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OLPC XO laptop price rises again from $175 to $188 and some countries pay even more

When we first heard of the One Laptop per Child Foundation, they promised a $100 laptop for disadvantaged children. The price has already gone up to $175 per laptop, significantly up from the original $100 target. The nonprofit group is now upping the price on the $100 laptop again, this time bringing it up to $188.

An announcement that prices would vary by country was also made. The cost per laptop in Uruguay will be $205 due to a partnership with Brighstar Uruguay SA, according to Engadget. OLPC News says the cost of the laptop includes more than merely the components used in the machines.

There are costs to be considered for training of staff and integrating the computers into the curriculum. Hardware maintenance has to be a strong consideration since many of these laptops will be deployed in developing nations.

Software maintenance also has to be considered as holes in security could lead to a huge amount of compromised systems. The final consideration is the cost of internet access for the machines. When all of these factors are considered, the invoice for each laptop over five years comes to $972.

George Snell, One Laptop per Child Foundation spokesman, told Reuters, “We are testing it [the XO laptop]. We are making sure all the software works." 

"We are making all the corrections on it that need to be made before the product comes out," Snell said. He went on to say, “We are not disclosing any orders until we have a final computer, we are in talks with dozens of countries."

Production of the XO laptops is set to begin in October and retail versions could make it to store shelves at higher prices.

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Not exactly
By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 9:18:45 PM , Rating: 2
It's not so much that the laptop got more expensive, it's mainly that the dollar has hit a record low, so anything priced in dollars appears to have become more expensive. But since the laptop isn't aimed primarily at the USA, the price in dollars is more or less irrelevant.

Compared to the euro, the dollar has lost about 40% of its value since 2000, so a $188 laptop today is "just" a $113 laptop at 2000 exchange rates. Still not on target, but not terribly far.

Of course, any country whose currency is pegged to the dollar will also suffer, but I don't think any of the other countries involved in the project is in that situation (the yuan has a de facto dollar peg but AFAIK China didn't order any XO laptops; they have their own Longmeng "100 €" project).

RE: Not exactly
By borowki on 9/17/2007 9:22:07 PM , Rating: 4
In Zimbabwe they call it the $1000000000 laptop.

RE: Not exactly
By borowki on 9/17/2007 9:23:48 PM , Rating: 5
Now it's the $1008400000 laptop.

RE: Not exactly
By jskirwin on 9/18/2007 9:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
Now it's the $1008400000 laptop.

Now President-for-life Robert Mugabe has confiscated this laptop in the Name of the People, and given it to one of his cronies - so it's now the "People's Laptop."

Unfortunately like the rest of Comrade Bob's confiscations, it now no longer works.

By FS on 9/17/2007 8:41:49 PM , Rating: 3
why is it still called a "$100 Laptop"

RE: Wondering
By Justin Case on 9/17/2007 8:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's not. The project is called "OLPC" (One Laptop Per Child) and the laptop is called "XO".

$100 was simply the target price for the mass-production stage, but that value was proposed back when $100 was equivalent to 120 €. Nowadays $100 is 72 €.

If the dollar continues to devalue at this rate, you could end up with a $200 laptop that is actually cheaper (for the rest of the world) than the original goal. :)

RE: Wondering
By TomZ on 9/17/2007 9:34:38 PM , Rating: 3
The value of the Euro is irrelevant. The OLPC is designed by an American company and manufactured in China and being sold to non-EU countries.

The real reason it is not $100 is that the original cost target was unrealistic. Isn't that obvious?

RE: Wondering
By Pandamonium on 9/17/2007 9:59:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's not entirely correct. The value of the Euro is relevant. The biggest variable should be the strength of the USD. Since this USD has weakened, all other currencies are relatively stronger.

RE: Wondering
By Gul Westfale on 9/18/2007 1:09:16 AM , Rating: 1
correct. it is the US dollar that is weaker, and not th eeuro that has become stronger. the canadian and US dollar are now almost at a 1 to 1 ratio, just two years ago a canadian dollar was worth only 75 cents. thus you do have to pay more for components, and you do have to charge more (in relative terms) when you sell the thing.

this is also one of the reasons why mercedes is still thinking about bringing the small B-class to teh US- in euros it doesn't cost that much but in the newly devalued US dollar it would be very expensive and thus nobody would buy it. here in canada they do sell the B-class for 30k canadian, two years ago that would have been about 23k US, but now it's closer to 29k.

Not new news.
By RjBass on 9/17/2007 11:10:39 PM , Rating: 3
I saw this report on CNN last week.

By Roy2001 on 9/18/2007 12:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
They just propose the simplest/lowest-end hardware component price right out of the factories in China.

But if you consider the software development, maintainance, hardware support, warranty, repair, distribution cost, no need to mention internet fee, cost would be much higher.

Volunteers would reduce the cost, but government or non-profit org are never as efficient as private companies.

OLPC will die soon. I mean we will never see a XO laptop with true cost around $100.

I wondered how
By Dfere on 9/18/2007 1:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
The distribution channel was going to be afforded on a $100 OLPC. It seems my suspicions were correct- just my conclusion was a little off. It isn't non-profits making a bigger business out of this- manufacturers are just pushing price increases down to the end user, as usual. I wonder if this could still happen though.

2 * $188 for American buyers
By SunAngel on 9/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: 2 * $188 for American buyers
By B on 9/18/2007 3:00:15 PM , Rating: 1
Take a minute to compose your thoughts. I cannot follow or understand what you wish to express.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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