Feeds

Sprint punts 99¢ netbook

There's a catch, natch

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

If you're jonesing for a netbook and you live in the States, Sprint and Best Buy will sell you one for the low, low price of 99¢.

But you'll still have to fork out around $1,500.

The catch is that the netbook - a Compaq Mini 110c-1040DX - must be purchased with a two-year Sprint 3G wireless-broadband service contract that runs $60 per month for 5GB of data downloads. Add to that $1,440 the sales tax you'll need to pay on the netbook's $389.99 list price, and you'll be shelling out just south of fifteen hundred bucks.

The netbook itself - as netbooks go - isn't a total dog. It has a 1.60GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, a 16GB SSD, 10.1-inch display, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and HP's un2400 EV-DO/HSDPA Mobile Broadband module.

Best Buy's Sprint-subsidized 99¢ netbook deal

When does 99¢ equal $1,500?

If the Sprint deal doesn't attract you, Best Buy will hook you up with AT&T or Verizon instead, but they'll charge you $199 up front for the hardware.

AT&T offers a 200MB-per-month plan for $40 - that'll run you about $1,160 over the two-year contract. The company also has a $60/5GB plan, plus other plans that include subsidized netbooks.

Verizon's entry-level 3G plan gives you 250MB per month at $40 and matches Sprint and AT&T at $60 for 5GB. Verizon is offering its own netbook-bundling plan, but if you want to skip the netbook part of the deal they'll be happy to set you up with one of a half-dozen 3G cards and dongles.

Despite the service-fee bite, we believe that Sprint is onto something with its almost-free netbook come-on. As King Gillette discovered over a hundred years ago when he invented the safety razor with disposable blades, the secret to sustained cash flow is a low barrier of entry and an ongoing fee for the product or service that keeps the initial purchase usable.

And so it will be at the low end of internet access, whether it be for subsidized netbooks, MIDs, or smartphones. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.