Netbooks are hot in Hot ‘Lanta, and fine in Philly, apparently, so AT&T Inc. is expanding their availability beyond those two cities to take them coast-to-coast. The operator also announced an expansion of devices to include 3G-embedded mini laptops from Acer, Dell and Lenovo.
AT&T plans to begin offering the gadgets via its nationwide sales channels – more than 2,200 company-owned retail stores and through www.att.com – this summer.
“Sleek, mobile and fast is all the rage and we’re going to answer that call with a lineup of the hottest mini laptops in the market,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer at AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “Pairing these laptops with AT&T’s home broadband, Wi-Fi, and the nation’s fastest 3G network enables consumers and small business customers to get the most from their new devices – at home, in the office and on the go.”
IDC estimates that by year end 2009 worldwide shipments of mini laptops could reach 22 million. AT&T began trialing the sale of 3G mini laptops in its retail stores in April in Atlanta and Philadelphia.
“It’s clear there’s a demand for mini laptops,” Christopher said. “Our customers in the Atlanta and Philadelphia markets have responded well and the response isn’t limited to a specific demographic. We’re getting interest from tweens, teens, young adults, moms on the go and small business owners. Consumers and small business customers really seem to be attracted to the convenience and portability of this connected device.”
Pricing and availability of the new devices have not yet been announced.