According to MobileToday, Apple is in the final stages of negotiations to sell their MacBooks subsidized through Orange (presumably in the UK) with a mobile broadband card. More interestingly, they expect Apple to release a notebook (or netbook) with built in Mobile Broadbnd at some point this summer.
Currently, O2 is the exclusive carrier of Apple iPhone products in the UK, however Orange in France did have a subsidized MacBook fixed line deal previously. The Boy Genius hinted that AT&T might offer an Apple Netbook subsidized by AT&T at some point this summer as well.
Orange will sell Apple laptops on its network from this summer, and will be the first company to subsidise Apple’s laptops with mobile broadband.
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.
The devices are expected to be available only through Orange’s direct channels.
It is believed that senior Orange officials are hoping the laptop deal will be a stepping stone to the operator securing a distribution deal for future Apple laptops, which include built-in mobile broadband from an embedded Sim card.
A number of keen Apple followers have indicated that a smaller, low cost laptop, or ‘netbook’, will be unveiled later in 2009, and may include the embedded Sim card.