The rise of the $100 smartphone: the beginning of a new era?


It’s been nearly 17 years since Nicholas Negroponte unveiled his grandiose plan to provide computers for children across the world in a bid to squash digital illiteracy, but also revolutionize the industry at the same time. The end product, the OLPC XO laptop, was supposed to cost $100 and, by and large, is considered as a commercial failure, having shipped only a few million laptops since its inception.

But It is its legacy however that has helped shaped the world we live in, forcing computer manufacturers to think about more affordable devices that are untethered and available to the masses. That gave us Netbooks (with the Eee PC making a splashes in 2007), Chromebooks, tablets and ultimately, thanks to economies of scale, at least one smartphone that costs $100 – and is a testament to the journey since the OLPC first caught the imagination of many.

(Image credit: Doogee)

A $100 smartphone that’s actually usable