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AT&T Gets Goofy Over 'Mini Laptops'
Will offer Acer, Dell Lenovo netbooks at AT&T stores...
by Karl Bode 10:13AM Wednesday May 20 2009
For much of the year AT&T has been flirting with the idea of offering subsidized netbooks to users willing to sign a two-year contract. AT&T executives have called the economics of the deal "terrific," though they've faced a few lawsuits from users who don't understand AT&T's mobile broadband service comes with a 5GB monthly cap and fairly steep overages. AT&T yesterday announced they were now plunging head first into the netbook game, saying they'll soon offer 3G-embedded Acer, Dell and Lenovo netbooks in stores nationwide. AT&T's Mobility CEO gets all gushy:
quote:
"Sleek, mobile and fast is all the rage and we’re going to answer that call with a lineup of the hottest mini laptops in the market," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Pairing these laptops with AT&T's home broadband, Wi-Fi, and the nation’s fastest 3G network enables consumers and small business customers to get the most from their new devices – at home, in the office and on the go."
It remains kind of cute that AT&T apparently doesn't know they're called "netbooks" by the young whipper snappers these days. With wireless connections being used more and more like landline connections, it would be nice to start seeing some higher caps, less restrictive terms of service, and some price cuts -- the mere rumors of which have lately been scaring the hell out of investors.

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Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Some investors are not very smart.

In some cases lowering prices will increase profitability by providing the service at a price more potential customers can afford.

I guess investors aren't smart enough to recognize that lowering prices will provide the same function as a stock split, which investors seem to like. A stock split reduces the cost of a stock so that more investors can afford to purchase the stock, usually, driving the price of the stock up.

The only time this philosophy will not hold true is if the cost to provide service to more customers, will increase the cost to serve each customer.
puck0114

join:2005-12-24
Portland, OR

1 recommendation

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

MOST investors aren't very bright. Looking past the next quarter's earnings is inconceivable.

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Thats not a dumb investor. That's a short term investor.

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

1 recommendation

It sure is easy to run someone else's business on an internet forum.

Really, AT&T should offer their 3G for $0.01 per month. They'd probably have 300 million customers -- AWESOME!

(at a gross revenue of $36 million per year)

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

I think even though you were trying to be sarcastic in your retort, you did prove his point. All you have to do is turn your $0.01 per month rate into a reasonable rate, which I might add I did not seem to find such reference to in the original post, extrapolate that new data and surprising enough it proves his point.

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

3 recommendations

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

And you don't think AT&T (and every other corporation on the planet) does that calculation many times for every product they sell? It's Econ 101.

The problem with your logic is a common fallacy that's sprung to life lately -- this notion of arbitrary "reasonable". Reasonable is the very basis of all things that have to do with economics -- if a seller offers an item at a price that the buyer considers reasonable, the transaction takes place. If the price is unreasonably high, the seller won't have enough (or any) buyers and will go out of business. If it's unreasonably low, demand outstrips supply and there are shortages (or in the case of 3G, oversubscription and congestion).

Clearly AT&T is selling their service to customers, so their $39.95 (or whatever the price is) is reasonable to those customers. Just because it makes it unreasonable to you doesn't mean a thing, except that you will not be an AT&T customer right now.

I'm not coming down on you, but your post perfectly exemplifies the entitlement mentality that plagues this society (and the economy as well):

"I want what I want, and I will decide what is a 'fair' price, even though that's not my role in the economic transaction."

"That CEO is paid too much, because it's more anyone would ever pay me to run a company (since I don't know shit about running a company.)"

"That company is greedy because they are trying to maximize profits by increasing revenue while lowering expenses, which is their feduciary responsiblity to shareholders (the owners)."

