Google recently launched Chromebook, an inexpensive laptop with minimal functionality for connecting to the Web and using cloud services. Currently, Chromebook is only available in the U.S. and Tim Wilson at Telemanagement asks, Does Google’s Chromebook have a future in Canada?
Chromebooks are always connected, and doesn’t store data on the hard disk. Everything is stored in the cloud.
To date no Canadian carrier has signed up to support Chromebook and its $20-$28/month offering. Tim says, “Given present pricing and the lock on margins, it is hard to imagine Bell, Telus, Rogers, or Videotron offering that level of connectivity, for that price, to a browser-supporting device – they simply will not eat those data charges.”
Tim notes that one option would be for Google to subsidize the partnership with one of the telecom companies, but this would bring in interesting questions with regard to the Telecommunications Act. Currently foreign companies do subsidize on the device/hardware side, but they’re not subsidizing connectivity.
Chromebooks are currently available in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. The Chromebook FAQ says that they’ll be available in other countries over the next few months (but they don’t specify which countries.)
It will be interesting to track the response to Google’s Chromebook in the U.S. and see what happens in Canada. As is often the case, Canada is behind the U.S. in availability of new tech products, especially when it comes to hardware / mobile devices.