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How the mobile revolution could bring sub $50 PCs and change IT education

According to Microsoft Tag’s latest infographic, over 70% of the world’s population now have a mobile phone, that’s over 5 billion mobile subscribers, and in places like the US, it’s 9 in 10 people.

Globally, children are now more likely to own a mobile phone than a book, with 85% of kids owning a phone as to 73% having books. How is this related to the latest, high profile mini computer launch, the Raspberry Pi, and the debate about IT education in schools?

young people use a mobile phone for social learning

The Raspberry Pi and other mini computers, Beaglebone and Mele, are made possible by the exponential growth in mobile phone usage. The component parts for Raspberry Pi and others are so cheap because the MCUs (a small computer on a single integrated circuit) are mass produced for cheap smartphones. A 1.5Ghz ARM with GPU etc is about $7 and the price will go lower as volume increases.  So the more that get made and bought by the mobile phone manufacturers, the greater ease of access to mini computers the general public get.

Why’s that useful for tech- hungry, cash poor children? Well with the Raspberry Pi having a video out port to connect to a cheap LCD screen (or the family TV), we might get to the stage that every child can use a mini computer like this to undertake their computing homework from school… all for the price of a textbook.

As well as producing award winning mobile learning products, LINE also offers you the capability to create, manage and distribute mobile content across your organisation with our LINE Mobile Enterprise Platform.

This post first appeared on the LINE blog on 20th March 2012.