3.1.1 The low-cost computing device

Although one of the goals of the one-to-one computing movement was a USD 100 laptop, this has yet to be achieved on a widespread basis, although some tablet devices have (or are expected to have) costs below the USD 100 threshold. LCCD costs vary depending on brand, configuration and the number purchased. The unit prices of various LCCDs are shown in the table below. This assumes purchase of a single unit with default configuration and does not reflect volume discounts.

Table 3-1: Unit Price of Various LCCDs

Type of LCCD

Price (USD)

Remark

OLPC xo-1

199.99

Price for donating a new OLPC to a child in a developing country. 90

Classmate PC (convertible)

429.00

Manufacturer’s retail price for the following model: CTL 2go Classmate PC E12 Value Netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom Dual Core Processor, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, Windows 7)

ASUS Eee PC

211.68

Price on Google Product Search for following model: 10" X101CH Eee PC

Studybook

579.00

Manufacturer’s retail price for CTL 2go Studybook L7

I-Slate

45

Estimated price as per I-Slate creator Krishna Palem, assuming sufficient volume is reached.

Aakash/Ubislate

35/65

Aakash is subsidized by the Indian government, while the essentially identical Ubislate is a commercial product.

Amazon Kindle

69

Price for 6” Kindle with e-ink display and Wi-Fi connectivity.

iPod Touch

299

Price for 5th-generation iPod Touch as of Oct. 2012

Note: The list excludes upcoming devices without firm pricing information.

Furthermore, because many LCCD projects are still pilots using donated equipment, it is difficult to get a firm figure about the price of LCCDs. At the same time, large-scale implementations have typically involved many other cost elements, also making it difficult to isolate just the LCCD cost.

Another perspective on the costs of the LCCDs is to look at project costs in various implementations around the world. One difficulty is that they typically include other items besides just the device itself. However, the resulting price per LCCD is still cheaper than average per unit prices and thus provides an insight into the impact of volume discounts.

Table 3-2: Cost of LCCD Programs in Various Countries

Country

Date

# of LCCDs

Total (USD million)

Price per LCCD (USD)

Note

Brazil

Dec-08

150,000 (Mobilis)

35.2

235

Including delivery to schools, taxes, 12-month guarantee, maintenance and equipment configuration.

Haiti

Feb-08

13,700 (XO)

5.1

372

Including training, electricity, content development and networking. LCCDs valued at USD 146.

Kenya

Jun-11

65 (Kindle)

0.019

Included 3G-capable e-readers

Malaysia

Jun-09

93,000 91 (Intel)

9.9 per year

Budget includes hardware as well as software and training

Russia

Sep-08

1,000,000 (Eee)

200

200

Information is not available about what this amount covers.

Thailand

Jul-12

900,000

59 92

81

7-inch Android tablet from a Chinese supplier

Uruguay

Oct-07

100,000 (XO)

19.9

199

Including servers, guarantee, delivery to Montevideo and network-ready

In addition, cost information is not made public in some cases. For example, Colombia’s Ministry of Education in October 2007 launched a pilot project to evaluate one-to-one computing models in school settings. 93 The project began with a donation of 300 Intel Classmate PCs, but will expand to include 1,500 computers. No project cost information has been released to date, and the description of a “donation” of computers from Intel indicates that per-unit cost information is likely to be unavailable.

LCCD pricing information is also sometimes speculative as projects move from concept to production and deployment. As noted, India’s government has driven the development of the Aakash tablet, intended for educational use, with a target of distributing approximately 230 million devices to urban university students. The development process has been delayed, but the government still expects to provide the devices at a subsidized cost of approximately USD 35 per unit. Also in India, the consortium behind the I-Slate announced an agreement to provide 50,000 devices to middle school and high school classrooms in one district over the next three years. The consortium expects the price to be approximately USD 45; however, such pricing is contingent upon reaching target production volumes.

91 As of 2012.

92 Amount available from 2012 government budget, reported as enough to cover the cost of the first 750,000 tablets.

93 Ministerio de Educación Nacional, “Ministerio de Educación recibe donación de computadores Classmate PC de Intel,” (October 23, 2007), available at http://www.mineducacion.gov.co/cvn/1665/article-136688.html.

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