Supply chain
Computex 2015: Startup company Endless pushing PC for developing countries
Aaron Lee, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES

Startup company Endless, an operating system developer, has participated at Computex 2015 showcasing its first product, the Endless PC, priced from US$169-229, targeting mainly developing countries.

Endless was founded in San Francisco and raised funding from the Kickstarter platform in May. The Endless PC is a desktop equipped with the company's in-house developed Linux-based operating system, which is able to operate without Internet connectivity making it suitable for emerging markets, which usually do not feature stable Internet services.

The operating system features over 150 applications and consumers are able to connect the PC to a display via a HDMI cable. Consumers will be able to update the programs when connected to the Internet.

Endless CEO Matt Dalio pointed out that demand for PCs has been weakening for the past few years, but he believes the business opportunities in emerging markets are still strong and the IT market so far still has not yet seen an appropriate device for these markets; therefore, he expects the Endless PC to have a good chance to receive good sales in the markets.

Dalio noted that the Endless PC is mainly targeting consumers with annual earnings of US$2,500-5,000 and the overall population within the segment is about three billion. Endless is looking to sell its device to the high-end portion of the segment, allowing the company to have potential clients of at least one billion people.

Commenting on the hardware of the device, Endless Chief Growth Officer, Marcelo Sampaio noted that the expensive parts of a PC are the processor and Microsoft's operating system. Since the Endless PC's operating system is designed in-house, and the system adopts an integrated processor, the company is able to cut the price of the device to a level friendly to emerging market consumers. The Endless PC is currently using a CPU from Intel.

Dalio also pointed out that the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, which had a goal similar to the Endless PC, failed in the end because of issues of product design and business model. The OLPC is not designed for average consumers and is not meant for profit, therefore the organization has not been able to acquire more funds to continue its operations. Endless does not have these issues.

The Endless PC will start selling in Guatemala in July and gradually expand to other countries in Latin America as well as other emerging markets worldwide. The company declined to comment on its shipment goals. Sources from the upstream supply chain revealed that the device is manufactured by Wistron.

The Endless PC

The Endless PC
Photo: Michael Lee, Digitimes, June 2015

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