O2 saunters into laptop market
Just little ones though
Telefonica-owned brand O2 has launched into the subsidised-laptop market, and is giving away a couple of models of Samsung netbook mini-laptop with £30 and £40 contracts.
The mini-laptops are nice enough: the Samsung NC10 and basic-comfiguration R510 are free if you sign up to pay 30 quid a month for 3GB of data, while a better-equipped R510 will cost you a one-off eighty quid payment and is billed as a "multimedia laptop". Another tenner a month gets you 10GB of data, with both contracts offering access to O2's network of Wi-Fi hotspots.
(We're not supposed to call them netbooks these days, though O2 does reference the NC10 that way. NetBook is, of course, a term owned by Psion who have recently managed to get Google to recognise the trademark and refuse ads on that basis, while Psion has been alerting websites to avoid using the term - so we'll stick to mini-laptop.)
Not that O2 is really interested in selling mini-laptops any more than it is interested in selling mobile phones, so the O2 minis come with free support (for an unspecified "limited period") and are covered by the operator's "Happiness Guarantee" that is basically a 30-day-return policy. Punters also get a free copy of McAfee security software.
O2 is clearly trying to sell these devices to punters who don't own, and have never considered owning, a laptop - lots of support and easy payments, all leading to greater utilisation of the network. It's a policy embraced by Carphone Warehouse with its Best Buy Europe project that expects to see multiple-PC-owning houses proliferate in just the same way that most houses have more than one phone in now.
But you can't subsidise everything on the basis of contract values - Mobile phone contracts have become the modern version of the "never-never": we fully expect T-Mobile to start selling contract-based cars any day now, while Orange supplies sofas we can hide behind when the man from Vodafone comes knocking. ®
Netbook is trademarked?
Even if that's true, Google stopped enforcing trademark protection in the UK last May, and in the US a couple of years ago. I just searched on "netbook" and saw a Dell ad, so I'm not sure where the Psion story comes from. I think laptot may have to wait a little longer for its day in the sun.
Re: Netbook is trademarked?
You can see Psion's letter on the subject posted here...
I'm liking "laptot" at the moment.
Psion and on and on...
>"NetBook is, of course, a term owned by Psion who have recently managed to get Google to recognise the trademark ..."
Could it be that Potter & Co are planning a comeback tour?
Re: Bring back the laptot!
I thought we decided on this many moons ago?! I'd make a facebook group about this very thing, but unfortunately I start screaming and p***ing blood every time I go near the unholy device.
The NC10, on which this is written, is considered a SCC (Small Cheap Computer) to be honest at the £270 I paid it only just makes this true, however, at 24 x £30 or £720 it most certainly aint cheap.
Add on the 10GB allowance that makes it useable and you are paying out an awful lot of cash.
However if you need this, mobile broadband service, and are going to pay for it anyway then this becomes a free computer, fill your boots.