"Text message pricing is outrageous -- if you apply wholesale bandwidth purchase pricing on a per-byte basis (except for the fact that millions of people are perfectly willing to spend billions of dollars on texting each year.)"

etc.
bakorican

join:2004-02-28
germany

1 recommendation

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

said by jester121:

And you don't think AT&T (and every other corporation on the planet) does that calculation many times for every product they sell? It's Econ 101.
Interesting to see somebody from the US quote Econ 101. Maybe you should have given that lesson to 95% of Banks, Insurance and Investment Firms et al. and we ALL wouldn't be on the brink of a Depression.

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

If the people in Congress has a basic understanding of Econ 101, we'd have have been in this mess. They have the "demand" side of the equation down, but to them the "supply" side is a printing press.
bakorican

join:2004-02-28
germany

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

said by jester121:

If the people in Congress has a basic understanding of Econ 101, we'd have have been in this mess. They have the "demand" side of the equation down, but to them the "supply" side is a printing press.
Part of this is correct, but you left out the past 8 years of the Bush administration, where the supply side meant not to restock the accounts, by cutting taxes on everybody with a pulse and a 6 digit bank account.
charterbites

join:2005-11-19
Covington, LA

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

said by bakorican:

said by jester121:

If the people in Congress has a basic understanding of Econ 101, we'd have have been in this mess. They have the "demand" side of the equation down, but to them the "supply" side is a printing press.
Part of this is correct, but you left out the past 8 years of the Bush administration, where the supply side meant not to restock the accounts, by cutting taxes on everybody with a pulse and a 6 digit bank account.
No...No ...NO.
It was Barney and Dodo Dodd that with the Community Reinvestment Act started by the Clinton(s)that caused the problems.
Do some DD before you speak of what you DON'T know.

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL

2 edits

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Well we can take it one step further then, it started back in the 70's with the original CRA. Reaganomics lead to the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, which lead to (FIRREA) Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 signed by President George H. W. Bush. In 1999 Clinton did give more power to the banks, but in 2005 and 2007 changes to the CRA under the Bush Administration basically removed all regulation, gave almost unlimited power to banks in who they could lend to and how they could. Which gave to rise to the predatory lending that took place well into the Bush Presidency.

So if you want to Blame Barney or Dodd, you have to ask the question what was Bush doing for those Eight years after the 1999 CRA change? Why was he making it even easier for banks to lend to people who they know could not pay back the loans. Why were the 2005 and 2007 regulatory changes to the CRA which caused the current mess signed into law by Bush?

The original CRA was made to help low income families have the ability to get loans at all. But with lots of conditions and regulations to make sure they still could not get a loan they could never pay back. Yet the 2005 regulation change makes it so the bank no longer has to make sure the loan can be paid back, in fact that is exactly what the banks were looking for, they wanted people to default on their mortgage so they could foreclose and then turn around and sell the house at a profit, while pocketing whatever interest and down payment they did make.

Predatory lending should have never been allowed to go on at all, and it happened under Bush, so yes his administration is to blame, they did nothing but make it easier and easier for the banks to take advantage. And when the plan failed, they were there to bail out the same banks that took advantage of predatory lending.

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

"under the Bush Administration" is a convenient blanket that today's Democrats use for cover when they want to hide the fact that they took over Congress in 2006, and they were the ones in charge of legislation ("I'm just a bill", anyone?)

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Yes, under the Bush Administration, because in the end he has veto power. The 2005 Regulatory change that opened the door wide open to predatory lending is directly linked to his administration.

To what 2006 Congress has anything to do with 2005 I have no idea, but it seems you are grasping at straws here to make it look like it is all the Democrats fault. No matter what facts are out there it sure seems like you don't want to blame Bush, I really don't know why.

I guess you missed this part of the "I'm just a bill" :

I'm just a bill
Yes, I'm only a bill
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill
Well, then I'm off to the White House
Where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the president to sign
And if he signs me, then I'll be a law.
How I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: You mean even if the whole Congress says you should be a law, the president can still say no?

Bill: Yes, that's called a veto. If the President vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote on me again, and by that time you're so old...

