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Up to 10 million units by the end of the year says Quanta

This week the OLPC group announced that it has finally sealed a confirmed order of one million units of the XO laptop. Originally, the group announced that Nigeria was the first to place an order for one million units, but later revealed that Nigeria was only considering and did not confirm the order. Later on, Libya announced its confirmed order of 1.2 million units but did not indicate whether or not it would purchase all of the units at once or in batches.

The confirmed order this week for the XO machines is a combined order made from several countries: Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Thailand and Uruguay. The main manufacturer for the XO units will be Quanta, which confirmed to reporters this week the mass production of the laptops. Quanta indicated that the laptops will cost each country roughly $130 USD but will drop down to $100 with further production.

According to Quanta, there is a potential to ship up to 10 million XO units in 2007. A total of seven countries have signed up to purchase the units. Interestingly, Quanta indicated that its margin on the laptops were very low, to keep the nonprofit goals of the OLPC project. "OLPC is a nonprofit organization, but Quanta is a contract manufacturer, a for-profit business. We can't not charge a fee for making the laptops," indicated a Quanta representative.

Some analysts expect that the price for the XO machines will drop sooner than expected because of competition. Intel announced its Classmate PC late last year along with the Encore Mobilis tablet. Intel is currently testing its Classmate PC in Brazil.




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