Yesterday I worked on a story about how Miami firm Brightstar got an exclusive contract to be the distributor for the One Laptop per Child project, which ships out the "$100" XO laptop to children in developing countries. It's not really $100 -- it's actually $188, but the non-profit organization hopes that it will eventually go down to $100 once the laptop goes into mass production.
The only way folks in America and Canada can get one is to buy two for $399 -- one for themselves and one to be donated to a child in a poor country. And there's only two weeks in November that you can order them.
After the story ran online I received many e-mails throughout the day from local parents looking to get a $100 computer for their child. I even got an e-mail about this from the office of Dr. Marta Perez, Miami-Dade County School Board member for District 8. At a recent board meeting she proposed that the school board and superintendent explore the possibility of working with One Laptop per Child to give every student a laptop.
But after talking with the organization, it seems that there is no intention of working with economically thriving countries like the U.S. The first goal of the project is to work with children in poor countries, but it doesn't mean that getting cheap computers in the U.S. won't ever happen. It's still a possibility down the road.
But for now, it seems that it's laptop aficionados are the ones that are going to be buying this first, since it's really not "cheap" at $400. And if you have someone who would like this, the organization says it could be delivered in time for Christmas if you buy it early. You can read more in today's story here.