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The $100 Laptop Becomes $188

The $100 Laptop Becomes $188The much-vaunted, much-discussed One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) non-profit has an admirable goal – to make computers and the Internet available to children incountries where working online is virtually unheard of.   But that goal, which the charity has described as long-term, seems to be slipping away. MIT, which isbehind the project, admitted that if mass production were to begin now, the cost would be $188 per laptop. The last price announced had been $176. The increase is blamed on currency fluctuations andrising costs of such components as nickel and silicon. The commitment is to keep the price below $190.   The big problem is that, as the $100 target slips further away, it could become harder tosign up international governments as customers.   "Where does it end? It started out at $130, then it was $148, then it was $176, now it’s $188 — what’s next? $200?" said Wayan Vota,editor of the OLPCNews blog. "You have these governments who were looking at this original, fanciful $100-per-child figure, now we’re going up towards or maybe past $200."   OLPC saysit has commitments for three million of its XO computers, which use an open source interface, a sunlight-readable display, a cord for hand recharging and built-in wireless networking.