Resumen en español al final del artículo
Three weeks ago I mentioned that OLPC Association has been remarkably quiet about the Android-based
Walmart XO Tablet which it had introduced at CES 2013 in early January. Since then things have progressed a little bit with the Web site receiving a bit of a facelift.
Then yesterday Engadget posted an article and video (embedded below) about the XO Tablet. The 8-minute video provides a good introduction to the device and software so I recommend watching it.
In terms of availability it is said that mass production of the XO Tablet recently started and that it will be sold on walmart.com starting on June 1. A month later it should also become available in a limited number of physical stores. Again no information on pricing was revealed.
Now given OLPC Association's track record and the previously discussed March launch date going by without as much as a sound I remain skeptical (hence the supposedly in the title) until I actually see it on walmart.com myself.
Beyond that I'm generally still not sure what to make of the XO Tablet. Strategically it very clearly is a move to capitalize on the OLPC brand. It's also obvious that despite its planned use in Uruguay the XO Tablet is a run-of-the-mill Android device that has little to do with the broader vision and work that OLPC has done in the past 8 years. Yes, there's the dreamy software interface, some content partnerships, and cute green protective cover. But it's still a commercial and US-centric product that will compete with a hundred other tablets for virtual and physical shelf-space rather than even trying to make a meaningful impact on children's education.
Or I am missing a big piece of the picture? What reasons do you see for why anyone would buy an XO Tablet rather than a low-cost tablet by the likes of established consumer brands such as Acer, Archos, Amazon, Asus, Google or Samsung?
Resumen en español: En este video de Engadget se presente el XO Tablet y esta mencionado que llegara a walmart.com el primero de Junio. Pero aparte de esto la verdad es que yo todavía no estoy seguro de qué hacer con la XO Tablet. ¿Quizas me estoy perdiendo una gran parte de la imagen? ¿Qué razones le ve a por qué alguien iba a comprar una XO Tablet en lugar de una tablet de bajo costo de una de las marcas de consumo establecidos como Acer, Archos, Amazon, Asus, Google y Samsung?