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Mobile reports that UK mobile provider Orange is in final negotiations to offer heavily subsidized MacBooks to customers signing up for two-year mobile broadband contracts.
A deal is understood to be close to completion, with the details being finalised ahead of availability of the MacBook on Orange.

The operator has tested the laptops with its mobile broadband dongles and is understood to have made a volume commitment with Apple.

The laptops will not be free, given their high cost, but will be heavily discounted for customers that commit to a two year mobile broadband contract.
Rumors of subsidized notebooks have been increasing lately, with an AT&T source recently hinting at the possibility of a $99 netbook launching this summer with the implication that it may be an Apple product.

Article Link: Orange to Offer Subsidized MacBooks With Mobile Broadband Contracts in UK?
 

citi

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2006
1,363
508
Simi Valley, CA
If they are 99$ then it makes since, but if the macbook is 600$ with a 60$ a month 2 year closed in contract, than you are just renting it. What happens if it breaks during that time? I just don't understand why having cell service in your laptop is that important. Especially considering people will be able to tether soon (some are tethering now)
 
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Josh396

macrumors 65816
Oct 16, 2004
1,128
0
Peoria/Chicago, IL
Although I'm located in the US and not in the market for laptop at the moment, I'm interested to see how much of price difference there will be for those who sign up for the contract.

I still don't see Apple getting into the netbook market, but this deal may have some bearing on the rumored $99 netbook due this summer (although I still think it's more likely to be powered by a Linux OS).
 
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LeoFio

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2008
183
12
New York
I don't like having a product subsidized if it means monthly payments. I'd rather pay a higher upfront cost than payments over a period of time.
 
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johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,959
119
London, UK
What's significant here is that Orange is not the mobile operator in the UK with the exclusive iPhone agreement (that accolade goes to its rival, O2).

This poises two interesting scenarios:

Either:

1) the target market for this product is not those with iPhones. In fact, it would be unlikely that iPhone customers would have any need or want to pay for both free mobile internet access on iPhone via O2 and sign up to Orange mobile broadband for the free Macbook.

or

2) O2 is shortly going to lose exclusivity on the iPhone and Apple will open its flagship mobile device up to other mobile operators, including Orange.

Either way, if true, it looks like Apple is broadening its horizons in the mobile internet space. A revelation perhaps then? Or evidence that this rumour is false?
 
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Oh-es-Ten

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2007
182
39
London
It would be interesting to see how this might sell in the UK. I think most ordinary folks here are happy to take up this kind of deal, because they don't think about the long term price.

I have a brand new Macbook on my desk today and some colleagues were asking how much they were... when I said around £900 they all gasped. Early last year there would not have been this kind of reaction!

That said, I happily paid just under £800 for my refurb Macbook and feel it is very much worth the money compared to a cheaply made PC laptop. I did recently get an e-mail from Apple with a long survey about my purchase, and there was a lot of questions relating to perception of value etc. Hmmmm
 
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haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,495
21
Why is there so-much steam behind this $99 netbook from Apple rumour? If Apple were to release a netbook it's not very likely to be $99! It'd be more of a lower-budget-Macbook if anything.

I mean heck, an iPhone isn't $99 except when you get it with a silly contract.
 
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VoR

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2008
917
15
UK
I don't like having a product subsidized if it means monthly payments. I'd rather pay a higher upfront cost than payments over a period of time.

It would be interesting to see how this might sell in the UK. I think most ordinary folks here are happy to take up this kind of deal, because they don't think about the long term price.

It amazes me how many people pay extortionate amounts for some mobile contracts. If you get a contract with a laptop/latest phone/console/etc, you'll pay a fair bit more than buying the two separate products up front.

These 'offers' are to get as much money out of you as possible while keeping the initial payment low/free - to attract the millions of people that for some reason have no interest in looking at the tco or getting any value from their purchases.
 
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min_t

macrumors regular
May 13, 2004
163
1
City by the City by the Bay
Why is there so-much steam behind this $99 netbook from Apple rumour? If Apple were to release a netbook it's not very likely to be $99! It'd be more of a lower-budget-Macbook if anything.

I mean heck, an iPhone isn't $99 except when you get it with a silly contract.

No such thing as a low budget Macbook. $99 is possible but improbable. A :apple: netbook can cost $600 and be subsidized, resulting in a $99 price for the user.

