updated 04:15 pm EST, Wed January 10, 2007
OLPC Notebook for Public
The One Laptop Per Child system may well be sold to individual members of the public, according to OLPC project heads speaking with BBC News. While the $150 system (now named XO) is intended primarily for large-scale educational use in developing countries, the MIT-based organization says it hopes to sell the computer to customers in wealthier areas, including North America. The plan will likely involve a charitable contribution plan that would ensure children in developing areas are cared for with each purchase.
"Many commercial schemes have been considered," says chairman Nicholas Negroponte. "One of which is 'buy 2 [laptops] and get 1.'"
Such a plan would give the buyer an e-mail address for a child who receives the second computer, effectively transforming the XO purchase into a sponsorship program. Individual sales are likely to begin in 2008 but will take a secondary priority in relation to bulk government orders.