You can expect to see two more netbooks on store shelves when visiting AT&T this holiday season. Later this month, both the Acer Aspire One and the Samsung Go will appear in the cellular carrier’s brick-and-mortar locations. They’ll also be available online at a netbook product page on AT&T’s web site, which is already live. Both devices run Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition and are configured with an Intel Atom processor, 160 GB hard drive, integrated webcams and 1 GB of memory. The price for either is $199 after a promotional card rebate and requires a new 2-year data agreement. The standard 5 GB plan is $60 a month, but AT&T is lowering the 200 MB plan cost to $35 a month from $40. Strangely, the AT&T netbook site currently shows the Acer and a Dell Mini 10 for $149, along with a Lenovo S-10 for $99.
Although it’s been said many times and many ways (GigaOM Pro, subscription required) — yes, I’m prepping for Christmas carols — that $199 netbook is really costing you much more due to the monthly data service. If you don’t plan to use the netbook outside of the home or office where you have Wi-Fi, I wouldn’t recommend the purchase. In a more stationary case, you’re better off just buying a device at full price for $350 or $400 with no monthly fee. Having said that, I’m starting to wonder about the success, or failure, of notebook subsidies. I’d love to see some breakout numbers of how many netbooks are subsidized as opposed to how many are bought outright. I know that the subsidy model is a little more prominent outside of the U.S., but I don’t expect that sales of subsidized netbooks are very high here.
Do we have any readers that have bought or considered buying a subsidized netbook?