Dell and AOL have teamed up in a deal with UK mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse, to distribute a free Dell Inspiron laptop and wireless router to customers who sign up to AOL’s broadband service for two years.
Internet providers are desperately looking for new ways of locking customers into longer broadband deals. The move by Dell and AOL follows a similar free laptop offering which was unveiled this week by mobile provider Orange UK.
Starting in September, anyone signing up for the AOL broadband deal will have to pay about $41 a month for at least two years. Customers will receive a redeemable coupon for a free base model Inspiron, but have the option of upgrading the computer for an additional cost. The free base model includes Microsoft Vista Home Basic OS, 1GB of RAM, 80 gigs hard drive, Intel Celeron processor and Wi-Fi.
Dell, which traditionally sold computers online, by phone or through catalogs, began selling computers at Wal-Mart in June. The deal with Carphone Warehouse is an extension of the company's retail strategy, with more retail deals around the world coming soon, according to a company Spokeswoman.