One million OLPC laptop orders confirmed

Quanta Computer, the world's largest contract laptop PC maker, already has confirmed orders for one million [M] notebook PCs for the OLPC project

Quanta Computer, the world's largest contract laptop PC manufacturer, already has confirmed orders for one million notebook PCs for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, a company representative said Thursday.

The OLPC project is aimed at ensuring children around the world don't miss out on learning how to use computers. The fear is that the high cost of computers is keeping too many people in developing countries from learning how the software, Internet and communications benefits of computing can improve their economies, job prospects and lives, a conundrum commonly referred to as the digital divide.

Quanta is manufacturing the OLPC laptop, and mass production is the key to slashing its cost. Currently, the laptops cost around US$130, but the goal is to whittle down the price to US$100. The groups involved in the OLPC project, including the MIT Media Laboratory that launched the effort, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and Linux software developer Red Hat, believe they can reach that goal once millions of the laptops are being produced annually, and had set a target to reach that price sometime in 2008.

Quanta said it could ship between 5 million to 10 million units this year because seven nations have already signed up for the project. That may be enough to reduce the costs and meet the US$100 goal sooner than expected.

The governments that have committed to buy laptops for their schoolchildren include Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Thailand and Uruguay.

Quanta expects to make a small profit on each machine.

"OLPC is a nonprofit organization, but Quanta is a contract manufacturer, a for-profit business. We can't not charge a fee for making the laptops," the representative said.

What the company is doing is helping find ways to cut costs as much as possible. The company became famous by slashing production costs to a bare minimum and figuring out ways to further reduce the cost of laptops themselves.

Apple, Dell and Hewlett-Packard are just some of the companies that farm out notebook PC orders to Quanta, which manufactures the products at factories in Taiwan and China.

The company is using its expertise to keep OLPC laptop production costs to a minimum.

"This is our chairman's pet project, it's his life," said the president of Quanta, Michael Wang, at a company Lunar New Year celebration last week. People across much of East Asia celebrate the Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 18. The chairman of Quanta Computer is Barry Lam.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?