Following in the footsteps of its European counterparts and archrival AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless plans to launch a subsidized netbook+data subscription bundle, on May 17. And, it will pull the Hub converged home phone from stores for four months to make space to sell it.
The Boy Genius Report says it’s gotten absolute confirmation that Verizon will be coming to market with the HP Mini 1151NR, which will retail at the smartphone-like price of $199 with a 2-year contract for a data plan that goes for around $35 per month. The offer puts the operator squarely at the intersection of mobility and IT.
Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting that the operator is pulling its Hub converged home phone for a short period – four months – in order to devote marketing resources and display space to the new netbook offer.
Netbooks, which physically speaking occupy the space between a laptop and a smartphone, are largely targeted to business users, and are optimized for Web and cloud applications, and light road warrior productivity apps. The segment has taken off as the form factor appeals to those that want, say, a full version of Microsoft Office and a decent keyboard, but don’t need the horsepower of a full DVD player or other laptop bells and whistles.
In fact, Techaisle is forecasting that SMBs worldwide will purchase 1.1 million netbooks this year, jumping to 3.5 million units in 2010.
However, the technology practice of Chadwick Martin Bailey did a survey of IT departments and found that a lack of relevant Web-based applications for business is the biggest deterrent to netbook adoption.
“While common business productivity applications are commercially available over the Web, many organizations continue using locally-based applications,” the report read. “IT departments often do not feel current netbook models are capable of handling these local apps with sufficient performance.”
We feel the need to speculate: Should, or could, Verizon supercharge the prospect with an applications market? Hmm … possibilities.