$20 laptop in the near future?

From Financial Times:

FT: India To Follow $2,000 Car With $20 Laptop

India is planning to produce a laptop computer for the knockdown price of about $20, having come up with the Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car at about $2,000.

India’s “Sakshat” laptop is intended to boost distance learning to help India fulfil its overwhelming educational needs… However, some analysts are sceptical that a $20 laptop would be commercially sustainable and the project has yet to attract a commercial partner.

A prototype will go on show at a National Mission on Education launch in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, tomorrow… the laptop has 2Gb Ram capacity and wireless connectivity.

R.P. Agrawal, secretary of secondary and higher education, said last week that the cost of the laptop was about $20 a unit, but he expected that to fall. He also said he expected the units to be commercially available in six months.

We will have to wait and see this prototype, but I am also pretty skeptical, especially considering the lack of details at this point. You have to wonder what features it could have for $20.

2 thoughts on “$20 laptop in the near future?”

  1. Ars has a good piece on this. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/02/india-announces-10-laptop-or-maybe-not.ars

    “The pricing is still a major point of confusion. The initial transcripts of the event originally stated that the laptops would sell for $20 each at launch with plans to reduce the cost to $10 within six months after launch. According to the BBC, this was later changed to indicate that the price would be $100 per unit. The government has not yet clarified the pricing or attempted to address the misunderstanding. Some have speculated that government officials are intentionally making misleading statements because they hope to curry favor ahead of India’s general elections, which are only months away.”

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