Verizon Wireless joined AT&T in selling subsidized 3G-embedded netbooks, and AT&T announced plans to expand its netbook selection during the summer.
AT&T also announced that it will offer its selection nationwide through its company-owned stores and www.att.com following what it called successful trials in select AT&T stores in Atlanta and Philadelphia.
AT&T, which didn’t announce netbook or service-plan pricing at press time, called wireless-embedded netbooks “a natural extension of AT&T’s product lineup.”
In April, AT&T launched the Atlanta and Philadelphia trials, where subsidized $49 netbooks were bundled with cellular-data service, AT&T Wi-Fi hot spot service, and landline broadband service. The netbook price went to $99 for a service bundle without landline broadband service. LG, Hewlett-Packard and Acer netbooks were part of the trials.
Before the trials, AT&T also began subsidizing netbook prices through RadioShack.
For the rollout through its 2,200 company-owned stores, AT&T will offer an expanded netbook selection that includes Acer, Dell and Lenovo devices. Specific models and prices weren’t announced at press time.
Verizon’s HP netbook will work in U.S. CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A networks and, thanks to Qualcomm’s Gobi chipset, in quadband EDGE and triband 3G HSPA mode in foreign countries. Consumers get an EDGE/HSPA SIM card when they sign up for a global data plan. The device also features 802.11b/g and Bluetooth.
The 2.4-pound netbook features 10.1-inch LED display, three-cell battery, Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, 80GB hard drive, two USB ports, Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Works to view but not edit Microsoft Word and Excel files, stereo speakers, SD/MMC card slot and no CD/DVD drive. More than 30 preinstalled applications include Internet Explorer 7, Adobe Reader and Flash Player, Microsoft Works, Windows Media Player 11, HP Wireless Assistant, Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 (including 60 days of complimentary live updates) and AOL IM.