The One Laptop Per Child organization’s 7-inch, Android 4.2-powered “XO Tablet” will go on sale at Walmart stores in the U.S. next week, according to a July 8 post by OLPC CEO Rodrigo Arboleda on the OLPC’s blog. The device will initially be available exclusively at Walmart starting July 16, but will soon be offered by other prominent retailers in North and South America and Europe.
Arboleda’s comment showed up in an OLPC blog post discussing several changes in the OLPC’s organization including the departure of several hardware and software developers. No mention was made of the XO Tablet’s precise specs or pricing, although we know from the tablet’s January appearance at CES that it runs Android 4.2, is a 7-inch device, and sports the OLPC’s signature green color carrying loop.
Four images snapped from a CES 2013 YouTube video appear below. The actual video appears farther down the page.
OLPC XO Tablet being showcased CES 3013
(click images to enlarge)
In the video below, Arboleda and OLPC Director of Business Development, Giulia D’Amico demonstrate and discuss the group’s XO Laptop at CES 2013 in January. The video was uploaded to YouTube by Children’s Technology Review.
Interestingly, Arboleda and D’Amico emphasize that the OLPC tablet’s software is hardware agnostic and portable to other Android 4.2 devices, giving the impression that the OLPC may be migrating away from its earlier strategy of designing ultra-low-cost PCs and tablets toward more of a software-oriented focus. Describing the OLPC’s custom Android “skin” and child-oriented application suite, D’Amico says “it works perfectly on the Nexus, and it’s going to work perfectly on other [Android 4.2-based] tablets.”
The Walmart tablet will be sold preloaded with the OLPC’s custom UI and applications, which are tailored for use by children, she adds. The OLPC group does not have plans for any other size tablets at this time. “We believe the 7-inch form-factor is an interesting design for a child,” adds D’Amico.
With low-cost 7-inch Android tablets becoming increasingly commonplace, it makes sense for the OLPC to double-down on the software side of helping to “empower the world’s poorest children through education,” rather than trying to reinvent the tablet.
For further information visit the OLPC website.