, family, would want their children's eyes monetized in the classroom.
Nor would a cell phone come close to the functionality and educational empowerment of a Children's' Machine XO laptop. So for all the hoopla, everyone can chill out. The gPhone isn't going to be a "$100 laptop" replacement anytime soon.