Feeds

Sprint punts 99¢ netbook

There's a catch, natch

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites
Sites link up to protest slow lanes by bogging down pages
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Who us, SHARE infrastructure? Networks reject gov proposal
Execs pour scorn on 'national roaming' outline – report
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.