Free Macs for sale

ISP charges subsidise hardware costs

Another company is giving away free iMacs with a paid-for ISP subscription. FreeMac.com will dish out one million iMacs over the next two years. The company is starting its bonanza this September with 10,000 freebies to get the ball rolling. Perhaps inspired by Register story earlier this year (see More home computers to be given away as direct-marketing tools), FreeMac.com will be using the giveaway as an opportunity to get marketing material into subscriber’s homes. The terms and conditions prove that there really is no such thing as a free iMac. As well as making themselves a legitimate spam target, customers must sign a three-year contract with Earthlink, FreeMac's chosen ISP, at $20 a month. As well as the iMac, subscribers will get a Visa credit card, with the number pre-loaded in the machine for easy online shopping. But according to Jonathan Strum, founder of FreeMac.com, each offer will be so well targeted that customers will be grateful for this service. "At the end of three years, I want customers to say the free computer was not the best part of the deal," he told the FT. The iMac is a fully functioning PC -- not a stripped-down Internet access device. It will come with 32MB of internal memory and a 6GB hard drive. Basic hardware upgrades can be purchased at the time of ordering. Interested parties should register at the company's web site. FreeMac.com says it will send early details to people registered on its site. ® See also EarthLink sues Microworkz to recover fees

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