HP's Netbook/Mobile Package Plot

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HP's Netbook/Mobile Package Plot

hp r.jpeg Hewlett-Packard wants to employ a new tactic to market netbook computers in the U.S., offering them at a steep discount to customers who sign-up for wireless service contracts.

This bundling of cellular service with PCs isn't done in the U.S., but in Asia and Europe wireless carriers routinely knock hundreds of dollars off the price of a computer if a customer also buys a long-term service contract.

Maybe AT&T and Verizon Wireless are interested?

For example, Taiwanese carrier Far EasTone Communications sells the EEE PC from Asustek Computer for $29 with a two-year contract, rather than the usual price of $429.

Hewlett-Packard says the surging interest in netbooks -- stripped-down computers that offer basic applications and Web browsing -- is driving the move. With the economy fading and lots of high-speed cellphone networks available, the world's largest computer seller by revenue sees bundling as a way to move more of its computers into customers' homes.

Yesterday, H-P introduced three new netbooks, including a $399 HP Mini 1000 and a $699 HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition, with flourishes like a "red with peony flower"-colored case.

More at the Wall Street Journal.

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