Report: OLPC buy one, give one deal returns

Internet retail giant Amazon will be running the One Laptop Per Child "Give one / Get one" (G1G1) program for this year's holiday season, confirming announcements made in May.

Matt Keller, director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at OLPC, recently told IDG that Amazon will be handling the sales of the G1G1 program due to its size and ability to handle a large volume of customers. The program will be roughly the same as last year's, where customers buy an OLPC XO to donate to a developing country and get one of their own in return.

According to rough OLPC data posted in July, nearly half of the total units moved were because of the original G1G1 project (OLPC told us this afternoon it was "more than 185,000"). This means that of 400,000 total XOs placed, nearly 100,000 went to donors.

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Demand for the unit was actually much higher, but due to mounting negative circumstances, many orders had to be canceled.

This explains, at least in part, why OLPC enlisted Amazon's help. Last year a major problem with OLPC's order and shipment software rendered the project unable to meet North American customer demand in a timely fashion. In a statement to Betanews this afternoon, an OLPC representative said that Amazon and OLPC's B1G1 deal will not be limited to the United States and will "ship the laptops globally in a timely fashion." Furthermore, it will still be a Linux-based XO, and not a dual-boot version as some had rumored.

Nicholas Negroponte, Chairman of OLPC, said in May that this iteration of G1G1 will focus on post-conflict countries such as Afghanistan, but customers will be allowed to choose from a list of countries where their donation may be sent.

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