RealTime IT News

Gateway Bundles One Year of Access with Most PCs

Computer retailer Gateway announced plans Wednesday to provide free Internet access for one year with the purchase of most Gateway consumer personal computers.

"Gateway has earned the number one position in the consumer desktop market through innovative service offerings, and through affordable, personalized technology that grows with the user," said Ted Waitt, Gateway's chairman and chief executive officer.

"We are aggressively moving into other business segments that surround the purchase of a PC, thereby delivering the greatest value to customers, shareholders and industry partners."

Starting Feb. 26, one year of Internet access will be included with the purchase of Gateway consumer desktop, portable and convergence systems costing more than $1,000.

"We talk with more than 50,000 people every day and understand that most of them want a computer so they can get on the Web," Waitt said. "We're offering our customers Internet access because it's what they've asked for -- it's what they want outside the box," he said.

Gateway also announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with NECX Office and Personal Technology Center, the retail e-commerce subsidiary of NECX. Gateway has purchased a minority stake in the e-commerce subsidiary.

Based on the success of Gateway's Your:)Ware customized software strategy, Gateway and NECX plant to launch SpotShop.com. The Web site will offer Gateway-branded products and software from leading manufacturers.

"Helping our customers get more out of the box and providing them with all their computing needs is an important focus for us in our quest to secure lifelong relationships with our customers," Waitt said. "We set our sights high in our search for the best e-commerce company to round out our total computing solution and are thrilled to have formed a strategic alliance with NECX."

Henry Bertolon, NECX founder, president and CEO, said the strategic alliance of Gateway and NECX "presents an exciting opportunity for two like-minded, innovative market leaders, sharing a deep commitment to outstanding customer value and user satisfaction, to expand our respective technology product and service offerings while rapidly advancing our e-commerce capabilities."

To further diversify its revenue stream, Gateway is also creating an division to manage the financing elements of the Your:)Ware PC ownership program.

Introduced by Gateway last year, the program allows users to buy a PC now with the option to trade it in after two years. Approximately $1 billion in transactions have been financed through the program since it launched last year.