OLPC to offer two-packs to jump start sales

Summary:The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is looking to buy one, give one promotion to boost adoption rates and bring its XO laptop to the U.S.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is looking to buy one, give one promotion to boost adoption rates and bring its XO laptop to the U.S.

According to the OLPC site, a "Give 1 Get 1" program will kick off on Nov. 12. Under this arrangement, you can buy two XO laptops for $399. One laptop will go to a developing nation and the other will be sent to you (Techmeme has more). OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte described the deal:

Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home. If you're interested in Give 1 Get 1, we'll be happy to send you a reminder email. Just sign up in the box to the left and you'll receive your reminder prior to the November 12 launch date.

The move will effectively bring XO laptops to the U.S. and create a way to finance the OLPC effort abroad. And that financing will be necessary considering the cost of the XO laptop is double the original $100 target. The Wall Street Journal has been briefed on the Nov. 12 promotion.

A few observations:

  • The OLPC effort (all resources) has tread lightly when it comes to the U.S. market. But this "buy one, give one" concept could quickly gain momentum. For what is a relatively small sum, a U.S. consumer can get a tax deduction and an inexpensive laptop.
  • Linux could get some early converts. If the OLPC lives up to its advance billing many folks will get exposed to Linux, the OLPC operating system of choice, at an early age.
  • The buy one, give one promotion could get production levels up quickly. That ramp will be necessary to lower costs. Another thread to ponder: Is the OLPC ready to ramp up production quickly.
  • I suspect the XO will garner a sales pop. If people are going to go bonkers over a $150 laptop from an unproven company the OLPC is likely to find some demand. The XO looks better and should in theory get to your doorstep.

Topics: Laptops


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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