updated 04:15 pm EDT, Fri May 4, 2007
India aims for $10 laptop
As the cost of the OLPC laptop rises, the Indian government has expressed dissatisfaction with even the original $100 price point, writes the Times of India. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) is aiming for a $10 computer, which would be far more practical in a country with millions in poverty. Two designs are currently under consideration: one from a final-year engineering student, and another from a researcher at the Indian Institute of Science. The public-sector company Semiconductor Complex has also shown some interest.
In both of the submitted designs, according to Times sources, all components would be located on a single circuitboard. This would not only keep prices down, but could (in theory) make it easier to find and repair problems. Cost remains an issue, however, as the current estimated price of a laptop is $47. The HRD hopes to push this down with mass production, shipping at least one million computers.
Industry and academic representatives will meet in Bangalore later this month to further evaluate designs and encourage more proposals. In any case, one anonymous official believes it will be two years before a laptop enters production. "We do not want to rush into it," he says. "Many issues remain to be resolved like royalty to the designer after the design is patented. Prototyping would also take time. We would even conduct destructive testing and create a proper maintenance network."