Nick Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child XO PC scheme never made it below the magic $100 barrier that it was originally touted at and now it looks like the march of technology, and the netbook phenomenon has caught up to it in the US. Radio Shack is apparently set to sell the Acer Aspire One netbook for just $99.
This bargain price will come with one condition: a two-year AT&T [T] 3G plan at $60 per month–but for that you get a portable computer with mobile internet access that blows your average smartphone out of the water. If you choose not to opt for the 3G contract, you’ll pay the sizable $499 full price.
Of course, Radio Shack and AT&T are after your cold hard cash, rather than trying a bit of tech philanthropy, giving innovative computers to poorer nation’s kids. But the rise of the netbook, powered by Intel’s low-power Atom processor and the low prices the devices go for show that the world has completely caught up with the XO PC.
That in turn can only bode well for future generations of the device, given that much more of its hardware may be able to be off-the shelf rather than custom-designed. And that should push the machine’s costs down even further–great for developing nations.