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Why Netbooks Will Soon Cost $99

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.

Businesses 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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221 comments

"cheapskate buyers"? (5, Insightful)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594007)

I'd hardly call using an iPhone as a replacement or substitute for a net/note/lap/dog-book or desktop being a "cheapskate buyer".

Re:"cheapskate buyers"? (4, Insightful)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594035)

Actually calling them incompetent buyer would be more accurate, but the parent article is still quite right.
Most people are impulse buyer and will pay anything if the "first byte" is not too painful.
You will see things like:
59$ down payment 19.9 for the three first month (and in small 29.9 for the super premium student value subscription or 59.9 for the standard and 99.9 for the business (the only one that is actually of any use to you) subscription...

Re:"cheapskate buyers"? (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594235)

Ummm...considering that Asus has done announced they will have a EEE priced at $200 [cnet.com] 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.

Re:"cheapskate buyers"? (2, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594263)

Ummm...considering that Asus has done announced they will have a EEE priced at $200 [cnet.com] 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.

At $200 retail it becomes free with contract - which will no doubt be a selling point.

If it is a decent device (for me, that's a 10" screen, plenty of memory, 16GB SSD or fast HDD, bluetooth) and data service is reasonably priced I'd get one as a laptop replacement.

Re:"cheapskate buyers"? (3, Informative)

AigariusDebian (721386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594667)

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:"cheapskate buyers"? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594619)

This is great news for the people who will grab these netbooks after the original buyers tire of them or quit their contracts. I'll be watching Craigslist and flea markets.

Re:"cheapskate buyers"? (2, Insightful)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594139)

Because the iPhone is expensive? For a cell phone, sure it is. But most cell phones aren't handheld computers (yet).

With telecom in many developing countries, buyers skipped having a land line and went right for cell phones. Buyers in developed economies often realize they don't need a land line. I'm not one of them, but, in today's economy, if someone buys a cell phone and it's also a usable web browser, why pony up for a desktop, laptop, or even a netbook?

Policy of no naked DSL (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594393)

Buyers in developed economies often realize they don't need a land line.

Unless the phone company threatens to cut off the DSL once the customer cuts off the phone line.

Re:"cheapskate buyers"? (3, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594191)

From the OP: ... that low income and cheapskate buyers are starting to use iPhones as replacements or substitutes for netbook, ....

An iPhone costs more than some existing netbooks, so these must be affluent imbeciles or ardent fashionistas (both groups being significant subsets of the iPhone demographic), rather than "cheapskates" or "low income". Of course, these are exactly the right target market for selling a netbook with a locked-in WLAN communication contract, preferably at an eye-watering overall profit level.

Better to just buy it outright. (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594009)

It would be better just to buy it outright. With free wireless broadband being so easy to get, and the cost of these netbooks dropping, you are probably just better off buying it outright, and not being tied into a provider.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594181)

I guess we agree it's wireless so so you feel the bandwidth is insufficient to count as broadband? Or do you just mean it's limited by location and thus to you doesn't count as "wireless broadband" even if it is both wireless and broadband?

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (2, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Better to just buy it outright. (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594273)

Since I work for a company which sells a Wireless broadband service I can confirm that WiFi is not "Wireless Broadband" just like Ethernet is not wired Broadband.

Wifi where it is available is a LAN. If you connect to Wifi at a coffee shop, travel 100 Meters then connect at a fast food joint, you are moving from one LAN to another. How those WiFi LANs connect to the internet is likely a Wireless or Wired Broadband service.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594277)

No, he means wifi is not what is referred to as "wireless broadband" in the article, or indeed in general usage. And in many places free wifi is not at all easy to find, it depends where you live.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (2, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594127)

I wonder why they say "soon". In my country they already do this, at at least two mobile phone operators. It seems like a rather logical step to me.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (2, Interesting)

Zarf (5735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594601)

Well, when I was living in the EU I thought you guys seemed to be a bit ahead of the US in some ways and behind in others when it came to telecom. It was hard to get what a USican would call good high speed wired service (no cable modems for example and I currently have FTTH/FiOS I couldn't get that in EU).

I think EU wireless services were more pervasive, better, and made a heck-of-a-lot more sense from a customer perspective.

So, yeah, mobile phone services in the US are pretty sad by comparison...

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594687)

I think you would have gotten FTTH/FiOS, if you would have been willing to pay the (very high) price. Normally Cable or ADSL (pretty much to be had everywere) covers the needs of the customers well enough. I don't know a single person still on dial-up, but indeed no private person using fibre.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594281)

It would be better just to buy it outright. With free wireless broadband being so easy to get, and the cost of these netbooks dropping, you are probably just better off buying it outright, and not being tied into a provider.

"Free" and "easy to get" is relative - try traveling around the US on a frequent basis and it becomes neither free nor easy to get.

If ATT could come up with a cheap way to get email and do light surfing / downloading then it becomes a worthwhile gadget for traveling; especially if the device is good enough to do Word and PowerPoint on the road.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594375)

"Free" and "easy to get" is relative - try traveling around the US on a frequent basis and it becomes neither free nor easy to get.

