Reports of four million OLPCs greatly exaggerated

Ryan Block
R. Block|08.03.06

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Ah-ha, so it turns out those four million OLPCs may not actually be bagged after all -- big surprise. Apparently the mixup began when OLPC program director for Middle East and Africa Khaled Hassounah supposedly told DesktopLinux that Nigeria had committed to an order of a million units, and Argentina, Brazil, and Thailand were right behind them with "similar" orders of their own. Except not really. According to ZDNet UK, that information is flat-out "incorrect," according to OLPC, and that despite Hassounah's statements they're not yet prepared to distribute commercialized versions of the device. Taking pre-commercial device orders for something like the OLPC is absolutely nothing out of the realm of the ordinary in our opinion, but it seems like a little PR-spurned informational infighting has turned the project from "pedagogically suspect" to factually suspect overnight. Perhaps we should leave them to their device-making for now, and worry later about who is and isn't placing orders for quantities of computers large enough to make even the thinnest-margin manufacturers sweat and drool.

[Thanks, Cyrus and Alexandre]
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