OLPC 2B1: The €100 Euro Laptop

Ars Electronica's fish/leek/gun thing

Listening to the podcast of OLPC's President of Software and Content Walter Bender's speech at Ars Electronica's "SIMPLICITY – the art of complexity" symposium, I am struck by his mention of the proposed laptop price.

Almost as an aside, at 2:47 into his talk, he mentions the proposed One Laptop Per Child 2B1 Children's Machine price:

"Of course in year one its probably going to be the €100 euro laptop, not the $100 dollar laptop, but we're working on it."
In the next breath Walter says they are trying to reach the 1 billion kids in the world. Doing the exchange rate and scale calculations, that's a $150 billion spend on just the computers. And yet Water Bender says:
"If we are going reach kids in the developing world, it has to be inexpensive"
I don't know about you, but $150 billion doesn't sound inexpensive to me. Oh and that is just the laptop price, not including shipping, even.

In the question and answer session after the symposium, one of the afternoon's speakers asked a very pointed question about the economic context of One Laptop Per Child's 2B1:

"If its going to be 100 dollars, is this the end cost? What is the cost of production?"
Walter did a marvelous job of dodging the end cost question. He focused on just the cost of the laptops with:
"One Laptop Per Child is a nonprofit association. Our mission is to get laptops to children. We sell laptops at cost, so whatever they cost, they cost."
And then he goes on about other things. What is left unsaid, and what worries me the most, is how much that unsaid amount will be. How much will all the IT infrastructure, the human infrastructure, the distribution even, will cost?

My guess: $1 per every $.50 spent on hardware. What's yours?

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Was $100 USD, now €100 euros, what next? £100 pounds sterling?

The €100 euros laptop was Walter joking about the current build cost for OLPC version 1 and how it exceeds $100.

As I type this 1 Euro = 1.2704 U.S. dollar. So it's a 27% over the target price. Big deal. It will get cheaper as time goes on and the components get cheaper.

Similarly v2 will cost less. And v1 devices are expected to last for a long time (much longer than the disposable hardware in the West).

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