AT&T is rolling out a bundle/subsidized Netbook deal in Atlanta and Philadelphia that can let you purchase a Netbook for as low as $49.99 as long as you sign that 2 year contract. We’re actually looking at a choice of Netbooks here as users can choose between the Acer Aspire One, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and Mini 12, and the LG Xenia. The low price I’m sure will prove attractive but there are options that can take the price up to $249. The price also differs between the two test markets. Apparently the low price in Philly is $99. The bundling plans also apply to the Lenovo X200 laptop (not the X200 Tablet).
Of course there’s a catch or two to be aware of here and I think that makes the entire deal suspect. AT&T is offering a bundling of services that offer DSL and 3G with a new plan that can run you $40 per month but with a cap of 200MB per month. Give me a break. That’s like buying a car with a ““free gasÃ¢â‚¬Â deal and finding out they only give you enough to drive the car home. You can also purchase the the now semi-standard $60 a month plan but with a cap of 5GB per month if you don’t want the DSL bundle. Again still not a good deal.
I’m all for carriers and OEMs working together to offer low cost hardware and I don’t completely object to a contract. I do however think the caps are ridiculously low and make these plans not a good value. I also think the bundling of different services is a desperate move to attract customers to a soon to be outdated DSL service. Bundling didn’t work when it was used in earlier times to bind up young couples in sacks so that they could sleep together but separate in small homes in days when travel was by horseback. I think all it will do is cause similar frustration here as well.