Lets see... last time I checked there were about 5 unsecured wireless routers in range, and there were a lot more last time I went into a major city.... Its both free and easy to get.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (2, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594491)

"Free" and "easy to get" is relative - try traveling around the US on a frequent basis and it becomes neither free nor easy to get.

Lets see... last time I checked there were about 5 unsecured wireless routers in range, and there were a lot more last time I went into a major city.... Its both free and easy to get.

Yes, and you have no idea whose router that is or what they are doing with your data stream; nor how long they will be up. Besides the security issue, if you are moving or inside a building may unsecured routers go away.

Not to mention "major city" leaves out a lot of the US.

Finally, leaching bandwidth is not free.

Re:Better to just buy it outright. (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594815)

Not all of use live in or around a "major city". My travel typically consists of the following:

Charleston, SC
Columbia, SC
Atlanta, GA

Occasionally I'll venture into Charlotte or Miami but not often.

My experience there is that unless you're in a hotel (where you're usually going to have to pay extra for it - unless it's a cheap hotel. seems the higher the price the more likely you are to have to pay for wifi), or in a coffee shop, then you're not getting a signal. Even then most of the hotels seem to have a single WAP in the main office so I've had to request to be moved to a room closer to the WAP several times just to get a usable signal.

Basically, for me wifi is tightly centered around several spaced out little hubs. Good when I bunker down for the night (I'm actually on hotel wireless typing this right now), but other than that, not really useful. Cell phone on the other hand, I get a signal just about anywhere I'd want to go. Getting my connection over that would be much more seamless and feasible. And honestly, at a reasonable rate (say, $20 per month), well worth avoiding the hassle of always finding a hotspot.

Heck a lot of the hotspots are going pay now anyways. I'm on one of the T-mobile ones right now (they partner through this hotel and several other places). $6 for 60 minutes, $10 for 1 day, $20 for 7 days, or $30 paid monthly. That's starting to rival a cell data plan itself.

Welcome to the future - UK (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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..

Re:Welcome to the future - UK (1)

rlobue (1099995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594067)

I second this. Carriers in the EU have been offering Free netbooks for quite some time. All is needed is the 18 month or 2 year contract. They're actually a really good deal and many fellow students at university have taken them up on the opportunity to basically pay for a laptop over 2 years.

Re:Welcome to the future - UK (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594143)

It's HP[1] in disguise, but if you're happy with that then fine. A lot of people don't realise that the cost of the "free" phone is hidden in their monthly bill.

[1] As in rent-to-own/buying on tick, not the company Carly screwed up.

Re:Welcome to the future - UK (2, Funny)

gertam (1019200) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594185)

And I thought you were talking about the brown sauce. :-)

Re:Welcome to the future - UK (2, Informative)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 [google.com]

Re:Welcome to the future - UK (1)

Catil (1063380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594543)

Here in Germany you can get mobile contracts bundled with virtually anything you like. LCD-TVs, next-gen consoles, PC gaming rigs, laptops, motor-scooters and perhaps even cars... Off course, those contracts are more expensive than regular ones.
It's just a special form of leasing and in the end it will always cost you more than buying the bundled stuff separately.

Old news in the UK at least (1)

mattbee (17533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594021)

In the UK, PC World, Carphone Warehouse etc. have all competing on mobile broadband deals for months, throwing in a netbook or laptop at the same time. Just like with mobile phones you're paying a high price for finance on a £150-400 device, plus a 12-24 months broadband / 3G contract.

Separately the phone networks are also competing much harder in the last year for broadband-only deals, and SIM-only deals for calls - those seem like better value if you know what you want.

Re:Old news in the UK at least (2, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594153)

1. Predict Something that has already happened.

2. ??????WTF?????

3. Look like an idiot.

Old News everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594289)

This is old news everywhere. Schemes like this were tried in the United States several times in the late nineties/early 00's. They were all failures. Initially the companies offered free machines with ads on the desk top and in the browser. But that didn't make them any money.

Then they started demanding signed contracts from users stating that the machines wouldn't be modified, since a large portion of their userbase turned out to be techies that were wiping the machines and installing their OS of choice. That didn't make them any money.

Then they started offering free or cheap ($100 or less) machines if you signed a contract for cheap-ish ad-riddled internet. That didn't make them any money.

Then they went out of business.

where do i sign? (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594029)

give me a big, stable network and a reasonably high bandwidth cap (at least 20GB/month) and you've got a deal!

Re:where do i sign? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594041)

Even a 20gb cap is over kill when your diskspace is in the 4-30gb ballpark.

Re:where do i sign? (2, Interesting)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594079)

Yeah, but have you considered you can leave your work in the "cloud" and only downloaded it when you need it?

Sure you will fill a 30GB HD in a hurry if you keep everything you download, but you don't. You just download it again when you needed it again.

At least, that's what I would do.

