'Free' laptop bundles provoke huge demand

The marketing ploy of bundling laptops with mobile broadband is proving successful beyond the wildest dreams of MNOs. If the trend continues, it looks likely that laptop bundles will overtake stand-alone mobile broadband sales by the end of the year.

With the majority of operators, major cellphone retailers and PC stores now offering these deals, laptop manufacturers are reported to be struggling to meet demand. "Since launching laptop/broadband deals on Phones4u.co.uk, we have seen significant sales growth month-on-month and predict that laptop/broadband deals will be top-sellers this Christmas," stated a Phones 4U spokesman.

While this marketing initiative was targeted at the business user, many parents of college students have recognised the advantage of these new deals, seeing them as a cost-effective way of equipping each one with a new PC to support their academic progress.

With broadband and free laptop deals starting at around €30 a month, uptake has been so rapid that both Gartner and IDC believe that laptop bundle sales have also significantly contributed to a surge in the overall number of laptops shipped into Europe this quarter.

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