In an interview Fortune, AT&T's president of emerging handsets said he would like to extend the telecom business beyond the iPhone 3G. Without giving any indication of any ongoing collaboration in this area, he said that he is already talking to several companies on the subject and that he hopes to make further agreements with Apple, which could culminate in the first MacBooks with integrated 3G connectivity.
In fact, the executive acknowledged during the interview that the operator encourages the adoption of mobile broadband on other devices, which are not necessarily cell phones and smartphones. Clear examples of this are two recent netbooks from Acer (Aspire One) and Dell (Inspiron Mini 9), which, in addition to offering integrated 3G internet through a data contract, are highly subsidized.
The initiative yielded very good profits for Acer, for example, during the holiday sales. The Aspire One sold for $ 100 off the data pack, and sold very well over Christmas. It is obvious that Apple would not lower the price of its laptops to as low as that, but sooner or later it should think more carefully on this point.
There is still no way of knowing whether AT&T and Apple will make a deal in that area anytime soon, but rumors of the emergence of MacBooks with integrated 3G connectivity have been raised for some time. However, Steve Jobs already acknowledged that she was working with the technology, but that she would not like to see her laptops ?tied? to an operator to offer wireless internet.