Boy: By that time it's very unlikely that you'll become a law. It's not easy to become a law, is it?

Bill: No!
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

We just traded one rubber stamp government for another.. Sad is what it is.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
No... it goes WAY back.. WAAAAAY farther back to when the Dems had control of the house, senate, etc.. the ground was laid long ago for the mis-handling of the economic system today. Neither the Dems or Pubs are innocent of this.. and further more, neither are other countries...

If people would learn to pay their own way, EVERYONE, and not always look for a reason to have a hand out, we'd be a much better place.. there is a need for SOME socialism in society to help the weak and incapable.. however, those boundaries, thanks to the dems, have been GREATLY expanded to include anyone with a pulse and a sob story.

I go to HCMC, a country run hospital in the Twin Cities, for a study program I volunteered for in cancer research. I will tell you that some of the program nurses and doctors will admit that the "system" encourages people to become able to receive benefits and services.. constantly telling people things such as "if you can just look ill, you can go on assistance, receive free money, all care paid for and you won't have to work".. that's plain flat BS..

Oh, and by the way.. The Dems took over Congress in 2006, but you are aware that within 100 days, the republicans were already blaming the dems for all the mess, right? Not that it's not partially true that the dems had a hand in the mess, but the damage the dems did was FAR back in the 80's and 90's.. not 2006 as the pubs like to think. ANYONE with an ounce of brain knows that we can not turn this country on a dime into such ruin.. it takes a long chain of events to bring something this large to it's knees. This is the same I can say to Obama about how he believes that he's making an impact on the economy so soon.. his 'spend into the ground' mentality isn't doing anything to help us.. its NOT the reason we're seeing ANY change. There are other factors already in play that have loosened up the reigns a little.. VERY little.

For the record, too, Obama and his crew like to say that the Republicans started the free fall in the stock market.. I seem to recall differently.. while it may have taken a dump under Bush's run, it looked more like it started to fall when we found out who was likely to be the next president .. If there is one thing I like, no matter how bad it can affect us, it's that the stock market does show the government that WE THE PEOPLE do control government, not the other way around. They may be able to make laws and attempt to grab power, but in the end, the people still control them..

So, the argument that the pubs say the dems were to blame since they took over in 2006, and the dems saying "under the Bush Administration".. both are crap arguments.. they ALL got greedy and power hungry and played a role in messing this country up.

I'd have high hopes for Libertarians, to which I am.. however, the conservative republicans are trying to flee their own burning ship, and take cover under the Libertarian flagship to try to reform..

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

1 recommendation

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

The Libertarian party would be fine if they'd stop hitching their wagons to such nut jobs. The reality is they gotta get elected to have any effect, and the masses won't vote for weirdos.
charterbites

join:2005-11-19
Covington, LA
"Yet the 2005 regulation change makes it so the bank no longer has to make sure the loan can be paid back, in fact that is exactly what the banks were looking for, they wanted people to default on their mortgage so they could foreclose and then turn around and sell the house at a profit, while pocketing whatever interest and down payment they did make."

I was in banking for a number of years before I grew-up and I can tell you the LAST thing a bank wants is to sell property. It sounds nice but it's not true.
Do you really think that a bank would knowingly loan money to someone who they thought could not/never pay it back?
They were forced to loan money to certain groups under penalty of huge fines or the ability to merge with other banks.
Good history but not what really was going on.
Thanks

UncleFudge

@Princeton.EDU
Um, and WHO repealed the Glass-Stegal Act that allowed this mess we are in? (Hint: soiled blue dress)
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Yea... becuase this issue was 100% The United States fault.. huh?

Until the recent mess, the US has been a healthy nation compared to many others.. I wonder why.. yet people like you come here with the "blame America first" mentality.. "we ALL" had a hand in this.. so don't sit back with a smug attitude and point the finger at us...

