The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has raised the price of its XO laptop to US$188.

OLPC spokesman George Snell confirmed the price change on Friday, according to an Associated Press report the. Snell blamed the price hike on "currency fluctuations" and the rising cost of raw materials like nickel and silicon.

OLPC executives in the US were not immediately available for comment. Previously, OLPC said the XO would cost $176.

The reported price hike comes at a critical juncture for OLPC. The XO laptop has gone through four prototype stages, and the design has been locked down for weeks. In August, Quanta Computer completed a manufacturing run of 300 units to test the production process - the final step before mass production of the XO begins later this month or in early October.

OLPC customers are counting on a low-cost laptop, and it was not immediately clear what, if any, impact the latest price hike will have on orders for the XO.