Report: Verizon jumping into netbook market

Tools

Verizon Wireless appears to be getting into the netbook market, following chief rival AT&T's plans to subsidize netbooks for as low as $99, according to a report on TheStreet.com

The report, citing an unnamed company official, said that at least one netbook had passed Verizon's strict network compatibility tests, and that the carrier will launch more netbooks in the future. The Verizon source did not reveal which computer brands or models were involved in the deal. There is no word on pricing or availability.

The move, if confirmed, would make sense for Verizon as it tries to maintain its competitive edge against AT&T. AT&T confirmed earlier this month that it is subsidizing netbooks in order to lure customers to sign two-year service contracts. Customers can get the netbooks from AT&T for $99, but then have to pay a $60 per month fee to use AT&T's data services.

The subsidy model is a strategy that AT&T has said it will seek to employ not only with netbooks, but with other devices, including portable video game devices and digital cameras.

"The economics for us is terrific," Glenn Lurie, AT&T's president of emerging devices, said in an interview with Investor Business Daily earlier this month. "We're willing to invest to get a customer." Lurie will be talking about AT&T's embedded device strategy during FierceMarkets' Path to 4G event April 1 at CTIA Wireless 2009 in Las Vegas.  Click here to see the agenda.

For more:
- see this TheStreet.com article
- see this article

Related Articles:
AT&T says subsidy model good for business
RadioShack announces $99 netbook
tied to AT&T data contract
Will embedded wireless transform the industry?
Wireless carriers open the network to embedded devices