/>
X

OLPC America

PC World reported this weekend that OLPC will finally be offering its laptops in the States through "OLPC America." Negroponte explained that"For one thing, we are doing something patriotic, if you will, after all we are and there are poor children in America.
christopher-dawson.jpg
Written by Christopher Dawson on

PC World reported this weekend that OLPC will finally be offering its laptops in the States through "OLPC America." Negroponte explained that

"For one thing, we are doing something patriotic, if you will, after all we are and there are poor children in America."

OLPC America will be a unit of OLPC and already has a chairman and director, based in Washington, D.C. OLPC originally did not include the States in its target markets because of the perceived differences in need and resources. However, as foreign sales have failed to materialize and vast numbers of XOs must be produced to reach the necessary economies of scale to bring down prices, the US looks more attractive. It has long been my opinion that the Digital Divide exists in America (and many developed countries) just as it does abroad; the heterogeneity of the United States and broad discrepancies between upper, middle, and lower socioeconomic classes in inner cities and rural areas means millions of kids here who could benefit from these devices.

While OLPC America intends to work through state governments to supply laptops to kids, I wonder if a more free-market approach might not be a better choice in the long run. As a district, we solicit bids from vendors for various technology purchases. If we approach Dell, HP, and Lenovo with an RFP or requirements leading to a bid, we can make informed choices and the competitive bid process usually puts the consumer on top. I'd be a very happy guy if I could solicit a bid from OLPC America, Asus, and whatever OEM picked up the Classmate design spec for American distribution for my pending middle school tech refresh. I'm not sure I'd be as happy if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts said, "Here, Mr. Dawson...We have arranged to deploy 600 XOs in your school." Not that I would look a gift horse in the mouth, but competition is our friend in this industry.

Regardless of the distribution model, though, 1:1 computing paradigms must be relatively inexpensive and sustainable to make sense and resonate with taxpayers. Devices like the XO can help meet those criteria. The next question will be when will Intel and other emerging competitors make a similar move to compete in developed, as well as developing markets?

Related

Why you should really stop charging your phone overnight
iphone-charging.jpg

Why you should really stop charging your phone overnight

iPhone
I loved driving the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, and there's only one reason I can't buy one
img-1724

I loved driving the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, and there's only one reason I can't buy one

Electric Vehicles
Samsung phone deal: Get the Galaxy S22 Ultra for $299
1296x729-29

Samsung phone deal: Get the Galaxy S22 Ultra for $299

Smartphones