Re:where do i sign? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594093)

Not if you stream HD videos all day long, without storing them. Yeah, I know that it's stupid, but then again, so is YouTube. People will do it anyway. :(

That's already the case... (2, Informative)

Evan Meakyl (762695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594033)

... at least in France:

http://www.sfr.fr/mobile/internet-ultra-portable.jspe?sfrintid=HP_NA_MEA_2 [www.sfr.fr]

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 :) !

Re:That's already the case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594047)

I've seen SFR with the deal to get them 'free' too.

Lots of companies in france are using netbooks as an incentive for purchases (carrefour, etc)

Re:That's already the case... (2, Interesting)

Catil (1063380) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594627)

Meanwhile, in Germany...

Playstation 3 80 GB
+ Asus EeePC 4GB
+ 2x Motorola F3
for 0 Euro.
It's bundled with two Vodafon 2-year contracts, respectively for 15,39 Euro monthly.
http://www.sparhandy.de/bundle-details.html?bundle=616&tarifekategorie=20188&gruppe=113&subgruppe=150&zanpid=1169641662356392960 [sparhandy.de]

That was one of the first links searching for 'handy (mobile-phone) bundles.' I don't think something like this is very serious. It will perhaps come with a bunch of sleazy clauses in small print. Our consumer advice centre puts out warnings once in a while for this kind of stuff...

Re:That's already the case... (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594843)

There's similar offers in Denmark too... However, I think they are by law restricted to a maximum of 6 months subscription... At least that's all they take...

If you do the math, keep in mind that european prices are ALWAY a lot higher then the American... I'd say between 25% and 100% higher!

Ray Kurzweil (5, Funny)

suburbanmediocrity (810207) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594037)

I believe predicted this many years ago.

Of course I think that he also predicted that we would eventually also be marrying them at some point. Now I think we're just living together.

Chobits? (1)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594443)

So persocoms [wikipedia.org] aren't far off? Sweet!

The most worrying part of this is that... (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594043)

Now instead of speaking to "real users" when we build something for netbooks, we need to convince a couple of "telecom marketoids"...

Watch this space for "ringtones windows skins from outerspace for netbooks" at a low 9.99.

And then when you'll go to you favority watering hole you'll find out who the nerds are because their computers do not go "" when they get a new mail.

Old news... (0, Redundant)

sparky81 (1309369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594061)

...at least in the UK. Carphone Warehouse [carphonewarehouse.com] have been offering laptops for 'free' for several months if you take a £20-30 ($30-45) plan

Lock-In (1)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594073)

Step One: Integrate Card in a Specialized "Mobile Laptop"
Step Two: Offer Laptop for Free w/ Two Year Service Plan
Step Three: People might begin to choose a wireless broadband service over their home network.

Extra Step: Keep charging for "extra cards" if they want their home-based setups to use the service.

One device per contract is a deal-killer (5, Interesting)

geophile (16995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594075)

BInding a single device to a 2-year contract is nuts. Especially a device as limited as a cell phone or netbook.

The iphone, for example, is very cool, but I'm just not interested at $70/month. Yet I pay more than that for my tv/phone/internet connection at home. I'm OK with that because at home I have flexibility -- I can attach as many phones and computers as I want.

I'm sticking with my pay-as-you-go, featureless cell phone until there's an expensive contract that gives me a lot more flexibility.

Re:One device per contract is a deal-killer (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594135)

Luddite!

Re:One device per contract is a deal-killer (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594325)

BInding a single device to a 2-year contract is nuts. Especially a device as limited as a cell phone or netbook.

The iphone, for example, is very cool, but I'm just not interested at $70/month. Yet I pay more than that for my tv/phone/internet connection at home. I'm OK with that because at home I have flexibility -- I can attach as many phones and computers as I want.

I'm sticking with my pay-as-you-go, featureless cell phone until there's an expensive contract that gives me a lot more flexibility.

Value depends on needs - my home phone is rarely used (and primarily a legacy line) Cell phones are the primary devices we use for personal and work calls; and pay as you go would be orders of magnitude more expensive and the monthly cost is very variable and unpredictable. Most don't offer data plans (well, ATT does but it's a bit convoluted to get it).

So, a contract is a good way to lock in a price and that's less expensive and more predictable. It's essentially a 2 year hedge on costs.

It all depends on usage patterns - pay as you go, month to month or contract all make sense for differing needs.

Re:One device per contract is a deal-killer (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594527)

Contract plans only make sense because the majority of people sign them for a cheap phone. If less people signed contracts, there is a good chance phone companies would work harder on customer retention, rather than acquisition, and prices would drop for non contract and pay as you go (and they are getting better anyway, Virgin Mobile offers unlimited voice for $80 a month with no contract, which is somewhat competitive/comparable with the $100 unlimited plans from the big carriers, except for data/messaging, which aren't all that expensive).

Re:One device per contract is a deal-killer (2, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594597)

Contract plans only make sense because the majority of people sign them for a cheap phone. If less people signed contracts, there is a good chance phone companies would work harder on customer retention, rather than acquisition, and prices would drop for non contract and pay as you go (and they are getting better anyway, Virgin Mobile offers unlimited voice for $80 a month with no contract, which is somewhat competitive/comparable with the $100 unlimited plans from the big carriers, except for data/messaging, which aren't all that expensive).

