Verizon Wireless Becomes Major Netbook Advertiser: IFR

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Niagara Falls, N.Y. - Verizon Wireless has become an aggressive promoter of netbooks, based on the frequency of netbook newspaper ads, IFR Monitoring found.

During the second quarter, Verizon took the No. 2 spot in newspaper advertising of netbooks with screen sizes 10.2 inches or smaller, IFR said. The company tracks advertised pricing by U.S. and Canada retailers in run-of-press newspaper ads and newspaper inserts placed in the country's top 100 newspapers. IFR also tracks placement of products by more than 2,000 retailers across the U.S. and Canada.

In newspapers, Verizon posted a 7.1 percent share of all retail netbook ads during the quarter, outpaced only by Best Buy with a 28.2 percent share. The other top five netbook advertisers in the quarter were Radio Shack with 6.8 percent, hhgregg with 6.2 percent, and Staples with 6 percent, respectively.

IFR also found that Fry's Electronics posted the biggest drop in netbook advertising share from the first to second quarters, dropping from second place with 11 percent to 10th place with 3.5 percent.

All told, newspaper advertising of netbooks with screen sizes of 10.2 inches or smaller has been rising sharply since 2008, IFR said. In 2008, netbook's share of notebook-PC advertising grew from 2.8 percent in 2008 to 12.7 percent in the first half of 2009.

In the second quarter of 2009, the most-advertised netbook was Verizon's subsidized HP Mini 1151NR, which accounted for 7.1 percent of netbook ad placements in the quarter. Verizon advertised the unit at $199.99 after $50 mail-in rebate and two-year contract in May and June. Next was Acer's Aspire One A150-1635 at 7 percent and promoted by 11 retailers, including Staples at a net price of $299 and Florida-based BrandsMart USA at the lowest net price of $248, IFR said. The third most advertised netbook was the HP Mini 1030NR at 5.8 percent and sold exclusively by Best Buy at $329 in June.

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