Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/04/vodafone_dell_deal/

Vodafone grabs carrier exclusive on HSDPA Dell Minis

Carrier wins exclusive sales rights

By Tony Smith

Posted in Mobile, 4th September 2008 14:32 GMT

Vodafone has become the first carrier to say that it'll sell Dell's newly announced Inspiron Mini 9 little laptop.

And it'll be the only carrier to do so. It has the European carrier exclusive on sales of the Small, Cheap(ish) Computer with a built-in HSDPA modem.

That's an accessory notably absent from Dell's own website this morning, despite the fact that the vendor's own support site reveals the SCC has a user-accessible slot for just such a device.

Dell said this afternoon that it too will sell the HSDPA-enabled Mini, presumably with Vodafone airtime.

Dell's been working with Vodafone for years to offer a range or regular laptops with integrated 3G and, later, HSDPA network connectivity.

Unfortunately, that long-running partnership hasn't enabled the two to work out yet what the carrier is going to charge for the 9 - if, indeed, it doesn't entirely subsidise the £299 the Dell wants punters to pay for the machine.

It's not hard to imagine the 9 being offered for free on top-of-the-range monthly airtime packages, for example.

Vodafone said it will spill the beans in the "coming weeks". It'll sell the HSDPA-equipped Mini from "late September".