Contract plans only make sense because the majority of people sign them for a cheap phone. If less people signed contracts, there is a good chance phone companies would work harder on customer retention, rather than acquisition, and prices would drop for non contract and pay as you go (and they are getting better anyway, Virgin Mobile offers unlimited voice for $80 a month with no contract, which is somewhat competitive/comparable with the $100 unlimited plans from the big carriers, except for data/messaging, which aren't all that expensive).

Except that by not being able to spread out the cost of the phone over 12 or 24 months many people would not buy a phone. If there truly was interest in pay as you go you'd see a lot more uptake on those plans.

However, consumers find contracts a better value and so chose them. There are plenty non-contract alternatives at a wide range of prices. Overall, however they are not as popular as contract plans because consumers find more value in a contract with a subsidized phone. While VM offers a good deal at $90/month (voice and text) there phone selection is a bit limited.

In addition, the ability to add on additional lines on contracts and share minutes is a selling point for many users as well. Four phones on a family plan is cheaper than four monthly non-contract pay as you go plans.

Ahh convergence (5, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594081)

I am always fascinated by the twists and turns of the "convergence" of all electronic devices into "the one device that rules them all". For awhile it was looking like the video game console might be the winner. And TIVO was hot for awhile, as were set-top boxes. The PC made a run, but collapsed under their own complexity - the difficulty of trying to be all things. Those all of course both suffered from a lack of portability (notebooks were an attempt to address this) ... enter the PSP. Then smartphones popped on the scene and are probably the current best bet. But now netbooks appear, and there are some compelling reasons why they could displace cell phones as the one device everyone owns and carries. I suppose their two big problems are battery life and size. The smartphones' problems are screen size and interface (keyboard) size. Perhaps when (if) voice recognition finally works and the display-in-glasses becomes viable cell phones could overcome their limitations?

As a self-professed gadget guy I can say that I carry 3 devices with me always: cell phone, pocket PC and thumbdrive. Sometimes I also carry a Nano if I will be listening to music for a prolonged period (battery issues with the Pocket PC and the cell phone). Here in the states, the smartphones with touchscreens and web browsers and available 3rd party applications require you to sign up for a data contract, the cost of which I cannot justify. The pocket PC has a decent camera, a good music player, a host of games and applications, WiFi, a good size screen ... but it lacks a decent input device, battery life and cell phone functionality.

The rise of real mobile computing and tech support (1)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594083)

I'm all about having a real web browser, email, maps, and such on the road with you. It's what made me get an iPhone after so many years of watching Windows Mobile devices do everything so crappy.

The only thing missing with the iPhone is a nice external keyboard to use when occasions arise on-the-go, where I might be at a table and have the ease of use of a keyboard for rapid typing.

Perhaps Netbooks will fill in this niche. Hell, throw in a few remote access clients and it could be a sysadmin's dream.

From a support perspective, I'd rather have a cell plan for data for a device of this type than just a cell phone that gets the somethings-on-fire call to you while you're in a restaurant or camping where there is a signal.

News? (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594089)

How is this news? You get a... (checking local carriers) HP 550 or Toshiba S300 at *no* extra cost when you sign up for a normal 24 month mobile broadband subscription here (Sweden), and this has been common for years.

Or is this some US-specific backwardness, like paying for recieving calls? (no offense intended, but the US market really does seem to be 10 years behind the rest of the developed world, at least judging from slashdot-articles :-))

Re:News? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594303)

Paying for receiving calls is forwardness, not backwardness. As it is in Europe, providers can extort pretty much any rate they want on incoming calls, and the market doesn't punish them -- because it's the customers of other providers who pay. In Denmark it is typical that the inter-carrier rate is around 0.15EUR per minute, whereas in the US it's less than $0.01 per minute plus perhaps $0.10 for the customer on a really expensive plan. It also makes number portability between mobile and fixed networks possible.

The US mobile market is screwed up for a million reasons, but that is one thing they do right.

Re:News? (2, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594353)

As it is in Europe, providers can extort pretty much any rate they want on incoming calls, and the market doesn't punish them -- because

*blink*

My wife and I used to be on different carriers. If she called me from cell to cell, yes, she had to pay more for that call (which is outgoing for her). Incoming, I paid exactly nothing at all. Inter-carrier rates for incoming calls are non-existent where I live and I know they don't exist in Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands. Maybe Danmark is special in this case?

Technically, I can have a cellphone and it will cost me nothing if I never ever call with it. Incoming calls are always free (roaming being an exception, of course). I have a "pay-as-you-call" plan. I effectively pay only when I call. No monthly fees, no recharge cards. Only a slightly higher rate for my outgoing calls. Still only 0.09€/min My bills are pretty much 15€ per month, and that's with my wife and my phone tied to that bill.

Now if you're talking about *roaming* you open another can of worms, but roaming is a special case.

Finally, what you say makes no economic sense. If you had to pay for incoming calls at one carrier, and the next carrier asks less or even nothing, who are people going to flock to? Indeed...

