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Why Netbooks Will Soon Cost $99 221

CWmike sends along a ComputerWorld piece which predicts that "netbooks like the Asus Eee PC, the Dell Mini 9 and the HP 2133 Mini-Note will soon cost as little as $99. The catch? You'll need to commit to a two-year mobile broadband contract. The low cost will come courtesy of a subsidy identical to the one you already get with your cell phone. It's likely that HP is working with AT&T (they're reported to be talking), which announced a major strategic shift a couple of weeks ago that should result in AT&T stores selling nonphone gadgets that can take advantage of mobile broadband, including netbooks. What's more interesting is that low income and cheapskate buyers are starting to use iPhones as replacements or substitutes for netbook, notebook and even desktop PCs. The author's take: A very large number of people are increasingly looking to buy a single device — or, at least, subscribe to a single wireless account — for all their computing and communications needs, and at the lowest possible price."
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Why Netbooks Will Soon Cost $99

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @08:22AM (#25594013)

    In the UK (which is generally, but not always prefixed with the words "rip off") netbooks/cheap laptops have been available for free as part of contract mobile deals for quite a few months now via major retailers such as the Carphone Warehouse..

  • by Evan Meakyl ( 762695 ) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @08:29AM (#25594033)
    ... at least in France: []

    You can have an EEEPC for 99 euros + a USB key which allows to connect to the Internet using a 3G+ connection, which for a 2 years subscription costs you 30 euros/per month. Do the maths :) !
  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Saturday November 01, 2008 @08:36AM (#25594065)

    With free wireless broadband being so easy to get...

    Wha...? You do realize that "wireless broadband" isn't the same thing as wi-fi, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @08:58AM (#25594161)

    I work in computers at Best Buy(I know, i know we suck) and we have been pushing the mobile broadband with the eeePCs for a while. They have been a big hit with those who want full computing capabilities(ex. truck drivers) as oppose to something just like an iPhone. This will be a great partnership if it works out. I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:08AM (#25594201)

    Several networks are already offering this kind of deal here in Taiwan. Some of them even giving them away for free if you take the unlimited 3G network plan combined with a 2 year contract. The unlimited 3G plan costs about 22USD at the current exchange rate which is pretty decent since you get a netbook worth close to 400 bucks retail price (they give away Asus EEE PC 901 and 1000H and such and not the cheap surf model)

    Personally I think that it is a good deal.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:15AM (#25594235) Journal
    Ummm...considering that Asus has done announced they will have a EEE priced at $200 [] next year,why on earth would anyone get screwed with such a long term contract to save $100? Personally I'll wait and see what the $200 Asus looks like.
  • by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:16AM (#25594241)

    wifi doesn't count. Coverage is less than 0.1% of land area, no matter which provider you go with, and less than 1% of population.

    Covering less than 50% of population is out of the question, and I'd avoid any service which didn't cover 50% of land area, perhaps even 75% of land area.

  • Re:Frankly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tryfen ( 216209 ) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:30AM (#25594319) Homepage

    You can.

    Nokia's N95 8GB comes with a TV-out cable in the box. Hook it up to a 42 inch plasma screen, pair a bluetooth keyboard with the phone and you're all set.

    You can even play Quake on it.

    Use the built in Webkit browser or install Opera.

    It has full desktop-style office apps available. Out of the box it can read .doc and .ppt and a few others.

    It has a media streamer (realplayer) so you can watch TV, listen to Internet radio, podcasts etc.

    There's a mobile version of DivX which will play your "backups".

    Want to go insane with yourbandwidth? Try the Bit Torrent client that's available - SymTorrent. Mind you, you're better off using the built in WiFi for that.

    Better keep a charger nearby!

  • by vagabond_gr ( 762469 ) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:50AM (#25594425)

    In the netherlands you can get an Eee PC 901 for 49.95 euros plus 34.95 euros per month for 2 years. Or even for free with a 59.95 euros/month contract. translation of t-mobile page []

  • Re:News? (Score:3, Informative)

    by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @10:03AM (#25594499)

    By "paying for incoming" calls you mean "paying more for an outgoing call because you call a different carrier".

    The cost ends up at the consumer, no matter which way around you twist it. In the US, the person who has a choice in using a mobile or not pays for that choice.

    I checked with my carrier and outgoing calls to any carrier (fixed and mobile) in my country are exactly the same price an outgoing to a cellphone on the same network.

    Yes. You are paying the same price for something that costs vastly different amounts for the service provider. This leads to complete distortion of the market.

    The best customer for a cell phone provider in Europe is the one who spends all day receiving calls from other carriers. The worst customer is the one who spends all day actually making calls. It leads to all sorts of funny behaviour on the ISP side, like being unable to turn off voice mail. Voice mail is free money, twice: First you earn a bunch from some other carrier when someone leaves a voice mail (and you don't even have to use your expensive bandwidth for it), and second you make money when the customer calls voice mail to listen to the message. At least in the second case the provider has to spend a little bit on bandwidth.

    The only reason why this hasn't spun completely out of control is that the antitrust authorities are limiting inter-carrier rates.

    Anyway, the price of a cell phone minute, just the airtime, in the actually competitive market in Denmark, is less than 0.03EUR. The same minute when sold inter-carrier is 0.15EUR. If either the market or the antitrust authorities were doing the job properly, those rates would be approximately the same. (Basic economic theory, in a competitive market, the price of a good approaches the cost of its production).

  • by AigariusDebian ( 721386 ) <aigarius@debian. o r g> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @10:36AM (#25594667) Homepage

    Talk about outdated thinking, LMT in Latvia is offering ASUS EEEPC 1000 with a built-in 3G reciever for $2 + 2 year data contract. That offer is there for at least half a year, could be close to a full year now.

  • Re:News? (Score:3, Informative)

    by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @10:45AM (#25594727) Homepage Journal
    Being from the U.S. myself I don't see any reason to defend charging for incoming calls. My landline doesn't get charge for incoming calls. Neither should my cell phone. I don't mind if they charge enough for outgoing to make up the cost (I would guess they already do this anyway). The worst offender of all is having to pay for incoming texts. I have never sent a text in my life, and I only receive a few a month, and those that I receive are generally accidents, or are from someone at work who doesn't realize that dialing my number and calling is cheaper, easier and less time-intensive than dialing my number and typing in a text message.
    Unlike you I am not hopeful for the election to change anything. I have not heard anything from either candidate about this issue, nor would I want the government to get involved. I simply want consumers to stop laying down and taking it, which is probably a shallow hope since they are so addicted to text messaging.
  • Re:Low income. (Score:3, Informative)

    by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:13AM (#25600471)

    Even in Los Angeles, its middle class. Median household income in City of Los Angeles is about $51k.

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