Everyone wants to be independent, I agree.. maybe we should have isolated years ago and let the rest of the world plunge into poverty.. well, except Germany of course.. that country has an IMPECCABLY clean record.. I mean, no oppression, prosperity, freedom for all.. you know.. just perfect.

Sorry if I don't buy your BS attitude.. look at yourselves too.. Maybe instead of looking to America for a hand out, maybe you should shore of your own financial mess.. because if you guys were doing so well, you'd not blink an eye if we have a road bump in history.

I'd not expect any less from a socialist country.

Seriously.. I'm SICK of our country being blamed for EVERYTHING.. I will agree that Bush was an idiot, but I can easily put the G8 in one room and point a finger 8 times at those who had played a role in the mess we're "all in"..

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

1 recommendation

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

said by fiberguy:

Seriously.. I'm SICK of our country being blamed for EVERYTHING
Unfortunately, the top dog usually is. I'm glad you don't have the attitude that America can do no wrong though. That usually accompanies the attitude that the rest of your post displays.

This mess we're in was absolutely not just America's fault, but I can't help feeling if we would have had stronger leadership and didn't have a war straining our economy, we could have avoided it.

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL
A socialist country?

Let me guess where that finger is going to be pointing...
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

There are a number of countries in the EU that are socialist based hiding under the flag of democracy.

.. and still waiting on your guess.

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Huh, there are quite a few socialist countries in the EU, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, that don't hide the fact, also the PES is a strong member group in the EU. Amazingly enough their countries haven't turned in to steaming piles of excrement. I am sure you would like me to add the word yet to the end of that, I am not going to, sorry to disappoint.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Nope.. I know crap when I see it..

While you pointed out the obvious ones, there are those, still, that say they aren't when they are.

And, while their countries haven't turned into "crape'.." yet.. they're not exactly strong countries either.. we can go into INCREDIBLE lengths of conversation, which we won't,... but they're not exactly thriving either.. and those countries, that you pointed out, do enjoy blaming America anytime they have problems.. why? Because their economy is still based largely on what other countries do.

Their systems are fragile, so I'm glad you said "amazingly enough" in your post.

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Yeah I know sarcasm does not carry over the internet well.

Heck the US owes a Socialist country over $1,000,000,000,000. Our economy is based largely on if that country calls in its debt from the US.

No wonder when China talked at the G20 summit everyone shut up and listened.

So when you say a country in the EU that maybe hiding that it is socialist, and that said country's systems are fragile, then one must point out that even countries that are not socialist are having problems also.

The US mortgage meltdown, had nothing to do with any socialism, in fact the very thing the US stands for Capitalism, which without regulations, let the banks play dangerous games which turned into greed which caused the failure. You can only skate on thin ice so long before the bottom breaks out below you.

Now I just know that is going to bring up the CRA, and what the original intent of the CRA was, and how it was all the democrats in the 1970's fault. While the same people also forget that without the CRA in the first place most people who own homes and have no trouble paying their mortgage probably wouldn't own a home. But I mean that would require actually knowing that in the 1970's it was getting almost impossible to get a loan from a bank unless you were already quite wealthy.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12
Reasonable and having no other choice are two different things.

When you sue to run competitors out of business so you are left with just a few select competitors with the same ideals as you, you deserve any and all regulation that is placed upon you to protect the consumer interests.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Why are those people being sued in the first place?

Law suites are fine.. it's why we have judges.. do we have a corrupt court system? or a politically over run system.....?

First off, in my opinion, all communications and utility companies should have some sort of regulation simply becuase the spectrum and pipelines are limited in nature.

However, let me take vonage for an example.. that company stole.. they deserved the lawsuits they got.. if they got sued out of existence, and yes, I'm a customer of Vonage since 2004, then they deserve to die off.. and yes, I'd hate to see the service go. However, we live in a nation of laws.. if they violated one and got sued and run off.. that's life bud.

I don't believe in Robin Hood.. I don't believe in taking from the rich to give to the poor.. they way I saw Vonage is that many people agree with what they did becuase the "ends justified the means".. which to this day rarely, if ever, holds up in legal argument.

