HP plans to attack the netbook mobile broadband sector in a new way, a good departure from the cheap-netbook-with-purchase-of-two-year-plan setup we’ve seen altogether too often.
The manufacturer will be offering Japanese customers netbooks with prepaid mobile data usage, accessed via SIM card. The airtime and data will be purchased from DoCoMo and resold by HP as mobile virtual netbook operator. Consumers can expect to get 100 free minutes of service with netbooks that cost between $50 and $100, with further fees to compensate for usage past those minutes.
The SIM card will allow users to use their minutes on devices from laptops to tablet netbooks. The netbooks sold by HP will all have Wi-Fi as well.
All in all, this is a nice change of pace for the netbook market. If the plan is successful in Japan, it’s likely US consumers will get to see the plan as well.