One Laptop Per Child launches XO tablet via Walmart

Summary:A deal with Walmart gives OLPC a shot at bring educational technology to the poor in the U.S. and potentially more scale for emerging markets.

One Laptop Per Child, a non-profit that aims to bring computing to the developing world, has launched its XO Learning Tablet through Walmart.

Huh?

The OLPC project, hatched out of MIT, helped kick start the cheap laptop movement. The OLPC's idea revolved around bringing inexpensive devices to emerging markets to bolster education. Since the OLPC hatched, Intel and other tech vendors have stepped up to offer inexpensive educational devices.

Like other tech players, however, OLPC was caught off guard by the post PC shift. Enter the XO tablet.

Walmart isn't exactly known for reaching emerging markets, but OLPC will get serious distribution. If OLPC can move enough XO tablets it will have the scale and resources to distribute more in places like India and Africa.

The other thread to consider with OLPC-Walmart is that there are a lot of poor folks in the U.S. who need technology.

What's unclear is whether the XO tablet, which will go for $149 with deliveries starting in August, will garner an audience. After all, Android tablets go for about the same price. There are also Chromebooks and Rasberry Pi that serve as cheap and functional devices. But if OLPC wants to get traction and distribution, Walmart is a logical partner.

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Topics: Tablets, Education

About

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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