Breaking News: Amazon to run G1G1 starting in November

   
   
   
   
   

Back in May it was announced that the Give 1 Get 1 program would be making a comeback and in June there were indications that it would happen after September 1.


Amazon will run with G1G1

Now IDG News Service broke the news earlier today that Amazon will be running this year's Give 1 Get 1 program from late November until possibly the end of December. This information is based on an interview with OLPC's Matt Keller who works as OLPC's director of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The brief news release indicates that Give 1 Get 1 will be limited to the United States. Since there had been rumors to also bring the 2008 edition of G1G1 to other places such as Europe this piece of information, if indeed true, will be quite a disappointment for many of us. Especially since a partner such as Amazon would probably be in a very good position to make G1G1 a global program.

Personally I'm skeptical as to whether this information was really intended to go public at this time. The lack of detailed information indicates that something might have been hinted at or said off-the-record which was then picked up by IDG. So let's see whether this story will be followed by an official announcement from OLPC and Amazon in the weeks ahead.

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29 Comments

Well Amazon was the hoped for partner in the first G1G1, and has been rumored to be the G1G1x2 partner for so long now, that I'm just glad we'll now have a real confirmation and details.

And hopefully much less chaos.

Moderate Competence, in the OLPC foundation?

Using Amazon would top the list of best business decisions by OLPC. What are the reasons (especially with a partner so demonstrably capable?) of not doing a worldwide G1G1? With the incredible developer communities around the world, it seems silly to not help them out a bit (and provide vibrant user communities - who could also help in the translation tasks!)

I'm presuming it'll be running Sugar with Update.1 preinstalled? Or will it showcase Windows (I can't imagine the licensing will allow that, or OLPC really wants us to play with that...)

@Jon - I imagine localisation is one reason for not doing a worldwide G1G1.

Interesting, the infoworld.com article (http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/09/04/OLPC_to_launch_touchscreen_XO2_laptop_in_Q1_2010_1.html) mentions that;

"The XO currently costs around $203 or $204 to make, said Keller, while the XO-2 will likely cost around $80."

Could this be the first indication of OLPC also suffering from higher component and transportation prices?

@Jon: I vote for OS X as the operating system of choice for the G1G1 XOs! ;-)

[cite}
"The XO currently costs around $203 or $204 to make, said Keller, while the XO-2 will likely cost around $80."

Could this be the first indication of OLPC also suffering from higher component and transportation prices?
[/cite]

Could be that the dollar has sunken like a stone during the last six months. Probably the price of the components has gone down if you count in Yuan, Euro.

Sprak, currency conversion is likely to play a role here. However the US Dollar has recovered quite a lot over the past month or so and is now back to early spring levels. Specifically comparing the Taiwan Dollar vs. US Dollar (http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?amt=1&from=USD&to=TWD&submit=Convert) the fluctuation seems to have been smaller compared to USD - Euro.

One way or another, an 8% increase in production cost seems quite significant when the price should really be going down. Also makes me wonder whether this year's G1G1 price will be north of $399?

But then again, I study CS, what do I know about money? :-D

When you say "Amazon to run" do you mean that Amazon will be handling the orders AND shipping XO units from their warehouses? Or do you mean "Amazon to run" as in the Amazon marketplace where Amazon simply handles the money/payment transaction but that OLPC (or its contractor) is responsible for shipping?

sracer, that is a valid question and something I hadn't really considered. To me "Amazon.com will start selling XO laptops" means that Amazon itself will take care of the whole process. Plus with all the mess last time 'round I'm thinking that such as one-stop-shop solution (Amazon handling everything from original order until the door-step) would be a much more desirable option for OLPC.

But I guess we'll have to wait for an official announcement to find out about all these details.

The article does NOT say G1G1 would be US-only. It says it will start around "US thanksgiving". Why else would the "director of Europe, Middle East and Africa" do the interview?

