The New OLPC XO-1.5 Laptop Should Sell for $350


Recently, the first XO-1.5 to appear on eBay sold for $316. This my friends, is a travesty.

The XO-1.5, with a 1Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM, is a solid upgrade from the XO-1. Yet this sale is disappointing when unused XO-1 are selling for over $300 each. I was expecting at least $350 for the XO-1.5 - it has a Sugar / Gnome dual boot, what so many USA geeks wanted so they could use Linux programs instead of Sugar Activities. And with an eBay seller, you could actually expect an easy shipping experience.

So what when wrong? Why did the XO-1.5 sell for so little? Was it bad timing - ending the auction at 5 am on a Monday - or maybe market ignorance as fewer people know the XO-1.5 moniker vs. the XO-1? Regardless the reasons, what do you think is the right XO-1.5 price?

Oh and for those hoping for XO donations, I say Damn the Free XO-1.5 Laptops: We Want OLPC Sales!


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$300 is a fair price for the XO-1.5. Check what $300 gets you in other netbooks.
The only reason to go any higher is because is so rare, but then again is not the original XO.

Also the fact that the final bid was (automatically) placed just 5 secs before the end of the auction did not help the price to go up either.

Ah so that is what you meant by a "professional' buyer. I had an automatic bidding till the auction passed $200.

As a person who has several XO-1's used for teaching my kids lots of stuff... I kind of wonder how the meshing thing works when you add a 1.5 into the mix. It might be faster, but honestly, the XO-1 works great for my kids & me to do our thing. That is why I have no burning desire to pursue getting a XO-1.5 (I know… I know… probably sacrilege to some of your readers.) To pay that type of money (> $300) would mean time to look at a netbook. And to this day when I show other families all the things our little XO’s do, it still has the “wow” factor, even 3 years later from our G1G1 acquisitions.

I think someone should emphasize that the talk of OLPC costing only $219 including deployment is clear fantasy.

Having been through one procurement, let me give you the breakdown.

OLPC charges $229 upwards for anything it ships below 100,000 units and the price keeps going up.

It blocks the money for 4 to5 months and interest on that will be more like $15 for those who want to buy an OLPC.

Duties etc per unit are about $70
Door to door or DDP shipping costs average $20 per unit+
The cost of visits etc or as a business would call it cost of sales is seldom less than $30 for an order of 1000 and may be less for larger orders and a lot more for smaller orders.
Just the LC costs about $10 if the buyer does not take care of it
Maintenance is an issue and its reasonable be take 10% towards that as all businesses do do.

Training has to be provided and it costs upwards of $10 per child on an average

Add it all up and you end up with a very different number. Add to that the cost of servers, installation, solar chargers etc and you are looking at another $50 per unit for an average installation.

That is pretty close to the estimates in Australia that came to $490+

So I would say that it will be safer to advise the buyers the cost as $229+ taxes+ shipping+ LC costs+++ and it will be $410 landed + solar chargers etc

So AT NO PROFIT, OLPC laptops cost over $410 in another country even though the manufacturers produce it for $200 and OLPC charges the overheads that are reasonable compared to market.

Please publish this for the benefit of everyone and may be it will be good to have a discussion around it

How are any of these costs unique to the OLPC?

Communities are resourceful and when they work together many of these costs can be eliminated or reduced. Duties can the waived by the Government when they are importing goods. The shipment can be piggy backed with other shipments reducing cost.

The total cost of ownership for a deployment in another country is indeed upwards of $400, depending on available infrastructure, training level, duty level, replacement level etc.
However, I couldn't see anything in your numbers to argue that $300 for an XO “as is” in the open US market, is not a fair price for a non-profit or for-profit organization.
Is that what you are saying?

Very few people know what an XO-1 is and what you can do with it and even fewer people know what an XO-1.5 is. There are no comparable reviews on popular laptop websites for either and no one can quite compare a laptop that can only run linux. My xo-1.5 is just like the xo-1 in terms of durability and of course is a bit faster. For the expected price, I can easily snag a netbook ala EEEpc for the same money (new or used) and get something more universally useful. So, not sure why someone would get one unless they knew exactly what is was. The 300 USD price range seem reasonable for such an unusual item.

I'd have bid that higher all right if I'd known it was available!