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OLPC founder, Negroponte, has a few words for Intel on low-cost laptops

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the "One Laptop Per Child" initiative, accused chip maker Intel of undermining the OLPC by selling its own cut-price laptop, the Classmate.  Negroponte claims that Intel is trying to drive him out of the market.

According to BBC, Negroponte said that Intel hurt his mission in trying to distribute laptops to kids in developing countries "enormously".  Intel's chairman, Craig Barrett, has denied all claims of undercutting Negroponte's mission, stating, "We're not trying to drive [him] out of business. We're trying to bring capability to young people."

Though the hardware specifications differ between Intel’s low-cost laptops and Negroponte's, OLPC founder believes that the main problem is that his machines use AMD processors, Intel's main competitor. "Intel and AMD fight viciously," he told CBS. "We're just sort of caught in the middle."

Professor Negroponte also claimed that Intel has distributed marketing literature to governments entailing negative aspects of the One Laptop Per Child and outlining superior aspects of the Classmate.  Some of the literature had titles such as "the shortcomings of the One Laptop per Child approach".  Intel responded by saying that it was just making comparisons between the Classmate PC and the other device in the market.

Countries have until May 31 to place their orders for the first round of PCs.  The launch price will be $175 but the goal is to get them down to $100 each.  Intel is taking orders for the Classmate for over $200 each.

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RE: Economics 101
By osalcido on 5/21/2007 10:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
Note that the article states that Intel may be selling these things at below cost. Why would you sell something at below cost? Perhaps to secure a foothold in the market, and drive out your competitor? I'm betting that Intel has a lot more cash lying around than Negroponte's non profit organization. Furthermore, Intel may be desperate to destroy any market share that AMD can find.

So Negroponte sells these things at a profit big enough to increase manufacturing capacity = good.

Intel sells them at a small loss = bad.

I think I see where you coming from now =)

RE: Economics 101
By spluurfg on 5/22/2007 4:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well, they aren't really selling them for a profit, as it's a non profit organization... I think that as long as they have enough orders they should be able to lower costs.

RE: Economics 101
By osalcido on 5/22/2007 2:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
Um well how will they pay for these future manufacturing capacities that you speak of.. you know the ones that will allow them to drop the price..

RE: Economics 101
By masher2 on 5/22/2007 5:00:33 PM , Rating: 3
> "Well, they aren't really selling them for a profit, as it's a non profit organization"

Nonprofit organizations can and do make profit on goods and services. They simply don't pass those profits on to shareholders. Rather, they use them to pay salaries and/or finance other ventures.

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