Verizon Next to Offer $100 Netbook PC?By Jessica Davis | Print
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Reports say Verizon will soon follow AT&T in offering a $100 carrier-subsidized notebook for consumers who sign a two-year Internet service contract. The move comes as carriers view the mobile phone market as mature and as the prices of unlocked premium smartphones exceed the prices of netbooks.
Want an extremely inexpensive PC? Verizon plans
to offer subsidized PC netbooks to consumers for approximately $100 in exchange
for service contracts, according to a Bloomberg report.
It was just a matter of time before telecommunications carrier Verizon jumped on the netbook PC bandwagon. AT&T and Radio Shack partnered to release a $99 Acer Aspire One netbook in December 2008 to customers who signed a two-year contract for AT&T's 3G wireless broadband service. The service provides Internet access for about $60 a month, plus additional charges for those who go over a 5GB monthly limit.
Carriers are looking to increase their data business as the mobile phone market reaches maturity. It only makes sense that they would look to netbooks next.
That's partially because the price of a netbook, generally under $500 and in most cases between $300 and $400, is less than the price of an unlocked top-of-the-line cell phone these days. An unlocked Apple iPhone or BlackBerry Storm costs between $550 and $600.
Reports say Verizon is working with a few PC manufacturers on the netbook plan. The netbooks are expected to be carried in Verizon Wireless stores as well as other retail stores.
Gartner has forecast netbook sales to double in 2009 even as the overall PC market experiences its worst unit sales decline in history of nearly 12 percent.
But the business model for carriers to offer subsidized netbooks is already under scrutiny. Earlier in March an Oklahoma woman filed suit against AT&T and Radio Shack after buying a netbook with the data plan and receiving a $500 bill for exceeding her monthly data allotment.