Starting November 12, the OLPC initiative will allow U.S. buyers to purchase two XO laptopsâ€”one that will be sent to a child in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to the buyer. The price will be $399.
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 laptopsâ€”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.
It’s a clever gimmick, getting people to pay double for the laptop to underwrite distribution to developing nations. But people who are enthusiastic about the computer itself may not like being coerced into charity in order to buy a unit. I think a better strategy would be to have a more modest 30 or 40 percent markup over cost for sales in wealthier nations to help subsidize the cost of the units for developing countries. A $250 price point would be very successful here in the U.S., and create a per-unit profit margin that could greatly reduce the effective cost to poor countries.