In the Boston Globe article "Cheaper Cheap Laptop Promised" we have Nicholas Negroponte giving an interesting spin to what amounts to a price increase he kept out of the news till now:
But last year, the foundation quietly raised the price of its proprietary XO laptop from $188 to $204, more than twice what the foundation originally hoped to charge. Negroponte said four countries that bought XO laptops last year - Mongolia, Rwanda, Peru and Uruguay - had agreed to pay $204 for each laptop. That is $16 more than the laptop's 2007 price of $188.
So while OLPC, and Negroponte himself, publicly stated the XO price was $188 throughout 2008, (see Google for all the $188 press mentions), he was really selling the XO laptop for $204. Then he teases with the long-standing, yet never achieved goal of a cheaper XO, to which Hiawatha Bray gives a sweet response:
Now Negroponte is promising to cut the price of the XO by $24, to $180. "I believe it will go down another $20 soon," he added. But even at $160, the laptop will cost far more than its original $100 target.
Mine response to this price change: Who cares? At $204, $188, or $160, if the minimum order is 1,000 units, OLPC is still not supporting small deployments, and therefore reverting back to its failed large deployment only approach. In fact, SJ may just have the right recommendation for pilots:
People starting small school pilots that need 10-30 laptops are encouraged to use Sugar in emulation on existing computer labs or other low-cost laptops.
Like maybe a $300 Asus Eee PC from Amazon??