The Associated Press reports that One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) -- the nonprofit organization that has tried to produce a $100 laptop for children in the world's poorest places is throwing in the towel on that idea -- and jumping on the tablet bandwagon instead.
OLPC's next computer will be based on chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd's Moby tablet design, which costs about $99. OLPC has repeatedly scaled back expectations for how many XO laptops it could produce, and it didn't get the price much below $200, twice the price specified by the device's "$100 laptop" nickname.
In 2005, founder Nicholas Negroponte envisioned having built 100 million laptops in about two years. Today, only 2 million of the machines are in use. The XO was more expensive to produce than a tablet because of many moving parts and features meant to withstand the glaring sun, blowing sand and spotty access to electricity. In some cases, OLPC had to change the XO's design by region to customize the keyboard for students in countries that don't use a Latin alphabet. It would be less expensive to change the software behind touch-screen keyboards.