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
Member since:

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 in reply to "Smells Subsidized"
David Member since:

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 Parent Score: 1

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

There's no doubt that it's "subsidized", if you take a look at the hardware cost breakdown at such sites as 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 Parent Score: 2

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

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 !


Reply Parent Score: 2

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

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:

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 Parent Score: 2

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

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 Parent Score: 1

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

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 Parent Score: 1

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

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 Parent Score: 1

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

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 Parent Score: 1