Re:News? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594389)

I understood what you mean by now. By "paying for incoming" calls you mean "paying more for an outgoing call because you call a different carrier". It's not "paying for incoming" calls at all. Your logic is extremely twisted.

The market will take care of that: if one carrier wants to attract customers is will market the fact that it doesn't ask much more for outgoing calls to other carriers. Exactly this is happening right now. 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. They Advertise this fact and use it as a competitive advantage.

Frankly, this must be something backward in Danmark ;-)

Re:News? (2, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#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).

Re:News? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594657)

The cost ends up at the consumer, no matter which way around you twist it.

Yes, but there is consumer and consumer. There is the person who chose to make the call, he's the one that should pay. Simple. He knows I'm on a cellphone since the number indicates it. He used to know that I was on a different carrier because the number indicated it (This is not true anymore considering number-portability)

What you say is that I pay for the croissants other people eat even though I only eat bread because both are made of grain.

You are paying the same price for something that costs vastly different amounts for the service provider.

From a customer point of view: So what? It's the service my provider chose to offer me. Besides, you're completely missing the point of this. My provider offers this not because of kindness of heart, but because he wants to attract customers (in a saturated market). The more customers he gets, the more likely it is that one customer will call another customer on the internal network which are the high-margin calls for them.

Other providers will follow because their offer (from the customer point of view) is inferior and they want to keep competing. So, they also reduce prices. Now the next step is wonderful: to cut costs, they'll review inter-operator costs and negotiate better terms between each other because it is in their own interest to lower such costs.

This all works according to free market.

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

Actually, because there aren't much players the anti-trust measures are to ensure that no oligopolies formed, cutting out the customer. That means, only the last phase happens: companies getting together to negotiate better terms, but only for them.

If either the market or the antitrust authorities were doing the job properly, those rates would be approximately the same.

And yet, I have been telling you that in my country exactly this is happening! Are you obtuse or what?

Re:News? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594411)

Inter-carrier rates for incoming calls are non-existent where I live and I know they don't exist in Belgium, France, Germany and The Netherlands. Maybe Danmark is special in this case?

Nope. You're just uninformed. The carrier loses money when you call a different carrier. (Unless you're on a really crappy plan.)

Re:News? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594465)

That doesn't matter to me as a customer.... You do realise that?

Re:News? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594307)

Or is this some US-specific backwardness

Judging from the other comments, it seems to be.

like paying for recieving calls?

While I laugh at that too, one has to see that in a historical context. This stems from the days where local calls were free in the US which was a result of competition. We never had such luxury in Europe. Best I remember was that one local call would cost "one unit" (which was about 0.13€ back then) for 60 minutes of calling. After 60 minutes you'd be cut off and you had to call again. (I was a child back then, so it may not be accurate)

Now the mistake the carriers made was to consider cell-phones (okay, back then the analog "carry" beasts) as normal phones and hence give them normal phone numbers indistinguishable from real fixed-phone lines. However the costs for operating wireless communications had to be paid by someone. That couldn't be the originating caller because a) he couldn't know it was a mobile phone and b) expected to pay nothing when calling a local number. The logical solution was: the mobile phone user pays for the luxury of getting calls while being on the move.

While I find it weird to pay nothing for local phone calls and weird to pay for incoming calls, within the historical context it isn't all that crazy. The US should fix this and it is fixable by using predefined prefixes for mobile phones. They can even keep free local calls that way.

Re:News? (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594385)

Or is this some US-specific backwardness, like paying for recieving calls? (no offense intended, but the US market really does seem to be 10 years behind the rest of the developed world, at least judging from slashdot-articles :-))

The problem with /. 's discussions of cell phone markets is they fail to look at the market in an objective fashion. The conclusion is often "X is bad / behind the times / worse than mine because it is different.

Yes we "pay" for receiving calls; but given we don't if they are from the same carrier (I would wager a lot of calls are within a household who probably has only 1 carrier) of occur in the evening or on weekends most people never see any impact on their bill. If you do a lot of peak calling you can get an unlimited plan for around $100 and need not worry about minutes at all. For most practical purposes we really don't pay for incoming calls.

OTOH, we probably have one off the largest no-cost roaming and long distance setups around. I can call anywhere from within the US I can get a signal for no additional cost. My experiences in the EU is that phones don't let you roam for free across most borders; i.e. my UK phone in Portugal no longer considers incoming calls free and I do not pay UK rates for calls. If I go from say ATL to NYC as an example I incur no additional charges for a call.

We don't get as many cool phones, however.

Our markets evolved differently and our user needs are different. I's not uncommon for many users to make calls to and or from multiple states on a monthly basis; so our plans evolved into favoring wide areas of coverage for one base price; different, not better or worse.

We are backward in a number of other ways; I am hopeful 4NOV08 will start that to change as well.

