We pay more for Third-World tech

Curt Nickisch Sep 24, 2007


Lisa Napoli: You may have heard about this low-cost laptop out there that was designed for the world’s poorest children. Until today, you couldn’t buy one in the United States. From WBUR, Curt Nickisch says: Now you can.

Curt Nickisch: Nicholas Negroponte founded One Laptop Per Child to educate poor children. But his cheap, rugged laptop has found an audience in the rich U.S. — even though he said he’d never sell it here.

Nicholas Negroponte: We’re eating our words now and doing it in the United States, albeit for a financial reason.

Negroponte wants to harness U.S. dollars to keep the cost down for the developing world. The laptop will cost you $400 here.

But you’re basically buying two: the second goes to a child in a poor country. The Kermit Green and white laptop runs on just 2 watts, ideal for Third World conditions.

Negroponte’s curious to see how Americans will use it.

Negroponte: I don’t think too many kids in the United States are gonna hand-crank their laptop.

Good thing it also comes with a power supply.

In Boston, I’m Curt Nickisch for Marketplace.

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