What is Spring? Did you mean Sprint?
Best Buy, a leading retail chain in the U.S., has teamed up with AT&T, Sprint and Verizon cell phone networks operators in a bid to offer ultra low-cost netbooks to its customers. At present Best Buy stores offer operator-subsidized Compaq Mini 110c-1040DX mobile computers for $0.99 or $199, depending on the contract the customer is willing to sign.
Compaq Mini 110c-1040DX is based on single-core Intel Atom N270 (1.60GHz, 512KB L2) processor as well as Intel 945-series core-logic set with Intel Graphics and Media Accelerator 950. The system comes with 10.1” display with 1024x576 resolution and is equipped with 1GB DDR2 memory, 16GB solid-state drive, integrated HP un2400 WWAN controller, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, card-reader, 3-cell lithium-ion battery and so on. The system comes with Windows XP Home operating system.
In order to obtain the netbook, customers have sign a contract for AT&T or Verizon services for 2 years and pay $199, or sign up for 2 years with Spring and pay just $0.99. The netbook is also available without a contract for $389.99.
In Europe operator-subsidized netbooks are not something new. However, so far there have been no offerings to get a netbook for $1 either in Europe or in the U.S. Obviously, the final price of the mobile computer and the total payments for services will be considerably higher than $389.99, but for some customers this may still be a rather interesting deal.
Considering the fact that competition on the market of netbooks is heating up, going forward other retail chains, operators and manufacturers are likely to offer similar bargains and "netbooks for $1" will become a more widespread reality.