Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/27/apple_and_orange/

MacBooks set to join hardware giveaway

Thanks to Orange largesse

By Bill Ray

Posted in Mobile, 27th March 2009 15:32 GMT

Orange is reportedly in talks to add a MacBook to the range of subsidised hardware network operators are handing over these days, equipping the mobile executive for only a small monthly commitment.

It wouldn't be particularly surprising to see a subsidised MacBook coming with an Orange-tied 3G dongle, and joining the plethora of free hardware that stretches from Playstations to netbooks to cinema tickets and carrying bags; all in the interests of getting punters to sign on the dotted line.

This latest development is being reported by Mobile Today, who reckon that the MacBook won't be a freebie - just heavily subsidised. Orange is prepared to hand over the £350 Toshiba L300 to those prepared to sign up to a £35-a-month contract for a couple of years. That would put a basic MacBook at £369.

Apple kit tends towards the more expensive end of the market, so the subsidy might help them shift in to more price-sensitive markets. It is hard to imagine that such markets would be willing to commit to 24 months at that price, however.

What's more interesting, and the subject of some speculation, is the idea of Apple embedding a GSM module and SIM slot into a MacBook: but when that happens it would be out of character for the boys from Cupertino to announce it exclusively with Orange. ®

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