Underprivileged children around the world most likely do not care who supplies them with a free laptop, but a battle is brewing for this third world market. Both Intel and OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) appear now to be in competition with each other to see who can provide the best laptop for the lowest price. Last week I had reported that the cost of the OLPC had risen to $175 per unit. Intel’s laptop is in the $250 range, but the company is hoping to drop that price by about $50 before going into production.

So whats going on here? Why is Intel so interested in a low end laptop market? One only needs to look at difference in the two laptops. The OLPS version is using a processor from AMD and naturally the Intel model is using their own processing unit. Outside of the CPU, both units are very similar and both can run either Linux or Windows software. At stake is a market that could potentially reach 100 million or more children.

Now the big question. While OLPC seems to be doing this for humanitarian reasons Intel could have their own agenda. In order to maintain market share against their archrival AMD, they must try and compete in this low end market.

Joanne Stern has written a comprehensive article on this battle and also has included a comparison chart over at Laptop – Mobile Solutions For Business & Life located here.

What’s your take? Is Intel going to win this David and Goliath battle?

Comments welcome.

[tags]olpc, intel, laptop, battle, [/tags]