The news reports are very confusing. Are they selling XO-1's again this year, with a Windows/Sugar dual boot feature? I ask this because the XO-2 is reported to come out in 2010. Anyone know what we would be getting in this G1G1, this time around?

bert, all the articles I've seen talk about "Amazon.com" and there's no mention of Europe or any other parts of the world being part of the program. Plus having Matt speak about this makes sense in that Africa and the Middle East seem likely candidates for places where the donated XOs could go.

But then again, we'll have to wait for an official announcement to see how all the details work out.

Another question. As a Canadian, will they be selling on Amazon.ca, or would I need an Amazon.com account? The two sites differ considerably.

Brian, it's unknown at this time what exactly this announcement entails, so nobody can say for certain which Amazon sites will carry it.

I can say that I've bought from Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk just fine by logging into those sites using my Amazon.com account. I assume the reverse is also true.

The was the best move OLPC could have done after last year disaster with Brightstar and Patriot running the program. Both proved that neither could handle the distribution, taking of orders, and fulfilling orders outstanding. Look back at the past forums, and I bet we won't see that this year with Amazon. Last year, product was getting stolen, tracking info was not available, and customer service was non existent on either end. Hopefully that sour taste doesn't carry into this year, and Amazon can help make OLPC successful.

The IDG News Service article is linked to at wiki.laptop.org/go/Home, labeled as: G1G1 2008 announced, so I assume the announcement is for real.

Oh well. I had hoped a more ethical vendor would be chosen. There are many people out there that do not and will not purchase goods from Amazon.

Notice the 16"x9" dimensions of the screens in the article. This would be HUGE compared to the current XO screem (~18" diagonal). I believe this will be the two screens together but that is still very good (~9" per screen).

It is possible that the resolution of the screen will be ~1440*1050 which is beyond the current netbook screens.

Thanks for the reply Jay G. Unfortunately, for me to buy from Amazon.com, I need an account separate from Amazon.ca. It's only the US site that allows buying from other Amazon sites, it would seem, and Amazon.com doesn't always ship everything to Canada. So much for free trade.

Cheers!

As long as they give chance for first G1G1 donors to get hold of XP.

well, You know there won't be no shipping debacle like last one.

Hello!

The new round of the G1G1 program is due to start in late November and run until the end of 2008. It will only be open to US residents using Amazon.com.

Possibly they will allow shipments out of the USA.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7599652.stm

Greg, maybe I'm misunderstanding something here but isn't this exactly what my news-story is all about?

Hello!

I scanned the article too quickly to see that just USA would be given a G1G1 XO!

I liked the BBC also covering it too!

So they won't allow original Canadian G1G1 supporters a chance to participate again? That's pretty lousy of them.

From the OLPC Wiki:
--------------
G1G1 Update

As it has been reported, One Laptop per Child will sell its XO Laptop on Amazon.com in late 2008 as part of a global 'Give One, Get One' (G1,G1) program. Although the first iteration of the 'G1,G1' program was extremely successful and sold more then 185,000 laptops, the delivery of the laptops in the USA did not run as smoothly as we anticipated. Selling the laptops on Amazon.com will provide us with the resources to process and ship the laptops globally in a timely fashion.

In addition, contrary to some media reports, it will be a Linux-based XO Laptop that will be offered as part of the global initiative and not a dual-boot machine running both Windows and Linux.
--------------
Note the mention of a global G1G1 program, so it seems to me it will not be only USA. I am assuming they let Amazon deal with all the hassles of getting all the needed approvals for the various countries.

Ton, thanks for the heads-up, I'll post something about this first thing in the morning!

I predict that this will not sell well. Last year, the Intel Atom and the Netbooks were not out yet, and the OLPC/Sugar project was in better health (or so we thought).

The OLPC XO screen is cool, and it does not need a case to protect it. Sadly, the software is junk and the machine is slow as a dog.

If G1G1 is costing $400 then it is $25 more then a single much faster Dell Mini 9 with good Linux software. The Dell Mini 9 still has no fans, has a solid state disk, and weights a lot less.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?cs=19&kc=6f961&oc=dnpcxw1&x=7&y=8

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