Updated: Holy price cuts, Ma Bell! AT&T is rolling out a trial of subsidized netbooks in its Atlanta retail stores, where it will have some netbooks (or “mini laptops,” in AT&T speak) for $49.95 (on the high end you’re gonna pay $250). Buyers will need to shell out for a monthly mobile data subscription, but AT&T has created an “Internet at Home and On the Go” plan that gives subscribers service both in their homes and while mobile. It also provides access to AT&T’s pervasive Wi-Fi hotspots.
Update: If you want the $50 netbook, that’s the minimum offer you have to sign up for; it includes a new, 200 MB-per-month mobile data plan (for $40) combined with basic DSL (for $19.95). $60 a month is decent for a full broadband package, although I think $40 for 200 MB of mobile data is pricey. Customers can package U-verse with the smaller mobile data subscription as an upgrade, too. AT&T also has its standard 5GB plan for $60 per month for those who aren’t interested in DSL, but I imagine it’s hoping the lure of a mobile broadband bundle keeps some of its DSL customers from migrating to cable.
By coming up with a decent integrated service offering, AT&T has listened to my pleas for combined pricing to truly drive mobile broadband adoption. Now it needs to boost capacity and speeds on its network through HSPA upgrades, so the surfing experience is more akin to what people are used to on their computers. Available netbooks in AT&T’s retail stores include the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and Mini 12, and LG Xenia. AT&T will also offer the Lenovo X200 ultraportable laptop for $750 or $850, depending on the broadband subscription a user chooses.