Re:News? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594459)

My experiences in the EU is that phones don't let you roam for free across most borders

True. Yet, the logic behind this is equal to the logic that originated the "pay-for-reception" in the US. (Read my other comment [slashdot.org] ) A caller, calling a cellphone has no way to know where the other person is. If I call my brother right now, he might be in Germany for all I know. Who gets to pay? Not me, since I didn't know and it would be unfair to me. So he gets to pay. That's the basic idea behind roaming.

/If/ your carriers would be state-based instead of country-based you would have exactly the same problem that we have in Europe.

If you do a lot of peak calling you can get an unlimited plan for around $100 and need not worry about minutes at all.

This brings us back to "backwards".... In my country an unlimited plan like that is 30€/month. Sure, roaming isn't included in that, which limits it to my country but the same is true for the US... After all it still is one country and the networks in different states are owned by one and the same company.

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594537)

To each their own then. I move between states on a daily basis. I don't work in the same state that I live in and travel at least 2x a week.

If I didn't have roaming, my bill would be huge.

Re:News? (2, Informative)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594727)

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:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594501)

I refuse to allow a citizen of a nation with military conscription to call any other "backward". And no, just because you're able to choose a branch where you're not actually holding a weapon in your hand, it doesn't mean it's not military.

A Spanish citizen, I reached majority during their slow phasing out of compulsory service. I made it clear with a letter responding to each request (which included, by this time, "civilian" service) that they were welcome to take me to court if they wanted to enforce the law. Had I been born 5 years earlier, I'd have probably been made a criminal for refusing this slavery, but I was lucky, and my case was ignored. Are Swedes who conscientiously object to any form of servitude similarly lucky?

To this day I remain annoyed when Sweden talks of how forward and free it is compared to the US and UK, given this slavery.

do your math - iPhone not cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594091)

At least in Finland, where the iPhone is available with or without a contract, it"s actually cheaper to buy the phone and get a separate unlimited data plan for two years.

Unfortunately, you can get a reasonable laptop for the same price as an unlocked iPhone (599 euro)

It's 99 + 24 *x $, not 99$ (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594115)

So they will not cost $99, but $99 + 24 * x$. Thus the title is misleading.

Greetings,

mikko
http://lightlinux.blogspot.com

If I Could... (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594145)

If I could buy an iPhone and get a data plan and only a data plan with Rogers (I'm Canadian), I would. Their phone plans SUCK so I refuse to get an iPhone and am sticking with Koodo instead but, if Rogers ever pulls their heads out of their @ss or starts offering data-only plans for iPhone owners, I'll snatch one up in a second. Of course, one would surely ask why I'd want an i_Phone_ if I don't want to use the phone part but, first, the ability to have the internet in your pocket is VERY appealing and the my iPod Touch has made me realize that Apple "got it right" with their internet access. Second, even without a phone plan, one can still use the iPhone as a phone with voip programs (over wi-fi, of course). But, it's all a non-issue because I can't imagine Rogers _ever_ offering a data-only plan...

Full laptops in the UK (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594151)

In the UK you can get a free full-sized laptop with a 12 or 18 month contract for broadband Internet.

Re:Full laptops in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594223)

Beat me to the punch there.
The drawback is you need to subscribe to AOL, with all its limitations. Here in the UK I feel we get exceptional value in the communication market.
I have 8Gb broadband with BT cost #24 is a month with no download cap, free wireless router, free voip phone, free digiTV box etc.

Re:Full laptops in the UK (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594833)

The drawback is you need to subscribe to AOL

I was actually referring to the 3G (mobile phone network) broadband deals.

Frankly (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594159)

I don't understand why I can't simply "dock" my 300MHz 64Mb RAM, 2Gb storage mobile phone into a cradle and use a normal keyboard, mouse and screen to edit documents, write emails, browse web etc.

Psion had fully featured word processors, spreadsheets and cardfile databases running on 16bit hardware a decade ago, the problem isn't the OS or hardware... All the current crop of smartphones are up to the job.
 

Re:Frankly (5, Informative)

Tryfen (216209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594319)

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!

Re:Frankly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594579)

Yeah but does it run linux?

Re:Frankly (2, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594331)

I agree with one enhancement ... it should connect wirelessly to those devices. I would love to sit down at my desk with my smartphone in my pocket (with gobs of storage inside it) and have it automatically associate (over bluetooth?) with the screen, keyboard, wired or wifi interface, speakers, etc. Basically every workstation/PC would simply be IO devices ... the computation power and data would travel with me in my pocket. I guess for the time being it could physically dock, but that's so 90s -- wireless is the way to go.

The retail perspective (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:The retail perspective (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594453)

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.

First of all, BB fits a nice niche - I don't find you suck even if some sales people are somewhat clueless (like the ones that keep insisting a less than full frame dSLR somehow magically turns a 200mm lens into the equivalent reach of a 320mm)at least most are helpful.

That convergence is the next area of growth - once screens become decent enough to do word processing, spreadsheets and presentations for an extended period I think they will become mobile devices of choice for may road warriors. By usability, I mean the ability to create presentations and spreadsheets without having to squint or zoom in / scroll around the page; couple dwith a reasonably high res display..

