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Monday, May 14, 2007

What is OLPS worth?

In recent post of mine I wrote about misconception many are having about the OLPC. To my great surprise, I've read ZDNet' Dana Blankenhorn post about the worth of the device.

While previously I always was in disagreement with Dana's opinions, I do agree with this one for a change.

He's arguing in his post, that "One Laptop Per Child is worthwhile at any price". And that is exactly the conclusion I wanted people to get towards after reading my post. The point being is that it doesn't matter what exact price tag the device have - if it is comparable to few years worth of schoolbooks, it is worth every penny.

Using this device would replace the use of printed books and as such, it should be compared to the same thing. If providing a student with books for 5 years cost $100, then the price of the device is well suited, as the use of OLPC is much more benefiting for education, as it can be used for much more than just reading books.

I know that the device costs around $170 today, but

  1. Different payment systems can be employed to draw that down (for example by offering them in "wealthy" countries for a price of two)
  2. As production grows the production costs are going down, so after some production cycles I expect them to cost around that Benjamin mark.
In a nutshell: worth every penny.

-A.

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