We get a lot of questions about how we got started and how we were able to develop such affordable, high quality products. Here’s the story:
Max Seybold, the founder of Cherrypal, became interested in finding a way to bridge the “digital divide”. He believed that everyone should have access to technology and the benefits of the Internet, not just those who can afford to spend $500+ on a new computer.
Max was also interested in consumer cloud computing and open source software. Why should people get roped into spending hundreds of dollars in licensing fees for certain software applications, when there were better products that could be had for free?
You should be able to do phenomenal things with an inexpensive laptop computer. With all of the amazing technology that is available, why hadn’t anyone created one?
Max took this idea and ran with it – straight to Stanford University. While working with the students at Stanford, he came to realize that most people don’t need all of the bells and whistles that traditional computers come with. If you only need to check emails, listen to music, surf the web, watch the occasional video and use an office suite, why incorporate anything else into the machine?
With the help of the people at Freescale, Max and the students were able to build the first prototype. By creating a computer that only featured what most people needed, the team was able to create a laptop that used 90 percent less energy and 80 percent fewer parts. Thus, the green machine was born.
Still, it needed a name. During a review of the prototype, one of the students commented that the laptop was “sweeter than an Apple!” Another student chimed in, “What’s sweeter than an Apple? A Cherry!”
Since the laptop was built to last from the start, ideally becoming the user’s trusted friend for years, the idea of calling the laptop Cherrypal came up. The name stuck.
In 2008 we officially launched our first product, the C110 desktop computer. Seven hours later, we had to close the store. After receiving 2.5 million hits on our website the first day, we were completely sold out. The C110 got upgraded to the C114 and then C120, it is still the most energy efficient desktop computer in the world. Based on user demand we evolved into a latptop and teblet computer vendor.
The Cherrypal Africa, is a 7” mini laptop that costs just $99. Have we officially bridged the digital divide? No, not yet. But we’re working on it.