[Arm-netbook] Debian GNU/Linux on tablet hardware

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Fri Oct 28 17:19:33 BST 2011

[for the benefit of the freedombox list, cc'd here: a discussion is
taking place - again - on debian-arm about the cost and availability
of ARM-based systems.  a chipset has been found which meets eben's
criteria in mass-volume.  actually, is a whopping 25% _below_ eben's
expectations of $20, and is 40% lower than the raspberrypi price,
with, being a 1ghz Cortex A8 instead of a 700mhz ARM11, roughly 2 to
2.5x better performance.]

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM, Phil Endecott
<spam_from_debian_arm at chezphil.org> wrote:
> lsorense at csclub.uwaterloo.ca wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 02:37:06PM +0000, Phil Endecott wrote:
>>> Why do you think that?  I have personally never seen an "Android
>>> motherboard"
>>> offered for sale at all, let alone for a low price.
>> The i.MX53 LOCO board has an android BSP available.  Does that qualify?
> It does to me, but Rob doesn't seem to like these "not mass produced",
> "relatively expensive" boards; I think his idea of an "android motherboard"
> is something from a no-name Chinese tablet manufacturer.

 i am in touch with such a "no-name" chinese tablet manufacturer. i
can negotiate one of those "into existence"... *if* people are willing
to commit - publicly so that i can refer the factory to the archives -
to buying some.

 let's work through the costs, and i'll ask the factory to confirm,
but it'll be roughly something like this:

 * the mass-production BOM of a 1ghz Cortex A8 system using the
chiprise aka bmorn aka allwinner SoC will be - literally - around the
$15 mark.

 * morphing the "Reference Board Design" into a "FreedomBox-like"
device will be about 10 days @ $150 per day (NOT $150 per hour, REALLY
$150 per day).

 * back-caclulating that cost to include it in to the first.. say...
100 units, that's $15 extra per unit.

 * scaling up on the BOM to 100-only quantities, you prooobbbably need
to add about 60% to 70%.

 * $15 * 1.7 = $25.50 plus $15 amortised over 100 units is $40.

 * add a reasonable profit margin - say 25% (that's *really* generous
btw), that's now $50.

 * $50 plus shipping, tax and a box, that's about $80 to get it into your hands.

 $80 is still a f*** of a lot lower than $125 *excluding* shipping for
a beagleboard.

 and, once it hits mass-production and goes world-wide, that $80
becomes about $35, and if you do a "Special FreedomBox Special Order"
of 100,000 units, that $35 becomes about $25 *including* shipping and

 so it's up to you, folks.  if you want to see something like this
happen, you have to say so.

 btw - if you want to take over negotiations with the factory, i am
quite happy to put anyone who wishes to take over in touch with the
factory.  i will give you their email address, you can talk directly
with them.


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