Linked by David Adams on Mon 26th Jul 2010 00:44 UTC, submitted by orfanum
Hardware, Embedded Systems India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal unveiled a touchscreen tablet that he claims they will be able to produce for just $35. The device is being aimed at students, and seems to be taking the One Laptop Per Child idea and running with it. "Despite the price, users will get a touch-screen, a PDF reader and a webcam for video conferencing. There has been no confirmation of its specifications but reports suggest 2GB of memory, Wi-Fi and Ethernet and power consumption at just 2W. Naturally, the device will run Linux."
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Smells Subsidized
by Macrat on Mon 26th Jul 2010 01:39 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

it's not too far-fetched to claim that the hardware could be built for $35.


I think it is very far fetched.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Smells Subsidized
by David on Mon 26th Jul 2010 02:12 UTC in reply to "Smells Subsidized"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I agree with you. There's a big subsidy in the R&D, then another subsidy in the fact that it would presumably be distributed without a profit motive. But if you added up the cost of components, plus assembly, it's possible you could get to $35.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Smells Subsidized
by mjhi11 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 02:25 UTC in reply to "Smells Subsidized"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

There's no doubt that it's "subsidized", if you take a look at the hardware cost breakdown at such sites as Engadget.com there's no way this hardware can be manufactured at those costs. Just the screen exceeds the cost for the whole machine. We "GEOS, GeoWorks, Breadbox Ensemble" fans have been searching long and hard for a low-powered platform where this awesome technology could shine (particularly targeted at low income schools, communities and countries) and time and again realize there's no way to deliver the hardware (AND) software to deliver an under $100 system, props go out to the OLPC folks for even getting within a couple hundred dollars.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Smells Subsidized
by Kochise on Mon 26th Jul 2010 08:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Smells Subsidized"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Geos is NOT open source and use a "costly" (not free as in free beer) licensing scheme that cannot extend to a device below 50$ :/ Be it good technology or not...

Linux is FOSS and adaptable to foreign and/or exotic hardware architechture, so do Haiku, but not Geos !

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Smells Subsidized
by Kochise on Mon 26th Jul 2010 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Smells Subsidized"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

BTW, have you considered using the BeagleBoard ? RiscOS has been ported successfully to it, why not doing the same with your favorite OS ?

Kochise

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Smells Subsidized
by Bobthearch on Mon 26th Jul 2010 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Smells Subsidized"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Beagleboard, starting at "only" $149...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Smells Subsidized
by eantoranz on Mon 26th Jul 2010 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Smells Subsidized"
eantoranz Member since:
2005-12-18

Man, are there computers based on this board?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Smells Subsidized
by bryanv on Tue 27th Jul 2010 02:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Smells Subsidized"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

The AlwaysInnovating TouchBook was originally prototyped on the beagleboard.

I do believe that TI or someone else is manufacturing the custom board they now use (although it is compatible with the beagle) in the shipping product.

The beagleboard is intended as a prototyping platform, not a consumer device.

Personally, I find that a bit of a shame. If the Haiku port to ARM ever matures, I'd be -really- interested in building Haiku boxen based off the Beagle XM board.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Smells Subsidized
by galvanash on Mon 26th Jul 2010 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Smells Subsidized"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Just the screen exceeds the cost for the whole machine.


Wholesale prices for 7" analog LCD panels in quantity was about $15 US each back in 2008... That was just a raw panel though, no touch screen. I don't know what they go for now - its hard to find out actual pricing for this kind of stuff unless you are an actual buyer.

Just saying $35 is within the realm of possibility for actual production cost if component suppliers are carefully selected - which is all that is claimed in the article. They probably have to hit a volume target to lock in their pricing though.

There are already quite a few touchscreen tablets selling at around $100 as mentioned here:

http://www.osnews.com/comments/23605

You have to figure they would not bother unless they can make at least a 10%-15% markup, so that puts production cost at $85 max. I suspect actual cost is significantly less.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Smells Subsidized
by el.pescado on Mon 26th Jul 2010 19:22 UTC in reply to "Smells Subsidized"
el.pescado Member since:
2010-06-29

Indians once said they will manufacture car for $2000... and they did it, although no one believed in it. On the other hand, version that will be allowed to drive on European roads will cost triple that much - maybe here lies the secret.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Smells Subsidized
by arpan on Mon 26th Jul 2010 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Smells Subsidized"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

I don't think that seatbelts or airbags are required to sell laptops. :-) So that won't make a difference.

Edited 2010-07-26 19:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Smells Subsidized
by TusharG on Wed 28th Jul 2010 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Smells Subsidized"
TusharG Member since:
2005-07-06

Well the triple price in Europe is not because the car is subsidized in India. There is considerable difference in quality of material, transportation of goods, cheap-labor and features made available in India vs Europe are.
$35 in India is Rs 1575/- and with that price producing plastic material and Display is possible, also do look closely the features it is offering.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Smells Subsidized
by lucifer on Wed 28th Jul 2010 05:49 UTC in reply to "Smells Subsidized"
lucifer Member since:
2006-08-20

oh really? good luck looking for a touch panel vendor with a usd 35 component cost (i presumed it IS component cost, since, legend has it, labour is dirt cheap in india).

meanwhile, we are still eagerly waiting for simputer - that much ballyhooed (or in this case, bollyhooed) pda which was supposed to be a palm killer.

Reply Score: 1

One Laptop Per Child
by Elv13 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 04:02 UTC
Elv13
Member since:
2006-06-12

"The hardware should cost 88$ to produce after a year and selling for 100$"

Yea, I hard many cheap laptop project with idealistic price before, and they never delivered the promise. But well, Negroponte is not India, wait and see.

Reply Score: 3

Cluster?
by ValiantSoul on Mon 26th Jul 2010 06:33 UTC
ValiantSoul
Member since:
2005-07-20

So, when do we get to tie hundreds of these things together, and how will it perform?

Reply Score: 1

2GB
by arpan on Mon 26th Jul 2010 06:55 UTC
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

From what I've read on other sites, I think the 2GB memory is a mistake.

I think that 2GB refers to the storage, which makes sense on a device that's likely running Android. 2GB ram is too much for a device that is supposed to cost $35.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 2GB
by arpan on Mon 26th Jul 2010 07:00 UTC in reply to "2GB"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30
ARM?
by eantoranz on Mon 26th Jul 2010 14:20 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

Is it arm based? I guess just the x86 chipset is over 35 bucks, isn't it?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Einlander
by Einlander on Thu 29th Jul 2010 16:06 UTC
Einlander
Member since:
2009-07-08

"One mother board design was generated under Ministry’s guidance in the B.Tech project of a student at VIT, Vellore. The cost of bill of material worked to 47 $ at that point of time."
From the press release http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=63417

If they keep thier r&d up they may be able to come close to a truly cheap solution

Reply Score: 1