Verizon to offer $200 HP netbook to subscribers of two-year data service plan

Verizon WirelessMay 17 onwards, subscribers signing for Verizon Wireless' two-year data service plan will be offered a Hewlett-Packard (HP) netbook for $200! To be available through the Verizon stores, the HP Mini 1151NR's $200 price-tag includes a $50 mail-in rebate, and comes embedded with the company's 3G wireless service.

However, Verizon's $200 offer for the HP netbook comes with two preconditions - firstly, the deal involves a $250 upfront cost, before the reimbursement of the $50 mail-in-rebate in the form of debit card; secondly, the subscribers need to sign up for either of the available two-year Mobile Broadband plans, namely a $39.99 monthly access for 250 MB with 10 cents-per-MB extra charge, or a $59.99 monthly access for 5 GB with 5 cents-per-MB extra charge.

Prior to the recent Verizon HP offer, AT&T lately launched a trial offer of mini-laptops beginning $50. The AT&T offer, available only in the Atlanta and Philadelphia areas, requires customers to sign up a two-year contract for AT&T's at-home DSL and 3G wireless services.

Both AT&T and Verizon offer aim at tapping the hottest-selling sector of the PC market. According to Gartner, though in sales of regular laptops and desktops are likely to diminish this year; the sales of netbooks would probably jump a whopping 80 percent, thereby accounting for nearly 8 percent of the PC market!