Disrupting the digital divide – A free pc that will be given away!

Freepc

Can this strategy work? A free PC that is to be given away by a Hong Kong based technology company Asiatotal.net in developing countries like Brazil, Mexico, India, Argentina etc. I wonder though, what is the business model and how will they scale-up to give away millions of PCs. Nevertheless, the idea is innovative and powerful.

iT( as this PC is being called) units will be distributed free of charge to qualifying individuals and small businesses around the world. This is made possible by the participation of sponsors and partners.

The Hindu, has an interesting article on this:

Asiatotal’s president and CEO Judy Chen said the company took seven years and six possible prototypes before it homed in on `iT’ as the ideal device to empower the world’s underprivileged people.

The machine has been manufactured by the Taiwan-based PC maker Biostar, which is geared to produce three million units a month, is currently rolling out the first two lakhs for giving away in Brazil. The machine can be localised to any language and the stripped-down version of the Windows operating system is the same that runs on smart phones and hand-helds.

The `free’ computer will be globally launched next week at the U.N.-sponsored World Summit of the Information Society in Tunisia, where AsiaTotal hopes to interest sponsors in all major developing regions.

If one goes back to history, advertising was the key driver in making media consumption affordable. It made email ids available for free. It then made search( and therefore information) affordable & free.

Will it also make the PC affordable/free in the near future?

thro’ The Hindu

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