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Well, I think you have to retail laptops at $200 or variate prices depending the country, because in many countries like mine (Argentina) there is a big money inflation (here 1 USD is 3 pesos -local money-). And 300 USD are 900 pesos! And 900 pesos is a complete argentinian salary! And with $300 pesos more we can get a new PC! And buying the b1 is not a good deal.

Inflation and exchange rates are two different things. I would say that what you are talking about is purchasing power or more interestingly Purchasing power parity (PPP). BTW, I agree that USD 100, 200 or 300 can be very steep in OLPC Argentina and in most of the developing world or target population of this project...--Xavi 19:19, 7 December 2006 (EST)

For you $300 USD is a very cheap price for a laptop, but not for us.

If you sell the b1 at $200 USD, the person who buys his one is buying another to a child. Also, the b1 at $600 pesos will be at half price of a normal PC. And in many countries like mine, it will be a good idea.

Outside of Buenos Aires and other major cities, salary can be much less, even lower than 300 pesos or 100 USD per month. --ElfQrin 10:16, 5 January 2007 (EST)

Software development

A further benefit of the retail version, would be that a wider spreading of the OLPC laptop, especially in developed countries, would encourage schools, organizations, and especially individuals (alone or as a team) to develop more software dedicated to it, possibly starting from existing open source projects. --ElfQrin 10:16, 5 January 2007 (EST)

Grey market

Given that the aim of the OLPC organization is to not immediately address offering the laptops at retail, I'll note that many of the grey market laptops may actually be, not stolen, but rather SOLD by an impoverished child (or his/her family). Given that there is a demand in industrialized nations, but no legitimate supply, this will artificially inflate the monetary value of these laptops.

If the goal of the OLPC initiative is for each child to **retain** his/her laptop, then the economic incentive for selling them for food money must be addressed. By flooding the market in industrialized nations, the grey market value of these units will plummet.


Correct. I think the current marketing plan is guaranteed to create grey market demand. Right now there's no legal way for people in Europe or Japan to get one. Flooding the market in could generate sales to subsidize grants to non-developed countries.

As a parent, I would be hesitant to have my child openly carrying an object that is worth at least a year's salary.


Why this laptop?

What would this laptop add in review with a normal laptop? Why would someone want to buy a 100 dollar laptop for let's say 250 dollar, with limited options and an operating system that isn't very familiar to most computer users?

Well, how about completely open source drivers? Designed to be used by children (right now using my laptop around my year old son is a real pain because the 1000 dollar laptop that I have is not at all designed for being poked and prodded or rapid drops so using it is an exercise in repeatedly saying no.). Thin client. Most of my use of my laptop is basically as a web browser, a music player and as a chat client. Every use is at least partially supported by this laptop out of the box. It has better specs than my first three computers (and if I could find a 8GB SD card it would beat the fourth as well). It matches what I need for 95% percent of the time that I use a computer better than anything I have seen that costs under $1000. For most of the rest of the time a ssh connection to another computer would suffice. I find those reasons highly compelling.
Kids throw things, pee on things, hit things with socket wrenches, poke things with metal-tipped mechanical pencils, take things into the bathtub, leave things outside on a neighbor's lawn...
I would just like to agree with this. A laptop that could be used in long carrides to do school would be very usefull to me (it is a 3+ hour drive to most of my extended family and my family takes long multiple day car trips every summer). A rechargeable battery with really long life would be very nice for this. Plus it would be really cool to be able to work on school, access the internet, listen to music, and possibly chat with anyone else that has on of these (or anyone that has a chat client depending on how that works) anywhere in my house/yard/state/country/etc. I will definately be buying one of these when Quanta releases them.

suggested changes

Make all upgrades that can be done with essentially zero redesign. That probably means RAM and flash only. Being more picky about dead pixels might also be a good idea. The result is far more desirable than a greymarket laptop, not even counting the used/new factor and the shipping costs. It still has the same size, same battery life, same durability, same software, same look, etc. AlbertCahalan 20:31, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Why not?

Why not make 5000 of these olpc laptops available on ebay or somewhere? See what happens with them. There's been a lot of positive press, so there will be a cool factor associated with the laptop. I think a lot of people would pay a few hundred dollars just to play around. Wouldn't it be easier to test it and see what happens than it is to explain why people can't buy one/ why they should'nt buy one if they see it available on ebay? I agree you may want to make them a little different to distinguish them from one's you give away, to help discourage people trading in these free laptops.

Color coded laptops

I was thinking about the grey market issue - selling laptops from participating countries to non participating ones. How about selling the laptops, maybe for a higher price, in non participating countries, but with a different color scheme - so the 'true' olpc has maybe green 'ears', while a commercial one has red ones. This would mean that grey market laptops could be very easily spotted - if I see a green one in Ireland, I will know its a grey market laptop, and can aks the owner about its origin, how they made sure it was not stolen etc. etc. So - please do colorcoding!