Mr. Negroponte wanted to create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a low cost laptop. This laptop will have educational software to provide children with otherwise unavailable technological learning opportunities. OLPC provides an interesting vantage point from which to examine the dynamics between non-profit and for-profit competitors because of the rapid development of the low-cost laptop market. OLPC was undoubtedly the innovator in this category of low-cost laptops with their “$100 laptop” concept. However, now that for-profit companies have entered the market and released a slew of similar products, OLPC must find ways to maintain its competitive advantage.
OLPC was facing some marketing challenges and some the non-marketing challenges. The $100 price for the laptops is to be achieved by operating with no profit, cutting all unnecessary frills including marketing campaigns and assembling large quantities of computers. Negroponte estimated the program will launch with a distribution of at least 5 million computers, and said he hopes to increase that number to 100 million by the second year. He predicted that as the laptop design improves, the per-unit price will go down.
• Marketing a low-cost, lightweight laptop seemed contradictory to recent products that are lightweight and ultra-thin that were typically more expensive and harder to manufacture.
• Most children using $100 laptop would not have ready access to electricity.
• Consumers criticizing OLPC for discounting the value of teacher training and curriculum development using the device.
• Governments opting out to put its resources toward traditional method of education.
• Prices for the OLPC don’t seem to stay at $100 causing different price floats.
• Competition like Intel(for profit companies) launching its own cheaper laptop targeting developing nations as well. Offering...
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