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. OLPC’s ambitions were noble but at the end of the day, cold-, stone hearted capitalism was is where the solution came for a brand new, ultra affordable, high performance computing platform that’s safe and secure to use with guaranteed global availability was going to come from. In 2021 and for the foreseeable future, so-called 8464 (8-core, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage) devices will be the baseline for ubiquitous personal computing, be it for consumers or businesses. While the X96 Pro is not, strictly speaking, a business smartphone, the presence of a fingerprint reader and Android 11 indicates that it is - in theory - a secure platform.