We’ve seen a lot of rumors about subsidized Macbooks coming soon. Basically you’d get a Macbook at a substantially cheaper price, but in return you’d have to sign a two-year mobile data contract with a company like At&t or Orange.
Now, I’m very much against this kind of thing mainly because I think it’s setting people up for trouble.
Giving someone a full blown computer, where they have the speed and power to stream HD video, download movies and podcasts, play games online, and so forth — then tying them to a two year contract on a data plan that has a low monthly data cap (5Gb in most cases) seems kind of like handing a 16 year old the keys to a Porsche, then telling them to drive 20 miles an hour everywhere they go.
I think people are going to get REALLY screwed on these deals, because if you’re not keenly aware of how much data you’re transmitting back and forth, you could easily find yourself over the data cap and paying by the kilobyte in a matter of days….and no one is going to call you or send you an alert to let you know you’ve done this.
Seriously, with a 5GB cap, you could download 2 HD movies from iTunes – and already be over your monthly limit.
If that happens, people are going to be getting bills from At&t for 5 and 10k. It’s already happened to a few people, and I expect it will become more common as these things are adopted.
Now, granted, you can easily say that these people “deserve what they get” if they do this – but we all know that sales people can be lying thieves (I know, I used to be a salesman…and I was never very good at it because I refused to lie to people about stuff they were buying), and I expect more than one parent or grand parent is going to get burned by this.
So – I’m obviously not on board with it. I am curious, though, as to what you think about.
Do you think it’s a good idea? Do you want something like this?