Peru, Mexico billionaire agree to buy $188 laptops

In a minor success for the struggling One Laptop Per Child project, the Peruvian government has agreed to purchase 260,000 laptops while Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is buying 50,000 for distributing in his country.

MIT professor and OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte announced the deals over the weekend, adding that Slim is an "old friend" and has been involved in the effort since the beginning.


OLPC has run into a number of major problems, most notably the cost of its much-hyped $100 laptop rising to $188. Production delays meant the devices didn't start production in China until last month, and orders have fallen well short of expectations.

In response, OLPC instituted a "Give One, Get One" program which enables individuals to purchase two laptops for $400, with one being donated to a child in a developing country. Since November 12, Negroponte says the foundation has received almost $2 million in orders every day -- amounting to around 190,000 laptops.

It is the hope Negroponte that eventually the laptop can be produced for its original $100 price target. In the end, the project says about three million devices must be sold to make the project viable.

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