March 7, 2007
Low-cost Laptop Competition Good for the IT Industry
Respected tech writer Michael Kanellos offers up this week’s nugget with his discussion of which approach to emerging-market computing will prevail – Intel’s full-service Classmate PC, or One Laptop Per Child’s less-expensive XO machine.
Kanellos points out that the battle boils down to the OLPC’s centralized assembly (and the resulting cost savings) and Intel’s partnership with local manufacturers and suppliers to provide support, maintenance and locally-relevant content.
OLPC has clearly succeeded in driving innovation and competition in the IT industry, and four million orders for the XO demonstrate demand and the willingness of governments to spend on IT for education.
As the leaders of each initiative, Nicholas Negroponte at OLPC and Craig Barrett of Intel, define their distinct approach to product and market development, buyers will have clearer choices and the IT industry will learn valuable lessons about how to expand near-term growth markets in developing countries.
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