XO costs are scheduled to drop soon; while we’re not yet in the $75-$100 range, raw materials costs have stopped going up and other economies are kicking in. The Globe has a fairly balanced piece on the update.
Meanwhile, feature-limited appliances such as modern bookreaders and many single-purpose phones continue to keep their prices up around $400, well above production costs; or subsidized by locking into hefty service plans. Is that the model for the future? Are netbooks moving the default price of a laptop from 1500 to 500, or shifting us to a culture of dropping costs over time?