The $100 laptop

Who wouldn’t want a $100 laptop? Most of the world’s poor, at least for now.

As usual, Russell Southwood at Balancing Act gets it right:

Try going to the informal settlements of most major African cities and explain to potential customers why they might want a cheap PDA or indeed a cheap laptop. Negroponte is giving them away because he knows what an unbearably difficult task it would be to have to actually sell the things to people who might actually want them and have the money to buy them.

Somehow I don’t think Negroponte’s plan is going to work any better than Simputer.

But take a look at Ndiyo.  (The BBC reported it in April.)  That looks to me as if it might be a real success.

More from World Changing and Ethan Zuckerman



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