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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.