Competing through Strategy
Marketing the $100 Laptop
Negroponte’s idea of developing a low cost easy to use laptop to help children of developed countries gain access to technology was revolutionary. The idea was to offer the laptops to the different governments of developing nations as educational tools. Negroponte’s thought that if the laptop was cheaper enough it would be appealing to all governments and that there would be no reason for the governments not to buy them. The laptops were not going to have a fancy sleek design, no fancy software programs, no option to insert a CD and no additional options for ports or connections. The idea was to have a laptop that will be easy to use and that will endure different conditions. It was to be designed to endure drastic temperature changes (very hot and cold conditions), to be water resistant, sturdy enough to not break if dropped continuously, and to include a battery with double the operating battery time as regular laptops
Negroponte expressed his idea of creating an inexpensive laptop before he was able to at least assemble one prototype. The moment he openly expressed his idea on 2003, he gained public attention. Many companies were incredulous, some expressed opinions that this was an impossible task. Even though his immediate idea was not well received and liked by computer manufacturers, Negroponte continued with his project. Negroponte was able to come up with a working prototype by 2005; however the laptop price was not the one promised. It had come up at $175, but still at a very low price compared to the price point the laptops were selling at that time. Laptop giants slashed the prototype with negative reviews and were concentrating on bashing the product instead of concentrating in supporting the cause. Nevertheless, several companies saw the opportunity for personal gain. Saw this opportunity as a means to grow and develop a new project. Companies such as Intel and Microsoft found...
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