This was rumored earlier but seems a little more concrete right now and might help you out if you thought Dell’s Inspiron Mini 9 was priced too high. Crave reports that we’ll be seeing price subsidies on the new Dell netbook, similar to how cellphones costs are subsidized. In a subsidy like this, you pay less up-front for the hardware and the carrier makes money back on a voice or data plan commitment. Here in the U.S. we see this all the time: people rarely pay the full retail price for cellular phones, they pay a reduced rate and then commit to one or two years of a subscription to use the phone.
According to John Thode, vice president of small-screen consumer devices for Dell, we’ll hear about a deal with a wireless carrier "inthe next few days". In effect, you’ll have the option to pay less for the device and use it more places due to a 3G or wireless broadband service that you pay for monthly.
While the notebook market has offered 3G service options for the past year or two, I haven’t see the subsidy model applied. This could be very interesting to watch because I view netbooks more as "cloud computers" that thrive with a wireless connection to the web. Of course, you can use these as traditional notebooks, but this is how I view this market differently from the traditional market. In fact, if the subsidy approach takes off, the netbook market could actually influence the notebook market to do the same. Worth watching and we’ll have to revisit this if and when Dell actually announces such a plan.