$99 Netbooks In Your Future
"Subnotebooks like the Asus Eee PC, the Dell Mini 9 and the HP 2133 Mini-Note will soon cost as little as $99. The catch? You'll need to commit to a two-year mobile broadband contract. The low cost will come courtesy of a subsidy identical to the one you already get with your cell phone."
And this release PR Newswire release for AT&T details that Lenovo, Ericson and AT&T have indeed inked a deal that will bring a similar business model to market very soon...
"Under the agreement, AT&T's 3G service -- the nation's fastest 3G network -- is available on a full range of Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks, which come factory-equipped with Ericsson built-in mobile broadband modules that are enabled for AT&T LaptopConnect. The service provides extensive broadband access both domestically and internationally.
All three of the ThinkPad SL notebooks and all notebooks in Lenovo's T and X series are included in the offering. Customers who purchase the ThinkPad notebooks with the embedded mobile broadband and establish an account with AT&T will receive 30 days of free AT&T DataConnect service. The notebooks are sold directly through http://www.lenovo.com."
Technologies like Intel's low power, low cost Atom processor and VIA's Nano CPU have certainly brought the cost model down but it appears a mobile broadband service contract might help take things down a notch or two as well.