Prices could drop to an absurd $10-$20 when these hit scale.
Today, India's human resource development minister, Kapil Sibal, unveiled a $35 tablet computer that will run Linux. Although it wasn't specified, the device he displayed had the familiar notification icons of Android, seen to the right. Android, is a Linux OS built for smartphones and now tablets by Google under an Open Source license.
"This is our answer to MIT's $100 computer," Sibal said.
MIT's One Laptop Per Child device ,which he is likely referring to, morphed into a $75 tablet a few months ago and is also running Google's (GOOG) Android OS.
Although a camera is not visible in the video below, according to the Telegraph the device is capable of video conferencing. That's something that the slightly more expensive iPad from Apple (AAPL) famously won't yet do. It has USB ports as well (Zing!). Oh, and it does Adobe's Flash too. Ouch!
The tablet can be used for word processing, web browsing and videoconferencing. It has a solar power option too – important for India's energy-starved hinterlands – though that add-on costs extra.
The former head of MIT's Media Lab said the next OLPC device, the XO-3, would be a 9-inch tablet made by Marvell and running Google's Android OS.
The first OLPC was an underpowered, 'designed-by-committee' laptop that cost at least double of what it was supposed to. Most importantly, didn't adapt to the needs of the children who used it. For instance, it didn't have a method for non-Latin characters to be MORESeth Weintraub - May 27, 2010 2:57 PM ET
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