AMD WILL MARKET A USD300 PC FOR EMERGING MARKETS WITH RADIOSHACK
A host of high-tech giants -from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD ) to Yahoo! - this week have unveiled plans for creating low cost products aimed at emerging markets. AMD on Oct. 3 said it will partner with RadioShack (RSH ) to bring low-priced computers to the developing world. The device, called the Personal Internet Communicator, was originally developed for markets underserved by the computer industry and is widely available in Mexico, India, Brazil, and the Caribbean. The idea was to make something simple, durable and reliable. At USD300, it's only USD100 cheaper than a barebones PC. It can be used for simple PC-like chores, like surfing the Web and checking e-mail. Such simplicity appealed to RadioShack, which sees the device as a way to market to the technophobic.
AMD says it's all part of Chief Executive Hector Ruiz's "50x15" initiative, which aims to get 50% of the world connected to the Internet by 2015. Ruiz, an immigrant from Mexico, says it's by no means charity, but a for-profit venture. AMD donated about 400 of the computers to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, and has seen increasing demand for them in the U.S. "Even our own employees were asking how they could get one for their own homes," says Billy Edwards, AMD's chief innovation officer. The company has sold more than 1,000 of them and will market them in China and Turkey in the coming quarter.