The sort of lease model described in the post excerpt below would formalize what’s already implicitly happening with several mobile device product categories, e.g., considering the 18 – 24 month replacement cycle for smartphones, and the reality that most people will probably never get around to replacing the batteries in their tablets/slates, Kindles, iPod touches, etc. (because they’ll buy new versions before the batteries expire).
I’m still not sold on the market opportunity for Chrome OS notebooks, however. I plan to continue using a traditional laptop (in part to use OneNote 2010) and am hopeful I’ll have an Amazon/Samsung/Android Kindle++ slate (ideally with Swype) in the not-too-distant future.
According to our source, Google plans to make the notebooks available for $10-$20 a month per user, and will provide hardware refreshes as they are released as part of the package, and will replace faulty hardware for the life of the subscription. On top of this, Google will make the devices available for a one time payment as a normal retailer would, but is likely to not distribute the devices directly. Instead, the company will distribute them in a fashion similar to the way Android is distributed.