PowerPoint, with a 10" page view and small small menubar or some sort of contextual right click pop up menu (or both) could fit the bill. The current variants, while tempting, waste too much screen space and would be frustrating for extended use.

My guess is MS will come out with slimmed down (in terms of screen space use) versions of Office apps to target that market.

It's also an opportunity for OSS to find a sweet spot - usable versions of Office replacements with full MS Office file compatibility; along with MS Exchange support in an Outlook clone at a low enough price point would have an opportunity to establish market share before MS exerts its market force. Most road warriors do not need games but need rock solid Office support and usability and probably would welcome a lighter, smaller device with built in internet access.

If only (4, Insightful)

kurtis25 (909650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594183)

If mobile broadband were fast enough to watch TV online, if the bandwidth caps were high enough to connect to my firm's remote server 8 hours a day and watch 5 hours of TV shows online a week and it was less than the $30 a month I pay for internet now I would sign up in a heartbeat.

Re:If only (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594323)

If mobile broadband were fast enough to watch TV online,

It is.

if the bandwidth caps were high enough to connect to my firm's remote server 8 hours a day

They are.

and watch 5 hours of TV shows online a week

That can be iffy, can you stay within 10GB?

and it was less than the $30 a month I pay for internet now

It's more than $30. Mobile broadband isn't going to win over very much of the fixed broadband market in the near term. There are lots of downsides to it, including cost and (often) latency. Still, it's wonderful to have in addition to fixed broadband.

Already happening in Asia (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

AT&T is killing unlimited MediaNet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594209)

After Nov 11th you will no longer be able to purchase the best deal on 3G access, AT&T $20/mo unlimited MediaNet which you could use in a USB/PCMCIA data card and get mobile broadband anywhere with no contract.

Single Device, Multiple Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594219)

The author's take: A very large number of people are increasingly looking to buy a single device â" or, at least, subscribe to a single wireless account â" for all their computing and communications needs, and at the lowest possible price.

If only the gaming industry could work that out, so I wouldn't need to buy all these bloody consoles and I could just use my PC.

Predictions (4, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594231)

1) MS-Windows only
2) Overpriced monthly service
3) Hardware hard-wired for only a single carrier

How wonderful, I can hardly wait.

Why don't we do this with cars next- "Get this wonderful car for only $8,000; just sign this $800 per month, 3 year contract for Exxon gas- and oh, by the way, it will only run on Exxon gas, and you are only allowed 20 gallons per month".

Many Real factors. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594255)

This seems a lot like the 1990s to me. Remember People PC. They in general did the same thing but with PC's and Dialup Internet. If you are going to sell people a laptop you realize that you will need to support the laptop not just your Internet connection. The reason why this works with cell phones is the fact that for the most part most of them are fairly locked down. While a PC is wide open and uncontrollable. Unless you get a $99 laptop and you cannot add or remove program except threw a safe channel any attempt to upgrade or change any of the setting voids all warentees and any upgrade to the network may "Brick" your laptop. Right now ISP have the liberty of saying it is a Dell/Microsoft problem. But if they sell them the preinstalled PC even at a discount, people will go to YOU for support. I remember at my Old Job a person calling for Free Tech Support for their computer just because they happened to get our promotional Mouse Pads (they didn't even buy anything from us nor did we make his computer, install or do anything with it)

People with low to intermediate computing needs... (4, Insightful)

walter_f (889353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594261)

... will indeed be able to get things done with a well-chosen netbook. The more intelligent among them (be their income low or relatively high) will prefer to buy their netbooks the traditional way, not as a part of a two-year service contract.

On the other hand, whoever expects to satisfy their computing needs with an iPhone or a similar device will end up dissatisfied, and doubly so when on a service contract that has to be paid for monthly from a low income.

why would i want two contracts? (4, Interesting)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594311)

I cannot understand why anyone would want to pay the mobile companies twice.

I currently can use my mobile when appropriate but when I need something more I use bletooth to connect my eee to my phone to use it's connection. Yes this does mean paying more on my phone contract but not as much as 2 contracts would be from what I have seen on these plans already. (I'm in the UK they have been selling like this for quite while now)

Only thing that probably sucks is when it comes time to renew my contract and get a nice shiny new phone there will be no bolt on options and I will be forced to have two contracts to make the mobile companies more money.

This is not a good thing, the only people who would needa mobile broadband only option are people without a mobile. For the rest it should just be bluetooth or whatever to the mobile phone. Yes I realise the operators in the US try to discourage you from this or ban it on most plans, but that is just bollocks, if i can use the interent on my phone whats the difference if I can connect another device? NOTHING, that's what, it just does not help them rip you off.

Please replace the headline. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594313)

I think it should be "why we will get netbooks after paying 100Euro immediatly". Please avoid the word "cost". It implies somehow that you do not pay something later. At the current subsidiation rates for mobile devices by cross financing, for many devices the original "price" is not more than a token of goodwill.

