$35 Computer: Will First See, Then BelieveTM Arun Kumar, 28 Sep' 2011
A computer for a mere $35 or roughly Rs 1750. That is what India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal is promising to unveil on October 5. According to him, it’s a reality and not a dream and that this $35 computer will perform all the functions that any other computer can.
Really wonder if this $35 is the subsidised price or the real price of the computer? If it is subsidised, then the price tag doesn’t matter and the argument ends here. However, if it is the real price and it is indeed able to perform all the functions of a normal computer even at a reasonable speed, then it is a piece of real engineering marvel deserving a Nobel prize. Else, it is an absolute con job.
Just think, is this possible in today’s world? What kind of electronic gadgets can one buy for Rs 1750? A low-end mobile phone, some flash memory, and the like. Certainly not a computing device of any respect. Even the lowest end of computers, tablets, and smart phones cost upwards of Rs 5000 or $100.
To put it in perspective, even the Chinese, with all their low-cost manufacturing prowess, haven’t been able to come out with a computer as cheap as the one being touted by Mr Sibal. The reason being that the basic components like a processor, motherboard, memory, display, etc, however obsolete they might be, that go into a computer, would cost more than $35 even if you buy in millions of pieces, which the major manufacturers anyways do.
But, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So, Mr Sibal, we will believe you when we actually get to see it. And more importantly get a proper explanation on how you were able to source all the components and manufacture it for a mere $35, because that is the actual million dollar question.
And, by the way, would you be kind enough to send one piece for review to the PC World India labs?
TM Arun Kumar is the Executive Editor of PC World India and has been covering technology since the time an 80386 was cutting edge and Internet access in India was still a few years away.