OLPC Laptop Shipments Delayed

Shipments of the XO notebook PC for the OLPC project (One Laptop Per Child) will likely be delayed until the third quarter, the manufacturer said Friday.

Quanta Computer Inc., the world’s largest contract laptop PC manufacturer, had earlier predicted shipments could start as early as July, but software adjustments by the One Laptop Per Child group have pushed the schedule back to the third quarter…

“The hardware is pretty much in place,” a company representative said.

The company has already said it has confirmed orders for 1 million of the laptops. Several nations have already signed up for the One Laptop Per Child project, including Argentina, Nigeria, Libya, Rwanda, Brazil, and Uruguay.

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.

The laptop is also built to last under rough conditions. It’s resistant to water, and there are as few moving parts as possible. Instead of a hard disc drive, for example, which has moving parts, the XO uses flash memory. It’s also designed with a tougher outer shell than most laptop PCs, and drop tests have been performed to ensure the device can survive a few falls. A full list of the hardware specifications shows it also has a three USB ports, Secure Digital memory card slot, and an onboard camera.

Full Version – Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service