The one hundred dollar computer? Too expensive…

Sunday, July 25th, 2010 by Roberto Saracco
A Tablet for 35$.

A Tablet for 35$.

Of course you remember the Nicholas Negroponte initiative to create a 100 $ computer that could be used by kids in developing country. The idea has grown into a product (actually in two since there is now a new generation of it) but the price is still slightly above the target.
Now the Indian Institute of Technology has announced a prototype of a tablet whose target price is 35$. This is part of a global design annouced in New Delhi by the Ministry of Education to give every student in the 22,000 colleges in India a computer as the new tool to improve education and decrease cost. The Ministry will provide broadband connectivity to all these schools. The first step is to provide university students with a computer.
The tablet demonstrated runs on solar power, has a Linux operating systems, internet connectivity and video conferencing capabilities.

The present cost is around 35$ and the Government will subsidize 50% of that cost to reduce the cost for the students. Eventually, this is the hope, the price should go down to 10$.
I don’t know if this price tag will be reached within the next few years but the fact that the target now is no longer 100$ but 35$ is telling me that it should not be beyond the realm of possibilities.
What is even more interesting to me is the fact that screen interfaces will become a common presence in any ambient and that will dramatically change our perception of the way we can interact with the world.
It also means, it asks for, we will have plenty of bandwidth, pervasive and basically an integral part of the ambient, of any ambient. THis is both an opportunity and a problem for Telecom Infrastructures Providers. Demand is going to be there. Will this demand be matched by an equivalent willngness to pay for it?


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