Does rural Asia need a PC?

03 Aug 2007|Leigh Marinner

Lenovo has just announced a $199 PC aimed at China’s vast but poor rural market. In emerging markets, it’s really a question about whether people will need a PC, as mobile phones pick up more and more ability to access the internet, do banking, get info (e.g. crop prices), etc. In India, the number of PCs connected to the internet are <5% of the number of mobile phones. Some mobile operators are talking about mobile service being free if the user accepts ads, so that makes a mobile phone even more accessible for the poor.

It’s certainly true that people want to give their kids a leg up on school by having a PC. But $199 is still a lot for the rural poor. It will be interesting to see how sales of low-priced PCs go, now and in 2-3 years when the mobile internet connections are more fully developed.

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