Earlier this month, I had the luxury of inspecting a new Omatek Smartbook at the Ministry of Education in Ghana. The Smartbook is a low-cost laptop aimed at the education market, and one look at it and you know its an XO laptop derivative:It also happens to be one of the many 4P Computers that are coming out of the developing world. Not content to leave the 4PC market to Asus, these local computer manufactures are making their own low-cost, highly-portable, power-efficient, and performance-relative computers for local and regional markets.
Omatek Computers is a Nigerian company with a computer assembly factory in Ghana. This allows Omatek to produce computers tax free for Ghana and Nigeria, within certain quotas, giving it a competitive advantage over international vendors.
Add in the reference designs shared freely by the chipset manufacturers and local companies like Omatek are the next wave of real innovation the in 4P Computing market - more creative than Intel or OLPC, and over the long term, more game-changing.
As soon as one of these vendors realizes the true untapped market - parents who want to give their children an educational edge - you will see an explosion in local design and assembly. Just the employment, investment, and empowerment that the developing world needs.