Consumer WiMax hardware gets a price.

Posted on 28 April 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

Although I like the N810 design, I’ve never been a personal fan of the whole product and, objectively speaking, I think it under-performs for the average consumer. The keyboard is poor, the processing power is limited and the application suite doesn’t flow in terms of design and UI. Its not ready for consumer prime time yet although to be honest, I don’t think Nokia are too worried about that. It’s more of an early adopters product and it seems that many of them are extremely happy with it. The WiMax version has an even tighter niche market by nature of the delayed $5bn Sprint/Xohm network rollout that only seems to be hitting a handful of cities in 2008 now but it’s interesting to see how much the device will cost. How much of a premium is the average punter going to have to pay for the WiMax hardware?

According to Best Buy and reported by The Tablet Blog,  it’s going to be around $50 which is a bargain when you compare it to the $150 to $200 premium that 3G hardware has been costing the end-users of UMPCs. If 3G is going to push up the price of a $400 MID by 50% then it’s going to be very hard to sell the upgrade but if the end-user cost is around $50, then its a totally different matter.

Interestingly, Intel are the manufacturers of the WiMax ‘Connection 2400’ chipset in the  Nokia device and they will offer this to OEM’s building Mobile Internet Devices. The problem for 3G customers is that they don’t make the 3G modules that will go into the devices. Option are the people doing that with the GTM 501 but if Intel can convince them about the numbers then perhaps Option can be convinced that slashing the price of the 3G modules is going to make sense. Considering that 3G mobile phones don’t carry any significant premium over 2.5G phones it does appear that there’s an economy of scale that works somewhere down the line.

At the end of the day, I don’t suspect many Xohm customers will notice the hardware pricing as I feel sure it’s going to be heavily subsidised for people taking new contracts although if that’s the case, why would BestBuy be planning to sell them? The contract pricing is the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle and it will be interesting to see.

TabletBlog – WiMax edition pricing.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. aerialviews007 says:

    I’m hoping Sprint will consider letting users have multiple devices on a WiMax contract. I’d be hesitant to buy a N810 with Wimax if it is the only device I can connect to the service. However, if I were able to sign up for a 2 year contract and get a heavily discounted (or free obviously) N810 along with a modem for home use, I’d be all for it.

    Clearwire operates in the NC area and given that my company will pay for the broadband connection of my choice, I’m tempted to sign up. I’ve heard bad things about the latency however.

  2. Buttercup Johnson says:

    Xohm will not have contracts and WiMax hardware will not be subsidized. You can use any compatible hardware with Xohm.

    From the Xohm website:

    Pay Your Way

    Other services offer wireless Internet, but they usually lock you in with contracts and cancellation fees that keep your experience on their terms. As a Xohm member, you’ll get wireless broadband access on yours:
    By the day or by the month
    No binding contracts
    No cancelation fees
    Simple activation and reactivation

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. WiMAX Nokia N810 finally available | UMPCPortal - The Ultra Mobile Computing reference site says:

    […] seems like it has been forever since we heard about the WiMAX equipped N810, and yet the device wasn’t made available… until now that is. Probably owing the delay […]

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