I’m going to put this one squarely in the rumor category for now, but Sascha of NetbookNews.de has a source who is telling him that the upcoming Nokia Booklet 3G will sell for $799 in the US. Considering the machine will reportedly pack 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, HDMI, and other features into a 2.7 pound case and provide up to 12 hours of battery life, that figure might actually be somewhat realistic. But if Nokia were actually going to charge that kind of money, I can tell you, they wouldn’t sell very many of these netbooks in the US, where you can regularly get a mini-laptop with a faster processor and 8-9 hours of battery life for $400 or less.
But here’s the thing: Nokia isn’t a computer company, and they don’t tend to sell products the same way as you’d sell computers. You don’t walk into a consumer electronics store in the US, buy a Nokia cellphone, and walk out. Instead, you choose a cellphone provider and sign up for a long term service plan and either get a phone for free or pay a small fee for a phone. And my guess is that Nokia will partner with a US telecom like AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile to sell the Booklet 3G the same way.
In other words, while the base price of the netbook may be $799, you may never even have the option of paying that kind of money for it. Instead, you might be able to pick one up for a much, much lower price when you sign up for a wireless data plan that will cost you $40 to $60 a month. And if that happens, the Booklet 3G might be more competitive with netbooks from LG, Dell, HP, and Acer that are currently offered by US wireless companies.
But we’ll probably know more next week when Nokia outlines more details about the Booklet 3G at the Nokia World event.