Consumer interest, I'm sorry to say, are not always first and we need to stop pretending that's so.. Yes, it's not a popular thing to say around these parts, however, in order to say that consumer interests come first is to also say that you have a right to, or are entitled to.. The only basics of entitlement is the right to Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness. And, right now, liberty has been largely taken away, and many people aren't happy becuase the pursuit has been throttled by the lack of liberty . . The system is a two way street.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by Ryokucha:

I think even though you were trying to be sarcastic in your retort, you did prove his point. All you have to do is turn your $0.01 per month rate into a reasonable rate, which I might add I did not seem to find such reference to in the original post, extrapolate that new data and surprising enough it proves his point.
Sell your product at a loss and make it up in volume. LOL.

Ryokucha

join:2000-10-20
Port Orange, FL

Re: Some investors are not very smart.

Not anywhere did I say they had to sell at a loss. $60 for a "unlimited" 5GB cap is not reasonable. But hey to each their own.

I guess that is why I do not have any AT&T services or products, but I do have 150k in T. So hey I guess I can't really complain about their business model that supports the stockholders more then the consumers.
charterbites

join:2005-11-19
Covington, LA

1 recommendation

Good one.
Most of these posters wouldn't know a Balance Sheet if it bite them on the nose.
Sad but true

Dagda1175

join:2001-06-17
Goleta, CA

Psion

Maybe the execs don't want to use the word 'netbook' as Psion continues into litigation claiming it owns the trademark.
ShellMMG

join:2009-04-16
Grass Lake, MI
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

Silver Lining

If there's a good point about customer outrage at the crazy costs of bandwidth overage chargers, it's the publicity it'll get. Wireless plans with preposterous 5G caps are the only thing many of us have as a dialup alternative. It just doesn't work when you have a family.

I'm not asking for a free ride. What I need is decent broadband and a reasonable cost. $60 a month would be reasonable but the 5G cap is NOT!
PastTense56

join:2007-05-15

Re: Silver Lining

said by ShellMMG:

I'm not asking for a free ride. What I need is decent broadband and a reasonable cost. $60 a month would be reasonable but the 5G cap is NOT!
I think there is a major problem with the cost structure cellular companies have in providing additional bandwidth--it's just not cheap like it is for cable companies.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
Agreed. $12 per GB for the first 5 GB, then several times larger than that for additional GB...not the way to go.

As a side note, there are companies who wiill sell you an uncapped account. Not Millenicom anymore, but there's one that will do fixed access with mobile broadband. Problem is, we're talking about $150/month on a three-year contract.

On the supply and demand side of things, awhile back AT&T had a loophole where you could use a GoPhone unlimited data plan in a broadband card. Soft 5GB cap and no VPN access, but 1.2 Mbit/s for $19.99 per month was great, even though I did have to shell out $130 of my hard-earned money for a mobile broadband USB dongle.

If the mobile broadband package was $20 on no contract with purchase (for $150 or so) of the card, tons of people would sign up. Oh wait, that would crash AT&T's network. Back to thr drawing board...

...waitaminute. Netbook users are going to use more mobile broadband than cell phone users, though presumably less than full laptop users. Then again I'm a full laptop user and could easily bust 5GB per month on mobile broadband (I don't though...I like my SERO plan). Of course, who cares if people break 5GB in a month...AT&T is making bank on those chumps...until they start suing AT&T or whining to the press.

Gragh.

45071419

join:2006-07-30

They can't legally call it a netbook

I'm surprised corp. these days is:

»www.betanews.com/article/So-that···36098956

•••

Its a Secret
Please speak into the microphone
Premium
join:2008-02-23
Da wet coast
kudos:3

Bwahaha!

Sounds like the MDS 'Dollar-a-day' deal... Plus taxes, airtime, non-fees, and other BS.

Sign me up!