If they offered a mac tablet/netbook for $99 with 2 year contract, I'm taking it. Of course, I have to wait til June when my current iphone deal is done.

Bring it on :apple:!!
 
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martinmartin3

macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2009
1
0
I hope this doesn't mean that O2 are going to lose their contract for Iphones altogether or a stop at least on the future tech? i did read a rumor that said they might be but held it to have little weight to it?

Im not a fan of Orange to be frank. :confused:
 
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neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
This isn't anything significant really. Mobile phone networks have been offering free or discounted laptops for a very long time when you sign up to their data plans.

What is significant is the news that it is Orange rather than O2. Would be great because O2's coverage sucks.
 
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min_t

macrumors regular
May 13, 2004
163
1
City by the City by the Bay
I hope this doesn't mean that O2 are going to lose their contract for Iphones altogether or a stop at least on the future tech? i did read a rumor that said they might be but held it to have little weight to it?

Im not a fan of Orange to be frank. :confused:

Chillax, you can still have the netbook. You just have to pony up the full cost.:cool:
 
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utahnguy

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2009
49
0
Utah
Don't hold your breath...

I'm sorry but this rumor just doesn't make any sense. Has ANY cell phone carrier ANYWHERE subsidized a standard laptop before? The MacBooks don't even have 3G chip built in to them...

Apple isn't the Burger King of computer manufacturers, always coming up with crazy half-baked ideas to see what happens. They're the Wendy's, always looking for existing ideas/establishments from competitors where a desire already exists then coming in and doing a better job. (Anyone who's taken a business class has heard this "Wendy's" example before..)

What if your laptop malfunctions? Do they take it back if you break your contract early? And most of all.. WHY??
 
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arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,963
5,843
Bath, United Kingdom
1) the target market for this product is not those with iPhones. In fact, it won't be possible for iPhone customers to join these contracts unless they pay for Orange mobile broadband AND have free iPhone internet access.

Why not possible?
There is no clause in my contract with O2 that prohibits me from also joining other networks.
If I have a contract with O2, nothing stops me from having contracts with Orange, Vodaphone etc etc…

If I am willing to pay, then why not? ;)
 
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akidd

macrumors regular
Jan 30, 2007
184
90
Tunbridge Wells, UK
Regardless of the pros and cons of a two year contract there remains the fact that Orange's mobile broadband is completely rubbish. Orange gave my company two free dongles, but when I tried it (on a Macbook) it took seven minutes to download one text only email. I gave up after that and we've never used them since.
 
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northy014

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2008
157
0
Just don't get why anyone would pay this extra cost for a so called 'subsidised' Macbook. On the UK store, you can get a brand new whitebook for 'just' £719 - and a 3G card will only be £5-10 a month...
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,938
1,273
Washington DC
I love how people are combining the "UK Orange subsidizing laptops" rumor with the "AT&T executive talks about mystery $99 product" rumor and are acting like they're the same thing.

Separate things, guys.
 
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Attonine

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2006
735
55
Kent. UK
I hope this doesn't mean that O2 are going to lose their contract for Iphones altogether or a stop at least on the future tech? i did read a rumor that said they might be but held it to have little weight to it?

Im not a fan of Orange to be frank. :confused:

Well, for several days at least, play.com have been advertising the sale of unlocked iPhones starting from tomorrow I believe (I can't open the site at the moment for some reason). I saw this referenced on the Mac User site here http://www.macuser.co.uk/news/250017/o2-intros-new-iphone-tariffs.html and they were definitely on play.com when I checked after seeing the reference. Now, unless they are buying up loads of iPhones from Hong Kong or Italy or somewhere and selling them on, play.com has some official source for these phones, which, speculatively, may mean Apple is loosening it's grip. Anyway, they're £600 for a 16GB if you want one.

play.com link, 8GB on bottom row, 16GB about half way down. http://www.play.com/Search.aspx?sea...ng=iphone&page=search&pa=search&go.x=0&go.y=0
 
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Pingwhen?

macrumors newbie
Mar 17, 2009
11
0
HONESTLY i think this would be the coolest THING! in the whole world. i cant wait to see how it all works. i wonder if it will be internal. if not then this is dumb, but if it is, the macbook would be wonderful. to bad i got a pro this summer. i would totally jump on this.
 
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