Who knows Intel's Bill Of Material for the Classmate PC? I am Charbax and I'd say it's probably more than $400 a laptop. That is based on the fact that the Classmate is nothing less than a stripped down normal business laptop with optional flash memory instead of a hard disk.
Also part of Intel's strategy is to assemble the Classmate locally instead of mass producing in China, both factors, local assembly infrastructure and low volume production both push the price way up much higher than the $250 that Craig Barrett is claiming on 60 Minutes.
The cost estimations and the specifications of every single component of the XO-1 computer are available at the official wiki. $175 was Nicholas Negroponte's latest estimation as of last months industry analysts meeting.
Did you know that Intel's annual revenue is over $35 billion dollars and that over $5 billion dollars of that each year is spent on R&D? Compare that with the OLPC Foundation reportedly using a $30 million dollars on R&D over the last two years. $20 million dollars that also includes:
- the cost of the thousands of pre-produced XO-1 beta models,
- the expensive testing, development, engineering,
- the partnerships that needed to be found to manufacture each component,
- the 4x better battery life than a conventional laptop at heavy use with full backlight settings on
- more than 10 times better battery in light use and black and white reflective screen mode
- the revolutionary wi-fi mesh network
- the DCON functionality that keeps the main processor turned off most of the time in light usage scenarios of a computer.
How could Intel choose not to develop a "Do no evil" plan-B for this obvious situation arising in this competitive market, where someone in the computer industry are now delivering cheap and simple computers instead of powerful and over-bloated ones. How can Intel not come with anything more innovative than a stripped down normal business laptop?
The Classmate PC has a UMPC-type ULV processor requiring cooling, only having caved in on not including the HDD and instead using a 2GB Flash memory which still only saves about $30 on the BOM and only improves slightly Intels battery life. Why didn't Intel invest anything in Low-Cost Computer technology yet?
How come the cheapest Intel computers available today in the big retail stores aren't any cheaper than those that were 5 years ago? We were running approximately the same Windows XP OS with approximately the same user experience as we have today. Yet 95% of computer usage five years ago and today is opening a browser, playing a few small multimedia files and eiting documents.
I don't need a quad-core 45nm high-k metal gate processor running Windows Vista to do that.