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Cellular South Jumps Into Netbook Market

It’s not just the Tier 1s getting into the netbook trend: Cellular South said Thursday that it’s taking preorders for the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook with built-in 3G high-speed mobile broadband data.

The sub-notebook will be priced like a smartphone and bundled with connectivity: $199 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a two-year mobile broadband agreement. The cellco is running a $29.99/500 MB of data offer for students, and otherwise plans run $39.99 for 500 MB of data or $59.99 for 5GB of data.

“All of the research shows that demand is going to steadily increase for netbooks, especially among consumers who are searching for a lightweight, more portable alternative to a laptop,” said Wade Smith, director of product development and management for Cellular South, in a statement.

“Consumers, especially mobile on-the-go workers and those interested in social networking, are demanding the freedom to be connected whenever and wherever and they want more functionality than a smartphone or PDA can offer and more portable connectivity than a laptop can offer,” he added.

The Mini 10 netbook runs on Windows XP Home, has a compact 10.1 inch screen, weighs 2.6 pounds and features an edge-to edge keyboard. It has a 160 GB hard drive and 1 GB of memory.

The first 2,400 customers to place a netbook order also will receive a free USB thumb drive containing the original Transformers movie.

The netbook market debut follows on the heels of a recent announcement by Cellular South that it will soon offer a smartphone later this year featuring the Android operating system.


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