Consumer Reports said that AT&T will start selling netbooks for as little as $50, but of course, with a content contract. Spurred by the popularity of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader, they are also planning to enter the ebook market.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Netbooks, like the Acer Aspire and MSI Wind, have become increasingly popular, and prices are dropping. My DH bought his MSI Wind earlier this year and the price has since dropped by $100.00. I imagine a lot of people will find the idea of a $50 netbook irresistible. I also suspect AT&T knows it will make a lot more money on the monthly contract fees than they lose by selling the computer well under purchase price. In life, the devil is often in the details.
FWIW, this is the opposite of the Amazon Kindle business model. The Kindle 2 costs $359.00, but there is no contract and no monthly fee. The base price includes connection charges to download books, though there is a small fee to search the web or upload your own content.
I don’t think these two things are mutually exclusive. Those of us who prefer a dedicated e-book reader will go for the Kindle every time, and those who want internet connectivity and general computing power, including e-books, will go for the netbook. And the gadget freaks will want both. One of these days, I’ll end up buying a netbook.