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Expect Wireless Carriers To Subsidize Netbooks Soon
Netbooks for $100-$200, provided you sign a long-term contract...
by Karl Bode 05:10PM Friday Oct 31 2008
The same week Dell announced their most recent netbook, Michael Dell "predicted" that the future would see subsidized netbooks, sold by wireless carriers on the cheap if users were willing to sign long-term contracts. It wasn't much of a prediction, given Dell was already negotiating such a deal, and such offers are already commonplace in Europe and Asia. This week the Wall Street Journal reported that Hewlett Packard was in talks with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, or both concerning subsidized netbooks. How low companies will go with subsized netbook prices remains to be seen. $100? $200?

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Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY

1 edit

Do any of these market types ever learn

Remember the good buddy deals on computers if you signed up your first born for life with AOL, Compuserve, etc. It didn't pan out then and it will not pan out now.

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

Re: Do any of these market types ever learn

said by Transmaster:

Remember the good buddy deals on computers if you signed up your first born for life with AOL, Compuserve, etc. It didn't pan out then and it will not pan out now.
These "netbooks" retail for $399, less than some phones which are already subsidized. This is nothing like what you are comparing it to.
massysett

join:2006-01-04
Silver Spring, MD

Re: Do any of these market types ever learn

It's exactly like what Transmaster is comparing it to. The advertisement would say that a computer bundle (monitor, printer, floppy disks and all) was, say, $599 "after $400 instant rebate." You had to sign up for 3 years of MSN right there in the store, at $25 a month. Who knows if Best Buy was really getting $400 from MSN, but without the MSN you would pay $400 extra. What difference does it make that the netbook retails for $399? Maybe now there will be "FREE" netbook if you sign up for 3 years of Verizon at $50 a month! No difference whatsoever.

ReVeLaTeD
Premium
join:2001-11-10
San Diego, CA

Re: Do any of these market types ever learn

said by massysett:

It's exactly like what Transmaster is comparing it to. The advertisement would say that a computer bundle (monitor, printer, floppy disks and all) was, say, $599 "after $400 instant rebate." You had to sign up for 3 years of MSN right there in the store, at $25 a month. Who knows if Best Buy was really getting $400 from MSN, but without the MSN you would pay $400 extra. What difference does it make that the netbook retails for $399? Maybe now there will be "FREE" netbook if you sign up for 3 years of Verizon at $50 a month! No difference whatsoever.
MSN did pay Best Buy the money...the issue was that they paid Best Buy money before the subscriber paid for the service, based on the presence of a credit card applied (authorized for $1) and a signature (which wasn't validated against anything).

I know this to be the case, because MSN went on a rampage trying to collect their money owed after the fact. Thousands of people were defrauding that system; it was a nightmare. You could get 5 prepaid cards, load at least $1 on each, and go to 5 different Best Buy stores and get a $400 gift card from each, instantly. $2,000 profit. I know guys who bought ultimate car audio systems, TVs, computers, etc.
EPS4

join:2008-02-13
Hingham, MA
$399? Hell, I recently got an Eee for ~$259, less than some iPhones. Surprisingly usable too...

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA
I agree with Matt, this is a bit different. I already carry a USB AirCard and woudl have certainly considered a cheap Dell subnotebook if the price was right.

As for who would do the Compuserve deal? I needed a laptop and did the deal with Prodigy which at the time (pre SBC days) was a great dial up service with tons of POPs made better by their extensive email filter options which included blocking overseas mail servers (nearly zero spam eventhough I whored my email addy everywhere).

E1

@healthpartners.com

Cheap laptop?

With free wi-fi all over town and nice notebooks under $500 why would you want to tie yourself down to a two year contract?

NetAdmin1
CCNA

join:2008-05-22

No thanks...

No thanks, I'd rather pay full price for any device instead of getting locked into a contract with a company.
--
---
Drilling for more oil is akin to giving a methhead the keys to the meth lab.
AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: No thanks...

Ditto

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

1 recommendation

2 year contract with...

5GB cap for a laptop connection?
What are they smoking.
--
Canada = Hollywood North

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: 2 year contract with...

You can thank the P2P mofos and people who used 3G as their sole internet for the capage. People like me have to suffer

I'm a subscriber to the 5GB capped plans.

AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

Re: 2 year contract with...

CAN't make them cheaper than pcmcia adapter cards

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by en102:

5GB cap for a laptop connection?
What are they smoking.
No shit. Bump the cap to 25 GB, knock the monthly rate to $40 and maybe it might be worth it for those who have no other interent option. 25 GB isn't much but I understand wireles companies can't offer 250 GB caps like comcast so I think I'm being more than reasonable.

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: 2 year contract with...

Until they open up the floodgates, I would consider 5GB reasonable for ~50/month, and $80 for 200GB/month.
It is wireless, so I do expect a premium... but 5GB is too low for a locked in contract.
I'd use my cell phone tethered and pay month to month, unless I had business that I could justify it.

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: 2 year contract with...

I'd rather have them make it a premium product at $100/100GB. Keeps the kids off the network while still in reach for the average business person. Thats over 3GB a day so I can conduct work during the day and still watch some Slingbox while I am away from the fort on the road or at the airport.
gworkman7

join:2005-10-18
Laveen, AZ

+ Access Fees

Would rather purchase the netbook for $399 and use wi-fi where available and tether the rest of the time instead of paying nearly $60/month for two years of "service" (an extra $1440).
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: + Access Fees

Exactly, it's even a worse deal than your credit card company will give you. Maybe this is intended for people with no cash and such bad credit they can't get credit cards.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Incorrect Headline

How is it that wireless carriers would be subsidizing netbooks when it is the customers who purchase these things who would be doing the actual subsidizing?
--
"At the moment of conception."

b1gdr3
I Blame Your Mother

join:2001-07-28
York, PA

typo??

Is it SUBSIZED or SUBSIDIZED?
ncbill
Premium
join:2007-01-23
Winston Salem, NC

It all depends on the monthly price

No one's going to pay $60/month (current cellular data price) for a $399 netbook.

$30/month (even over 2 years) would be very attractive, however.

Especially if you could also use the netbook as a Wi-Fi access point for your other computers/Tivo/etc.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

1 edit

Re: It all depends on the monthly price

said by ncbill:

Especially if you could also use the netbook as a Wi-Fi access point for your other computers/Tivo/etc.
I would expect such subsidized notebooks to be locked to the network for the term of the contract so they couldn't be used as a Wi-Fi access point. Even if they're not locked they will have very little expandability, probably USB 2 and maybe ethernet.

joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
said by ncbill:

No one's going to pay $60/month (current cellular data price) for a $399 netbook.

$30/month (even over 2 years) would be very attractive, however.

Especially if you could also use the netbook as a Wi-Fi access point for your other computers/Tivo/etc.
Why not? That's what the service costs. They could buy the $399 netbook and then pay $60/month w/ a 2-year contract or they can buy the netbook with the internet built in and pay $60/month with a 2-year contract and get it for $100 or maybe even free. If you are going to get both anyways, why not?
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09:F9:11:02:9D:74:E3:5B:D8:41:56:C5:63:56:88:C0