Emerging-market consumers are eager for access to computers, but their limited purchasing power has created a substantial market for low-cost computing solutions. This is particularly true in schools and government agencies – both critical institutional buyers in many developing countries. The information technology (IT) industry has an ongoing fascination with low-cost computing devices. The media and manufacturers alike have brought the topic to the public’s attention with new zeal every few years.
Vital Wave Consulting has been reviewing and analyzing the evolving landscape of low-cost computing devices and the overall market since 2004. The firm achieved global recognition for the completion of a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model, with support from Microsoft Corporation, to assess the initial cost of acquiring and deploying computer hardware and software, as well as the recurrent and hidden expenses required to effectively support and utilize the technology over a five-year period. For one leading software company, Vital Wave Consulting provided an overview of the low-cost computing device landscape, identify trends and recommend strategic partners based on business-model and solution viability.