Do We Really Need A $100 Laptop?

Do We Really Need A $100 Laptop?

People in developing countries already have a low price portable computer - it just has a smaller screen and makes a ringing noise. Hey, you can even buy a hand-crank to charge it. Sure, the computers have bigger screens - but if many Americans can work from their smart-phone away from their office PC, why can't the Indian poor do their homework on their handsets there? Maybe we should be handing out phones not laptops?

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 6 august 2007

The mobile phone is one of the most important pieces of technology spreading across the developing world – and it’s changing the way people, communities and business connect with each other in these areas. Outside the US people use phones in a way many Americans can’t really comprehend. In June we argued in the piece The Three Region Theory For Mobile Phones that people have a different relationship to their phones and PCs depending on which one was introduced first to the mass market. Where phones appeared before the PC – as in many developing parts of the world – the phones become the predominant access to the internet – and in some ways the de-facto computer.

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