Netbook for $50? ATandT Says You Got It

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2009-05-20
 
 
 

This summer AT&T will be going nationwide with its offer of a low-priced netbook in combination with its Internet at Home and On the Go broadband services.  
On April 1, AT&T introduced the offer in only Atlanta and select locations in Philadelphia, and reports that the trial was a success.
 
Additionally, AT&T will be expanding the selection of netbooks that customers can choose from. While model names haven't been revealed yet, AT&T says the offerings will include devices from Acer, Dell and Lenovo.
 
"Pairing these laptops with AT&T's home broadband, Wi-Fi and the nation's fastest 3G network enables consumers and small business customers to get the most from their new devices at home, in the office and on the go," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, in a statement.

IDC has estimated that worldwide netbook shipments could reach 22 million in 2009. In a struggling economy, netbooks have helped to keep the notebook PC market afloat, with customers opting for their low prices and emphasis on lighter tasks, over more pricey, and more robust, traditional laptops.
 
"Netbooks showed both consumer and business purchasers that, for most uses, they do not necessarily need top-of-the-line PCs," wrote a Technology Business Research analyst in a March 5 report. "The recession is driving customers to value-based decisions and they will retain the habit long after an economic recovery."
 
Verizon, following the lead of AT&T and many European carriers, rolled out a similar deal on May 17, selling Hewlett-Packard's Mini 1151 NR netbook for $199 with a data plan and service agreement.
 
AT&T's trial program in Atlanta and Philadelphia priced the carrier's broadband service at $59.99 per month, with device prices ranging from $49.99 to $249.99. AT&T has yet to announce pricing for the nationwide offer, which will be available through AT&T retail stores and at www.att.com. 

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