ten-dollar-billIndian officials plan to show a prototype of a new portable computer next week that is in some ways the country’s answer to the OLPC “$100 laptop”  The idea was to create a computer for students in the developing nation that could be sold for far below the cost of the XO Laptop, which actually costs closer to $200. How much below? Well, according to the folks behind the Indian computer, it currently costs about 1000 rupees or $20 to make, but the hope is that once mass production starts it could hit 500 rupees or $10.

There’s not much information about the $10 computer yet. It’s described as a portable machine, and in some instances I’ve seen it called a laptop. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a light weight box with a CPU and some storage that students can carry from home to school and plug into a monitor. It’s one of the only ways I can imagine the price would be so low. But I guess we’ll find out for sure next week when the prototype is unveiled.

The Indian Government is hoping to work with private firms to manufacturer the device which could be available in six months.

via Slashdot

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10 replies on “Indian government to unveil $10 computer prototype”

  1. The Indians apparently “misspoke”. It’s a $100 laptop and not $10. One might ask what the point is of doing anything like this now , so late in the day. All the Indians need to do to get a $100 laptop is simply wait 12 months. Netbook prices are going to touch that level in volume buys anyway. Maybe that’s their brilliant plan!! I think this is one more in a line of failed low cost computing projects that India feels compelled to advertise every couple of years… Simputer, anyone? It was supposed to the the world’s lowest cost computer, but ended up being a $450 handheld, less functional than a contemporary $200 Palm. It was only produced in extremely small quantities and died without finding its niche.

    1. $100 could build an excellent notebook. while netbooks are curently at the $200 level it would be very easy to take something like palmos and make something like the dana. the main problem is feature creep in that as soon as you announce the spec folks will want a higher specification just so they can run one specific program or other.

  2. I suppose it all depends on what you think of as a computer and what you want to do with it. Something for $10 could be a computer in the same way as a dip in the holy Ganges river COULD be though of as….cleansing. Or if you think that is not ‘PC’ then think of it this way: A $10 device is a computer in the same way McDonalds is an affordable…err meal…of food-like petrochemicals.

    It is all about point of view and expectations.

  3. You might be able to make an abacus for $10. That could be described as a “computer”, right?

    Or maybe they’ll use discarded surplus computer parts from a toxic waste dump in China to build frankencomputers. That can probably be done for $10.

    Or the government will use XO computers and pay for them with Monopoly money (or whatever they got over there) and sell them to government schools for $10 with no thought as to how much they REALLY cost to produce. If the sticker price for a full computer is $10, even though (in the real world) the keyboard alone costs $10, it’s still a “$10 computer” even though somebody took a $190 loss for what costs (in the real world) $200.

  4. A laptop computer for $10?! Whoah! Even though this may sound unbelievable, this will surely hit the market if it’s true. Students are not the only persons who’ll get advantage of this low-priced offer but those who cannot afford to buy high cost laptop brands as well.

  5. Sounds like something that will explode in your face. But that only makes it more it more interesting.

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