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US to get single OLPC laptops

The group behind the low-cost laptop are to sell single units in the US in an effort to reach poorer American children, following the success of its "Give One Get One" retail scheme.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation has announced plans to sell single units of the ultra low cost XO laptop in the US.

The plan, confirmed by OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte follows the success of the "Give One Get One" scheme, where by the US public were able to purchase a pair of the laptops for $399 (200), with one being donated to a user in a developing nation, while the other was shipped to the purchaser.

The scheme was intended to run for two weeks, but was extended after sales exceeded expectations.

Negroponte claims expanding sales in the US has always been part of the foundation's plan. "To have the US be the only country that's not in the OLPC agenda would be kind of ridiculous. There are poor children in America," he said.

"The second thing we're doing is building a critical mass. The numbers are going to go up, people will make more software, it will steer a larger development community."

The laptop will be sold in the US by an organisation called OLPC America, which has already appointed a director and chairman.

No details have yet been announced on a release date or price, and the foundation has not been available for comment.

If last week's CES was anything to go by, however, the devices are sure to be popular. We saw dozens of the brightly-coloured laptops in use by exhibitors, delegates and journalists alike.

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