Print 16 comment(s) - last by murphyslabrat.. on Nov 7 at 4:47 PM

Intel's Classmate and the OLPC XO notebook fight it out in the market place despite partnership

When the One Laptop per Child Foundation first proposed the $100 laptop aimed at developing nations, it wasn’t long before Intel came along with its own super low cost laptop aimed at the same demographic called the Classmate PC.

For a while, the OLPC XO laptop and the Classmate from Intel were bitter rivals. That rivalry ended when the OLPC allowed Intel to sit on its board of directors and Intel invested cash into the project. What seems strange is that while Intel and the OLPC Foundation are now partners to some extent, the XO and Classmate laptops still fight it out in the marketplace.

BBC News reported recently that Uruguay purchased 100,000 XO Laptops and optioned an additional 300,000 XO laptops.  Many wondered if the production delays for the XO laptop would make it possible for the OLPC Foundation to fill the 100,000 XO order for Uruguay.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that Libya had purchased 150,000 of Intel’s Classmate notebooks powered by Microsoft Windows. Just a few weeks ago Libya had agreed to buy one million XO Laptops for the OLPC Foundation meaning in the closing hours of the XO deal Intel managed to steal the show.

Intel declined to comment on the price of the Classmate notebooks purchased by Libya, but did say it had not subsidized the cost of the machines. The Classmate notebook was first said to be priced at $250.

Reuters also reported that Libya has agreed to purchase the Classmate notebook rather than the XO laptop.

It remains to be seen if the new ASUS Eee PC notebook can also compete in this worldwide market for ultra-low cost notebook computers. ASUS promised versions of the Eee PC at $199 retail, even though the first units to hit the market here in the U.S. are priced at a much higher $399.

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RE: Hmm
By Ringold on 11/1/2007 8:34:52 PM , Rating: 3
These arent for spoiled Western brats whose mommies can afford an XPS Gaming Notebook or, if the 16 year old stud really wants to get laid, a Macbook Pro.

These kids in the developed world are lucky if they have clean water, avoided intestinal worms or any other myriad conditions easily treated by about a buck's worth of medicine, or speaking of disease, it's no small feat to have survived past infancy at all.

In the case of Libya, apparently you're lucky if you've got a father smart enough to not dare voice an opinion.

Uruguay is in better shape, perhaps they're rich enough there to give a big hoot about style. Not to say they won't neglect the hell out of these things possibly as much as developed world kids would, I'm not that naive, humans are humans.. but just saying I don't reckon it'll be because it doesn't match their Levi Strauss jeans.

But no, I wouldn't tote around one of these things either. :P

An Eee PC, yes.

RE: Hmm
By murphyslabrat on 11/1/2007 9:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if these were marketed in the US, there would probably be more professional looking models. Imagine it with simpler lines, and a two-tone of some combination of gray, black, and white.

While not superior to the EEE PC in terms of performance, it would be powerful enough to browse the web and play PowerPoint presentations. Furthermore, the swiveling screen would make it ideal for one-on-one presentations, such as those done by B2B sales reps.

RE: Hmm
By Ringold on 11/1/2007 11:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree with none of that, but will point out they're intended for the developing world, not fashion-oriented America. That was a key assumption in my head while making that post, that it was for the "transitional economies" out there rather than our own. Isn't it a fairly recent development that they'll be available here at all?

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