Top 10 Broadband’s findings fly in the face of recent reports which suggested that demand for 3G embedded laptops and netbooks has been exaggerated. Coverage of a study from Disruptive Research reported that projections for demand had been hyped up by PC manufacturers and that mass adoption of laptops with built-in broadband was years away.
However, based on over 1,000+ sales in November, deals from Vodafone and Orange which include laptops with embedded 3G broadband outstripped those which offer free laptops with external USB modems or dongles by a ratio of almost 3:2. Moreover, the products have proved so popular that they are now the third and fifth biggest selling mobile broadband offers on the site.
Vodafone’s offer includes a mobile broadband embedded Dell Mini 9 notebook for no extra charge when customers take out a 24-month contract starting at £15 a month. Orange’s Broadband Internet Everywhere package is priced £25 per month and includes a free 3G-embedded Asus Eee 901 laptop, which ordinarily retails for £299.99.
Jessica McArdle, marketing manager of Top 10 Broadband, said: “Demand for 3G-embedded laptop broadband deals has rocketed since the first consumer-targeted offer was launched in September 2008. Given how fast they are selling, we are baffled by these recent projections which seem to be speculative and have no grounding in actual broadband product sales.”
Suggestions that the credit crunch-induced squeeze on consumer budgets would constrain demand for the devices were also rebuffed by Top 10 Broadband’s findings. The team noted that sales are booming for broadband bundles incorporating free mobile broadband devices at a time when money is tight. Demand for value seems to be driving adoption of all mobile broadband technology.
Ms McArdle added: “Mobile broadband embedded laptops are seen as the compact, hassle-free alternative to using external mobile broadband dongles to connect to the internet on the go. Additionally at a time when belts are being tightened across the country, they can represent terrific value for consumers.”