Companies Releasing More Sub-$100 Computers
The release of the Raspberry Pi, a $25 computer that runs on Linux, made the option of a cheap way to learn programming and get connected available to the public at large. Following on its heels, other companies are releasing under-$100 computers as well.
Via Technologies from Taiwan plans to sell its APC, which is also a motherboard designed to be connected to a TV or monitor, for $49.
Last week in China, the MK802 from China's Rikomagic went on sale for $79.
The APC and MK802 both run on the Android operating system while the Pi runs on a GNU/Linux system software.
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"There's a much bigger amateur community writing code for the Linux system," said Paul O'Donovan, principal research analyst at Gartner to BBC. "It's much easier to program on and therefore a better way to introduce people to the basics of writing software and experimenting with computers."
The Linux system will most likely attract those wishing to get their feet in programming through an inexpensive device. However, those looking to tap into the enormous amount of apps and functions that are a part of Google's Android system will be enticed by the new models from Asia.
"We definitely welcome the arrival of new devices like this in the market, and are looking forward to getting our hands on some units," Eric Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation told the BBC. "It will be interesting to see if they offer any performance advantage over the Pi to justify their higher price points."