The nonprofit One Laptop Per Child is launching an advertising campaign that seeks to sharply increase their penetration, reports the NY Times. Television time, billboard space and magazine pages are being donated by media companies, including the News Corporation, CBS and Time Warner.
About 500,000 OLPC laptops are being used in 31 countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Lebanon, Peru, Rwanda and Uruguay. But the cost of the laptops, at less than $200 each, has been prohibitively high for many countries, and the number of laptops distributed has fallen short of early projections.
An additional 500,000 of these XO laptops are in transit or being built, and should be in use by early next year, said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the education and computing project. Last year’s GIGO promotion ended up placing more than 185,000 laptops in developing countries, and according to reports, doing $2 million worth of transactions a day.
The goal, says Negroponte, is to greatly increasing the donation program, “Give a Laptop. Get a Laptop. Change the World.” For $399, a person can donate an XO laptop and also receive one. Or donors can simply donate $199, to give a child a laptop, at www.amazon.com/xo.
The advertising time is donated, and the spots are expected to start conversations. One spot is an uplifting vision of a 7-year-old girl in a South African township, sitting in a dark room, her face lighted only by the laptop’s glow. “With education, we will solve our own problems,” she says.
The XO laptop has a 7.5″ convertible screen, a 433 MHz processor, 256 MB DRAM, 1 GB flash memory, 802.11b/g/s, SD slot, and a built-in webcam and microphone. The operating system is the much-lauded GNU/Linux-based OS called Sugar.
The XO helped give birth to the netbook category, says Wired. When manufacturers such as Asus saw that there was consumer interest in inexpensive, ultraportable laptops, they ran with the idea. The result has been a phenomenal success.
The low-cost PC market (including notebooks and desktops) is expected to reach annual shipment totals of 10 million units in 2008, according to Jerry Shen, president of Asustek (right).
The CPUs adopted by these 10 million units includes Intel’s Atom and Celeron M, and VIA Technologies’ C7-M. The Atom will account for seven million units, while the other three million will be shared by Celeron M and C7-M processors, noted Shen.
- Europe: 2.7 million sales.
- US, CN, AU, HK, JP: 1.9 million sales.
- CN, TW, SN, ID: 0.57 millions sales.
- Rest of the world (3.9 billion people): 0.15 millions sales.
Asus has unveiled its latest smartphone, which, it claimed, is the “fastest business PDA phone in the world”. The Asus P565 has an 800MHz Marvell processor with a USB port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and an integrated SiRFStar GPS chip. A launch date or price for the Asus P565 hasn’t been stated yet.