If could make a single law regarding that it would be that the contract financing the mobile device should be something which is made separately from the contract for the mobile sata transfer. Somehting like: when you make the mobile phone contract, a clause is included which states that a certain fraction of the montly rate goes to an bank, which borrows you money for the purpose of buying a mobile device, which you may buy where you want and how you want. In that way everybody would *realize* that "getting a mobile phone for free" may exceed his financial capabilities.

Verizon (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594357)

Celphone: $60/mo -- but you can only use its data functionality with crippled browser.

Data plan that allows you to attach a computer: $60/mo more on top of that.

Worse yet, Verizon until recently didn't keep theit users from using their "1x" data service, only asking for $60/mo to get access to faster EV-DO network. Now "1x" is blocked unless, of course, the user bypasses their retarded configuration that allows them to distinguish calls from the phone itself from calls made through the phone using USB or Bluetooth connection.

If someone expects me, or any significant fraction of users, to pay $120/mo for ANY kind of celphone service, he is deluding himself.

(This response was written on XO laptop, and sent through T-Mobile wifi connection.)

AT&T?!?! (0, Flamebait)

TheWGP (747857) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594363)

The single most positive thing about this might be that, if it gets sufficient press play and such, it could showcase how AsinineThieves&Tyrants screws their customres over.

No, really, pretty please, I'm BEGGING to be allowed to use a tiny netbook on a problematic network and pour whatever AsinineThieves&Tyrants demands out of my wallet! Just please use lube - oh, wait, that costs $20 a month extra, doesn't it?

The Failed Business Models of the 1990s (3, Insightful)

tyme (6621) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594367)

There is a big difference between the subscription plan you buy with your mobile phone and subscription plans like this: with the mobile phone, the thing the customer is actually interested in isn't the physical phone, but the ability to make phone calls on the network, so paying the subscription fee makes sense for the consumer; the cost of the phone, which is usually indexed to the customer's desire for features/prestige/etc. is incidental to the actual thing being sold: access to the wireless network. With all these plans to sell full-fledged computers by tacking their price onto some other service, the problem is that the other service is usually incidental to customer's actual interest: the computer. If the customer doesn't really want the thing you are trying to sell, then you will have a tough time keeping them in the subscription plan.

This was tried by a number of companies in the late nineties, and all failed miserably. Apparently there are a bunch of young MBAs out there who didn't learn the lesson of the iOpener.

Re:The Failed Business Models of the 1990s (2, Insightful)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594779)

But in 2008 most people use a computer mainly for web browsing and email, so for most people a computer is useless without an internet connection.

Old news (1)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594413)

"Free" netbooks (with mobile broadband contracts) have been around for months herearound (Austria to be specific, in Germany I've seen notebooks with lowered prices if combined with mobile contracts).

This might be news in the US, but probably only there.

yacc

They aren't $99.. they're free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25594479)

Here in Ireland and in the UK, you get laptops in this range, and sometimes even slightly better ones, for free when you sign up for mobile broadband (and sometimes even for home broadband like DSL.)

The key that will make this work... (1)

AMSRay (992267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594637)

With the new "GOBI" global high-speed wireless chipset from Qualcomm, you can use any HSPA or EV-Do carrier world-wide. HP has already announced they will start using it. I can't imagine that Asus and others will not soon follow. If the netbooks are offered free with contract as seems probable, you will be able to change carriers as soon as the contract is up, or buy your way out if you don't like the carrier you signed up for initially. You will still have a usable device that you can take to a different carrier. Netbooks or smart phones with GOBI and 802.11n could be a market changer with as much impact as the first handheld cell phones.

Shouldn't netbooks cost $99 Anyway? (2, Insightful)

TeamMCS (1398305) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594659)

I'm sorry, maybe a mixture of demand and my ignorance has confused me but wern't these netbooks (i'm looking at you 701) should have cost $99? Now we've got netbooks creeping past £400($600-700USD). I love these devices but my XPS 2.5Ghz Penryn, 4gig ram (yadyada)cost barely a few hundred dollars more. The size difference isn't that amazing on the new 10" models. Speaking of which, why the seriously crap resolutions? 1024*600, 800*480. My Sony U3 [that was subsiquently stolen :@], which is knocking on 5-6 years old had an 4:3 XGA resolution. Christ, my 15" laptop has a 1920x1200 screen so the technology is avalible and cheap enough to have high density screens - why not include a nice 1280*1024?

Videocard Netbooks (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594711)

The really exciting market niche for netbooks is ones with really fast videocards. People surfing the Web and emailing frequently get videos to watch. And with a fast GPU plus gigabit ethernet, these terminals could do full HDTV from a "home server". With an HDMI/DVI adapter onboard, they could drive bigscreen HDTVs, and the platform for fully interactive TV would be affordable in every room in the home or office. And they could be grabbed on the go, while running at home with the best power savings.

Give us $350 netbooks with $250 super-duper GPUs. We're ready for it.

here in Finland ... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594787)

This has been the happening for a year now or something, longer time anyways.

Nothing upfront, laptop + wireless broadband (GPRS i think) 15-29euros a month, 2 year contract.

So, $59/month x 24 plus $100 = $1500 (3, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25594797)

Seems like not so much a bargain. But that's just me.

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