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XO Laptops

Some of you may have heard of a Laptop designed to deliver advanced technology to the farthest reaches of the world. It has been called the "game changer." Basically, a inventor at the MIT developed a $199 wireless laptop that is almost indestructible that will be given to children in the impoverished countries throughout the world. The Laptop has all the features of a regular computer but with some very unique capabilities. The overall goal is to bring the knowledge/resources of the Internet to everyone, even the poorest children in the world.

Please review the website. It provides some of the specific features of the Laptop.

The basic "business model" is as follows:

[business model is defined as the competitive advantage one company has over another firm; why would potential customers buy from your firm as opposed to another firm]

1. make a very cheap, indestructible and user friendly laptop to distribute at no cost to children throughout third world countries.

2. the cost of the laptop will borne by the national governments and generous donations from philanthropist throughout the world.

3. American and Canadian citizens can purchase the computer for their children but they must pay the purchase for "two" computers, one for them and one to be donated to a child in a third world country. [ I purchased one; it does everything my Toshiba laptop does and quite a bit more]

4. Also, local governments can purchase the computer for children in their school districts. Note: one municipality purchased 15,000 laptops for 3 million dollars. That means another 15,000 computers will be given free of charge to children in African countries.

The questions I put before you are as follows:

1. What do you think about the global strategy of distributing laptops to every desperately poor child in third world countries? Provide some detail.

2. Do you think it is a workable strategy? Is it worthwhile?

3. What is your opinion of the likelihood of the global strategy will be successful?

4. What are some of the inherent challenges?

5. Robert Solow, a highly regarded economist, stated that "charity is a scarce resource; there is never enough to go around." With that in mind, how could the developers of the XO laptop make a significant amount of money by "giving" these computers away? Hint: Think market share, world population, sales volume, etc.

[Please make specific reference to information in Chapter 3 and 4]

Solution Summary

Free lap tops to third world countries